Blogs from South-West, Switzerland, Europe


Europe » Switzerland » South-West July 27th 2014

The Student Prince Technically, I'm not on vacation. Each night, when I get home from my teaching job here in Switzerland, I make dinner, and then sit down to deal with dozens of emails from my job back home. Often this keeps me up until 2 AM. I was relieved last Thursday when my lecture was scheduled for 1 PM instead of the usual 9 AM. Never the less, at 6 AM I woke up drenched in sweat and rushing for the door thinking I was late for class. It felt good to crawl back into bed. But two hours later my phone rang. One of the other instructors was calling from the train station. A student was having difficulty breathing. An ambulance had been called. Could I come as soon as possible? In five minutes ... read more
Pot Luck
parachute please

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Geneva July 21st 2014

The drive from Alice Bel Colle was as beautiful as the trip there through the Alps. We arrived at our next apartment in Geneva. In the evening, we met a student living in the apartments that was working on his doctorate at CERN. Pretty cool. The next morning, we awoke, packed and headed over to the exhibits at CERN (CERN is an international gathering of scientists and the largest particle accelerator in the world where they discovered the particle responsible for gravity!). Dad was quite excited by the whole thing, comparable to a child on Christmas morning. The exhibit was interesting too. There were live experiments, explanations, pieces of the historical accelerators as well as parts of the actual accelerators and detectors on display. The visual experience in the globe exhibition area explained about what they ... read more
Old style detector - CERN

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Lauterbrunnen July 18th 2014

This Swiss Miss... ....lost a little bit of her heart in Switzerland. Sometimes in life we experience moments that take our breath away, and sometimes we are fortunate enough to have several of those moments in our life time, I've experience exactly this while visiting Switzerland. When we were planning this trip, I was quietly excited to be visiting Switzerland for the first time. Like all of you I have seen pictures and postcards and most probably scenes from movies and wondered if that spectacular scenery could be real! Let me tell you it's so real I've actually touched it. I've been thinking how to describe the natural beauty of this country to you....the word most often used was 'WOW!'.... Said with such awe, and mouths agape. The grass is the greenest I've ever seen, such ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Susten July 15th 2014

At last blue sky so up for the day at the glacier.. suspension bridge funicular and lake hike. Set off at 10am need to get supplies in for weekend due to shops shutting at 5 and no sundays however as we only have a cool bag we decide to deal with it later - lous salmonella fear leading the way with this decision - I can see where this will head when day was meant to be 9-6! Arrived at glacier in brilliant sunshine and walked down and inside the glacier views amazing . Best quote from lou look at that it looks like sheets over the ice - thats because it is sheets covering the ice ! Over the ice grotto part to stop it melting too quick ( moves 10cm a day ). Travelled ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Leukerbad July 15th 2014

Todays planned activity is cable car from leukerbad up to gemmi pass at 2300m then walk back down 900m back to car in less than 2 hours - have seen mountain bikers do it on you tube and not sure how tyey managed it . Tried to wait for some weather to clear but no chance - got to top no sign of any views at all - cleared as we were going down in places -"quite steep all the way down with some scary corners for lou - I think it was better she couldnt see down at some points - my toes and knees were hurting near bottom - I have taken twice as many steps as everyone else because of my little legs ! Had picnic on way back to camp and got ... read more


Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Brig July 15th 2014

Too much rain, so indoor activities required 1st on the agenda was europes largest underground lake - another record breaker only downside packed full of noisy kids. took out a bank loan to get the coffees in before the 30 min trip on the lake. Formed by glaciers millions of years ago discovered in 1949 still wondering how the fish got in- our french not that good. Guide was struggling for features at the end and started pointing out shapes in rocks that looked like faces, eiffel tower and crocodiles - maybe if you squint and hold your head at a 45 degree angle !! Lou added one to the list as she swore she could see an elephant - not the first time she has seen apparitions of zoo animals ...... still raining on exit ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Crans-Montana July 15th 2014

Still raining will it ever stop spent 30 mins last night trying to find anywhere in switzerland where it is sunny . Live web cams are great - Zermatt was the closest however by the time everybody was up and ready people were holding brollies planb a chilled day crans montana pack a picnic then town of sion all within 20 miles of camp. Set off at 11.30 and the blue sky has started to appear and we saw a glimmer of sun .... crans motana quiet all shops on siesta too posh anyway ! Town lovely but a cool 12 degrees -checked out the open golf course and then drove down through cloud to sion where we reached dizzy heights of 21 degrees - missed the market so just had a wander and ice creams ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Wengen July 12th 2014

Switzerland - Wengen, July 8-11, 2014 Our good luck with the weather finally gave out as we awoke to heavy rain in Zermatt on the 8th, reinforcing our appreciation of the great views we had enjoyed. We had five legs of train travel to reach Wengen near the scenic attractions of the Jungfrau. Our plans for the day kept evolving in consideration of the wet weather. One intermediate stop was Interlaken, and on the spur of the moment we decided to visit Jungfrau park there instead of going directly to Wengen. There were convenient lockers large enough to hold our big suitcases at the station, so we could proceed relatively unencumbered. Also convenient was the fact that bus 103 to Jungfrau Park left right from the train station. With the Swiss Flexi Pass, bus tickets are ... read more
View of Lauderbrunnen from Hotel Caprice balcony
Staubach Falls

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Lausanne July 12th 2014

Getting there is half the fun Every other July I take 10 students to Switzerland where they spend a month taking courses from me and a few other professors. I realize this makes no sense. Why not skip the going to Switzerland part? Call it a holistic approach to education. For many of them it's their first time travelling abroad. It's a pleasure for me to watch them have those Dorothy moments discovering that there are places not like home. This year I purposefully booked a flight to Geneva that would match the itinerary of a large number of my students. I was a little surprised not to see any of them waiting at the gate in San Francisco. When they didn't show up in Toronto or Montreal my surprise turned to concern. Maybe they would ... read more
Lausanne Panorama
Street Theater
Punch and Judy

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Leuk July 9th 2014

Weather not to clever this morning so decision was made to visit the grande dixence dam after our bratwurst breakfast. Lous first experience of hairpin bends and cable cars- breaking her in gently...... Tallest vertical dam in the world impressive structure Bought tickets to include the cable car ride and a tour inside the dam but 40 mins to wait.Steve couldnt make his mind up whether to walk up - I didnt take much time to make my mind up - anyway raindrops sorted that out . Tour started at the bottom but steve new best and said we can join them at the top ... so we caught next cable car got a cup of tea to find the tour was at the bottom and we would now miss it count to ten.........,. Any ... read more

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