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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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Just Desserts: Christmas-time in Vienna

August 16, 2014

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Ok, so some kind of blog update is WAAAAAY overdue. So much has been happening over the last few months, I’ve barely had time to sit down at the computer before we’re up to some new adventure. I will try to catch up by the end of summer, beginning with today’s post about a family […]

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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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“Soldiers’ graves are the greatest preachers of peace”: Visiting the Canadian WWI memorial at Vimy Ridge

January 22, 2014

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During a recent family trip to Paris, my son Lachlan and I squeezed in a day-trip to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, a memorial site in northern France dedicated to the Canadian soldiers killed in action during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and World War I in general. Lachlan is a war history buff and […]

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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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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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Footloose and Child-free in Dubrovnik

September 7, 2013

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After completing the school year here in Lausanne, the kids were eager to spend some time back in Canada attending camp and visiting with friends and relatives over the summer. We were happy to oblige them and take advantage of the freedom to try some new activities in Lausanne and do some traveling on our […]

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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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“What doesn’t kill me …”: Channeling Nietzsche in the Engadin Ski Marathon

May 27, 2013

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The following post is primarily for the cross country ski nerds (you know who you are), but if you enjoy beautiful mountain scenery and/or German philosophy, there’s something here for you too. Confused? Read on. Back in early March, Graham traveled to the Engadin Valley in the far southeastern corner of Switzerland to participate in […]

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