Saturday ritual.

Whatever we're doing on Saturday morning, there is a little ritual that can not be missed. Reading l'Equipe on Saturday mornings is a must for him. Better than spending hours on the couch watching sports on TV I guess!

I took this picture in the heart of old city center in Geneva at the beginning of June.


Drink at Le Mirador.

There are quite a few really nice hotels along Geneva's lake but there are completely out of our price range. Since they usually have a terrasse with outstanding views, we like to stop by for a coffee and just enjoy the scenery.

Sam took this pic on June 12 (already two months ago!!) B & R had just landed and were not up for hiking at the top of the Alps quite yet. So we settled at the Mirandor for a drink and took in the swiss beauty.


Unexpected Trolley

If we stay in Lausanne during the week end, we usually start with a bus ride into the old city center to go to the market, have coffee and read the news. It was just one of those saturdays, not quite awake, we were waiting at the bus stop. And instead of the usual and ugly bus from the 70's, an old trolly from 1936 came to pick us up. Completely unexpected. I couldn't help taking a couple of pics. It felt as if we were in Lisbon. Lovely saturday suprise!


Pianos in the streets of Geneva. (June 11)

While R&B were here, we ended a fun filled week with a music festival in Geneva. I had noticed one piano outside in a square where anyone could stop and play. When we stopped by, a young girl was playing a children song, nothing exceptional. What I didn't realized (before watching this video) was that for an entire week I think, they had set up pianos all over the city outside in the streets, squares, parks, along the lake, etc. and some rather talented people stopped by and played. Nice concept.


Paleo Festival. My first time! (June 11)

The Paleo festival started in 1976 and 1800 people showed up. Today it's one of the largest in Europe. It takes place in a meadowland site of over 15 hectares situated to the north of the town of Nyon between Lausanne and Geneva. Last year they had 230,000 spectators and 8000 campers.

We went with Pascal & Elodie on Thursday evening and listened to Jean Louis Aubert, PJ Harvey, The Strokes and The Do. Sam got carried away with his camera as you can tell above.

It was my first Paleo: great atmosphere. As the swiss would say: "it was tip top"!


Rossinière, Switzerland. (April 11)

After our stop in Gruyere, we reached a little higher in the mountains an alpine village called "Rossinière". It's worth the stop to look at a special house. This so called biggest chalet in Swizterland has 115 windows.

The Grand Chalet, which was originally known as the Great House, remained in the Henchoz family until 1875. In 1852 it was converted into a hotel and guest house that was graced by figures of great standing such as Victor Hugo and Alfred Dreyfuss.

Then one day in 1976, another great man, by the name of Balthus, stopped there to take tea. The Franco-Polish artist was instantly bewitched by the house and made up his mind there and then to buy it. And that was when the current phase of its history began.

The chalet gradually became a kind of shrine to Balthus's work, to which his countless admirers flocked. These included Henri Cartier-Bresson, the legendary photographer, and his wife Martine Franck, Alberto Giacometti, the actor Richard Gere, the singer Bono, the Dalai Lama, and classical musicians such as Riccardo Muti and Zubin Mehta.

One special guest was rock superstar David Bowie, who interviewed Balthus on a couple of occasions for specialist art reviews in Britain: Bowie was not only a friend of Balthus but a connoisseur of his work too.

Gruyère, Switzerland. (April 11)

This week end felt like summer so we decided to take a drive to Gruyères. Gruyères stands in the midst of the Fribourg green pre-Alpine foothills. The castle, one of the most prestigious in Switzerland, towers majestically above the medieval town. In case you're wondering, yes, the town gave its name to the cheese.

Gruerius, the legendary founder of Gruyères, captured a crane (in French: “grue”) and chose it as his herladic animal inspiring the name Gruyères.

We chose this week end to avoid the crowd but we couldn't help taking pictures of the cheesy touristy swissish items we can buy in Gruyères.

Then in the middle of the town when we least expected it, we stumbled upon the HR Giger museum. In 1980 HR Giger, a Swiss artist, won the Oscar the Best Visual Effects for his participation in the film "Alien". The deco. in the restaurant of the museum was quite special as well.

Since I can't end this post with some Alien stuff. Here is one more pic of this lovely place!


Amsterdam and the Hague "en vrac". Jan 2011.

A sample of Sam's pics from our little journey to Amsterdam at the beginning of January.