Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I am a passenger on a tour bus gawking out the window at the surrealistic view. We are on a narrow walk-way paved with stone. I am awed that the driver (it might be me) is able to guide the huge coach without disaster. We are on the private grounds of what seems to be old European money. It is a castle on a lake. Across the deep blue water are mountains of vibrant red clay. There are ancient dwellings built into the face of the rock and the sky and clouds contrast with crisp fierceness.
Suddenly we stop. I am outside trying to frame a shot of all this with my iPhone when an elderly woman appears. She has silver hair atop a serious, but kind, face. She looks very fit, perhaps a mountaineer. She is holding a clipboard. I sense that there has been some mix up in scheduling. She isn't happy that we are there.
As I re-frame my money-shot a motorcade of sports cars, all carrying Swiss pennants, comes racing past me on the twisty road. I get one or two shots between the cars and return to the bus.
The driver, as tour operator (is it me again?) has successfully negotiated a solution with the woman and is calling for the passengers to re-board the coach.
As I pass in front of him he says to me, 'nothing a few dollars can't fix', and smiles.
I am at once relieved and concerned.
I want this to be above board, not some cheesy back-roads midnight limo service to the red-light district.
We are on our way and I look out the window across the lake for a last peek of the million dollar view.
It is gone.