Travel Suisse: Zurich

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I can’t believe we have lived in Switzerland for over two years, and I’ve only just visited Zurich. It seems like such an obvious place to visit. I know many people think of Zurich and Switzerland to be essentially the same thing. And it’s so close – well, everything in Switzerland is, it’s not a very big country.

But there are factors involved in not visiting this city yet. The first and foremost being cost. If Switzerland is crazy expensive, then Zurich is hella-crazy expensive, so we’ve always avoided it a bit for that. Also, there is the language barrier. Not that it matters in such a tourist-friendly city (I wouldn’t be surprised if more Swiss in Zurich spoke English than in Geneva), but our grasp of French often keeps us turning towards our large French neighbour to the west. Continue reading

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Travel France: Yvoire

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One of the many advantages of living in a place so surrounded by amazing locations and finds is that you’re constantly stumbling into cool things, totally by accident. The other day, we got a little lost and randomly drove by some Roman ruins (we made a note to get back there sometime, although the chances of us finding it again are slim).

On this recent particular Sunday, though, we were driving home, and wanted the little man to go down for a nap. It never fails, but he will invariably fall asleep when we are 10 minutes from home. Guaranteed. It doesn’t matter how long the drive is – twenty minutes or three hours. It’s like he knows – okay, ten minutes from home, this will be the absolute least convenient time for me to sleep, let’s do this. So we try to trick him. In this case, we decided to take the long way back to Geneva through France, and drove along the rugged coast of the lake. Our plan totally backfired, as the little man didn’t fall asleep, which meant he was up even longer than he should have been, but when it comes to our little surprise adventures, it couldn’t have been better. Continue reading

Swiss travel: Interlaken

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I had a bit of a bet going with my brother-in-law. While we were enjoying the autumn sunshine on the shore of Lake Geneva at Vevey, I commented that this was the most beautiful place I had ever been. He responded with a: just wait til we get to Interlaken, it puts all of this to shame. Apparently my most beautiful place was a little meh for him.

So it was on. We went away for the weekend, all five of us (me, X, Z, sister, brother-in-law) bundled tight in the car, to Interlaken, which is more central Switzerland and firmly within the German-speaking side. Interlaken is situated in between two mountain lakes (hence the name) and is a jumping off point to get to some ski and resort areas higher up in the Alps. Continue reading

Swiss Travel: Murten

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One of the benefits of having globetrotting guests staying with us is I get to do some more traveling too! I generally wouldn’t think: hey, X, let’s hop in the car and drive for several hours to explore a new town, just the two of us. Not usually, anyway. X can be very closed minded about things like that. But with my sister and brother-in-law visiting, it seemed like the right thing to do.

After their jaunt to Italy, they wanted to explore some of Switzerland. And as luck would have it, there is very little of Switzerland that I’ve actually seen yet. If it’s not around Lake Geneva, then it’s new to me. Continue reading