Monday, May 23, 2011

On the road again

It's official.  We are moving on again.  This time we're leaving Europe and heading to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a couple years.  I am very much looking forward to using this opportunity to explore southeast Asia.  I'm also up for hearing any recommendations of places to visit while we are there.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mont-sur-Rolle

When late spring comes to Suisse Romande it is time for caves ouvertes.  Last year we had a great time at the one held by the canton of Geneva.  Unfortunately I won't be able to make it to Geneva's this year as I'll be out of town, but yesterday some friends and I went to the caves ouvertes held in the commune of Mont-sur-Rolle in the neighboring canton of Vaud.  

Mont-sur-Rolle's caves ouvertes is infinitely better than Geneva's.  For 10 CHF (about $11ish) you buy a glass, complete with neck pouch  in which to carry it.  With the glass you can sample the wines of more than 30 vineyards and wine cellars located within a compact area.  The entrance fee includes a bus service to and from the train station as well as to the caves that are not within easy walking distance.  Unlike in Geneva, there is no pressure whatsoever to buy a bottle after you've sampled the wines.  The day, even with the cost of train tickets taken into consideration, was much less expensive than the one we spent at last year's caves ouvertes in Geneva.    








Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gruyères

I love cheese.  One great thing about living here is the ready abundance of my favorite cheese: Gruyère.  It has geographically protected status and is only made in the dairies around the town of Gruyères in the Canton of Fribourg.  I had heard good things about the town and I love the cheese so when we had a free Saturday we decided to check it out.  

The town is really cute and what I would consider to be a typically Swiss village built up on a hill and surrounded by some breathtaking scenery.  It takes about an hour and a half to drive there from Geneva, so It's perfect for a half-day trip.  If you want to tour the dairy and see how the cheese is made you can make a day of it. 












Friday, May 6, 2011

La Jonction

There are two rivers that run through Geneva.  The Rhone begins up in the mountains in Valais.  It runs through lake Geneva and eventually dumps out into the Mediterranean.  As it leaves Lake Geneva it looks like this:

   

The other river is the Aarve.  Its source is on Mont Blanc and it converges with the Rhone not far from our flat.  Because it isn't mixed with lake water like the Rhone, when snow is melting up in the mountains it tends to look like this:


We live in the area of town that gets its name from the convergence of these two rivers.  You can walk along a footpath as the land gets progressively narrower and the rivers get closer until the point where the dirty Aarve and the pristine Rhone join.