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Switzerland >


A Drive Around Lac Léman in Switzerland – the North and East Sides

Saturday February 09, 2013 (00:11:35)
Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) in the evening
by Nancy Bach

Views from the heights of Lausanne looking south to the lake with the surrounding Alps, in the crisp, clear Swiss air are impressive. City businessmen sponsored construction of the Sauvabelin Tower, with a 100-foot climb up a circular wooden stairway to make the views even better. Breathe in the tranquility; you may never have this opportunity again.

Lausanne, of course, is the home of the IOC, International Olympic Committee, with an interesting museum, worth a visit. Each January Lausanne is home to the Prix de Lausanne international amateur dance competition. We missed it during our one year in Geneva—wish we could get a do-over!   more ...

Switzerland > Living


If You Thought Swiss Watches Were Good, Wait Till You Try Their Railway System!

Saturday January 26, 2013 (22:06:50)
Swiss rails
by Nancy Bach

We loved Swiss trains. As expats we faced uncertainty every day, but we could always count on the trains for grounding. If the scheduled time was 12:30, we knew with certainty that we’d miss the train if we arrived at 12:31. When you’re running late there’s far less stress if you know you don’t have a chance of making it. Just relax and grab a glass of wine while you wait for the next train.

Once you’re ready to take the train, all of Switzerland is open to you! Europe, too, for that matter.

We lived in Geneva, tucked into France so far that it might as well be France. So we took advantage of the high-speed train to Paris. Liz and I zipped there (~200mph) to see the musical Notre Dame de Paris (in French), the trip very comfortable and easy compared to air travel. On another empty weekend we took a family trip by train to visit the Louvre, hassle-free.   more ...

Switzerland > Living


Feeling At Home In Switzerland

Friday January 25, 2013 (23:26:52)
Nancy Bach
by Nancy Bach

After living in Hong Kong for six years, we were ready for a change of pace with our move to Switzerland. Just as we had done in Asia, we wanted to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So we used every weekend and holiday to explore.

We took a long drive down through France, stopping in Provence, Grasse (perfume capital), Nice, Cannes, then on to Genoa, San Remo, and Rome Italy, soaking up history, culture, and Rivieran rays. We made several trips to London and Paris. My husband and the boys drove the Nurburgring in Germany—at 125 mph! And we visited many smaller cities in Switzerland and France, especially enjoying festivals; it seemed there was usually one every weekend. We ended up staying in Switzerland for only eleven months, and packed in as much exploration as we could. But it was a blink of an eye.   more ...

Switzerland > Living


Guns, Lies and Bibliothèque At The Swiss Border

Tuesday January 15, 2013 (05:56:14)

by Nancy Bach

La Douane? What’s that?

When we learned we were moving to Switzerland I was elated. I love visiting new countries and learning new languages, so I was excited for the opportunity to add Swiss to my personal language portfolio. It took a while to remember that there is no “Swiss” language. Depending on the part of the country visited, Switzerland uses three official languages: French, German, and Italian.

Our assignment was at Switzerland’s southwest tip in Geneva, a small, but powerful international city hosting numerous UN and other global organizations. In this beautiful setting on Lac Leman and the Rhone River, Genève, as it is known to natives, is totally surrounded by France. Formidable! I was set. With my full year of high school French I would be speaking fluently in no time.   more ...