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Lyon, France: City of Light and Gastronomy (but not light gastronomy!)

January 20, 2015

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One weekend last spring Kathryn and I found ourselves unencumbered by the kids and their sports schedules, so we set off on a quick 24 hour weekend getaway. Our destination of choice: the city of Lyon, France, about which we had heard many good things from other expats. This was also our first experience of […]

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Blowing Hot Air: Ballooning in Chateau d’Oex

February 9, 2014

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Last week I found a new way to enjoy the mountains here in Switzerland: floating 10,000 feet up in the air in a wicker basket held aloft by a sheet of nylon and a bunch of hot air. Yep, I went hot air ballooning in the Alps! Every January since 1979, the village of Chateau […]

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ALIEN-ated in Gruyère: the frightening imagination of H.R. Giger

February 3, 2014

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If you’re an expat living in the Lausanne area and have friends and family who plan to visit, then sooner or later you will end up going to the nearby village of Gruyère … again and again … like it or not. Its charming medieval architecture, hilltop view of the bucolic countryside, abundance of fondue […]

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Holy Cow!: Bovine Festivities from the “Désalpe” to the “Combat des Reinnes”

October 23, 2013

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Think of Switzerland and one invariably conjures up images of the country’s iconic spirit animal – the contented cow – languidly chewing the cud against a back-drop of alpine wildflowers and snow-capped peaks. This is one national stereotype with more than a grain of truth to it. The country is literally overrun with the beasts! […]

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Allez LUCAF! Allez les gars!: “American” Football in Lausanne

October 14, 2013

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One of the first things that our son Lachlan did upon learning that we were moving to Lausanne, Switzerland was to get on the internet in order to find out if there were any football teams that he could play for. Having recently developed a passion for the game in Toronto, he wanted to make […]

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The Scene that “Funky Claude” Built: the Montreux Jazz Festival

September 22, 2013

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30km east of Lausanne, in the heart of the “Swiss Riviera” near the end of Lake Geneva, lies the town of Montreux. The town has long been a popular escape for the rich and famous, owing to its benign climate, tony hotels, beautiful waterfront, and secluded location. Artists and musicians including Noel Coward, Igor Stravinsky, […]

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Allez Emma! Allez les Vaudoise!

August 25, 2013

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One of the features of life in Switzerland that isn’t much different from our lives in Canada is the central role that sports play in the lives of our kids and the daily routine of our family. While the language, team culture and customs, as well as a few rules of the game may be […]

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Stalking wild ibex and JJ Rousseau in the land of absinthe

May 28, 2013

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On a holiday Monday last week Kathryn and I drove into the Jura mountains near Neuchatel, about an hour away, to do some hiking. Our plan was to check out a rock feature called the Creux du Van, a giant horseshoe-shaped cliff-face or cirque that the Swiss sometimes compare to the Grand Canyon. The Creux […]

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Ski week in Verbier

April 1, 2013

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Back in mid-February the kids had a week-long school break and, like so many other families in Switzerland, we took advantage and headed into the mountains for a week of alpine skiing. While there are dozens of choice ski destinations within a day’s drive of us (for eg. Gstaad, Crans Montana, Saas Fee), we opted […]

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Chateau d’Oex Hot-Air Balloon Festival

March 4, 2013

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The Swiss are very fond of festivals and hold them throughout the year to celebrate everything from music, wine, and cheese, to local handicrafts, farm produce, and livestock, including beauty contests for cows (I kid you not!). Some festivals date back centuries, while others are more contemporary in origin. Looking for something to do as […]

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