Thursday, 30 October 2014

How to make bargains -SKI BAZAR ONEX on Nov 1st - second hand ski equipment- big sale

Hi as also talked in one of my previous post , a great way to buy excellent second hands ski equipment and ski clothes is to go at the  SKI BAZAR in Onex on Nov 1st

The sale starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. , go there and start queuing at least 30 minutes in advance to be sure that you will find the best choice of Ski, boots, outfits and so on

The ski bazar takes place in the Salle Communale d'Onex in Rte de Chancy 131, it's easily reachable by tram.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Come and join the "ONE MILLION STARS " Caritas Charity Concert with hundreds of candles and superb classical music on Saturday Dec 13th

On Saturday December 13th thousands of candles will illuminate more than 100 special locations in Switzerland , this event is called  "A million stars" , and it is usually linked to a concert that it is  free , however offers are strongly encouraged because the full amount collected in the concert will be used to support people in poverty 

In Geneva the place that will be lightened by hundreds of candles as of 5 p.m., is the St Paul Church in Av. de Saint Paul 6 in Grange Canal area (tram 12 stop Grange Canal) 

Concert will start at 4 p.m. the Symphony Orchestra of the Alps led by Martial Renard, will perform the classics of Russian composers,  Swan Lake Excerpts from the orchestral suite - Tchaikovsky Peter and the Wolf Tale music - Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet Opening - Prokofiev Polovtsian Dance No. 18 Borodin Concert.

How to enjoy Geneva like it was in 17 Century this week end and THE EUROPE LARGEST HISTORICAL PARADE on December 14th from 5 p.m. till 8 p.m.
This is one of my favorite events in Geneva , during these 2 days the town is it like it used to be in the 17th century , hundres of people wearing traditional costumes walk in the old streets of the old town giving to it a very special atmosphere : parades, muskets firing, demonstrations of pike handling, and public speeches about Geneva’s independence. 
The Old town becomes the theater  for open markets , exhibitions in the most famous historical places ,  stands where you can buy the food that people of the 17th century used to eat such as roasted boar, ham off the bone, vegetable soup, mulled wine.
There is a program full of activities for adults and kids  including guided tours of City Hall, and of the Passage de Monetier, a path through the Old Town’s walls that is only open during the Escalade. Find the entrance to the passage at rue du Perron 19, and you’ll see a unique side of mysterious Geneva
My favorite  event within these two days is the Sunday evening promenade, where more than 800 people in costume circle on foot and on horseback through Old Town in Europe’s largest historical parade, a real MUST SEE
On the left the itinerary of the Parade that starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. in Place Bourg Du Four

How to learn to cook Italian traditional Dishes for FREE - Next session is on December 11 in SAIG offices

See my previous post about the SAIG  Italian association and its FREE Italian cooking lessons to learn the dishes of the Italian tradition.

In December the lesson take place on December 11th , and the lesson will be about the Christmas Lunch following the Sicilian tradition
All information are displayed below and in my previous post

Important : all lessons are in ITALIAN.

Friday, 24 October 2014

How to make your baby a climber- Baby climbers lessons Vitam'park -babies 18 months - 3 years 4 sessions 58 Euro

Vitam park in Neydens , nearby Geneva offers courses to teach babies to climb , 4 session s cost 58 Euro and are open to babies from 18 months till 3 years
The next course starts on November 18th - Baby Climbers training for further information
                                          copyright Vitam

Thursday, 23 October 2014

How to learn cooking in the world's most famous cooking school - Institut Paul BOCUSE Lyon

If you have a passion for cooking  and want to live an  unforgettable experience , then you have to enroll in one of the cooking lesson of the Institut Paul Bocuse  in Ecully, close to Lyon .
The school offers a large variety of courses for all levels and for all budget , starting from less than 100 Euro for a half day session to some thousands Euro for  3- 6 weeks intensive course .
The school headquarters is a wonderful castle and some lessons are held there .
Paul Bocuse , aged 88 now, is an institutions in France and one of the world most famous chefs , three Michelin stars and awarded with the "Chef of the Century" Title.
Courses are also in English and can be booked and bought on line via the  very well structured website , see link above, all types of french cuisine are offered from traditional to modern, you can basically learn all what you have always dreamed about , not only about cooking but also  for example to become an expert in coffee and cheese selection , to learn the art of making bread and so on.
This school is so famous and so close to Geneva that it is worth an experience while you are living here.

How to discover Italy : GIUSEPPE VERDI FESTIVAL in Parma till Nov 4th 2014

If you are looking for an unusual way to spend one of the next week and you like Classic Music and Opera then the must go place for you is Parma, a magnificent city at only 5 hrs  hours driving from Geneva .
Parma by itself deserves a visit because of its beautiful city center , its Cathedral and its worldwide famous pink marble Baptistery dated XXIV century, however in this period there is an additional reason to go there :the Giuseppe Verdi Festival that started on October 10 and will end on November 4th . Not to mention that Parma is one of Italy's most famous city for its delicious food: Parmesan cheese and Parma ham.
Parma celebrates Verdi because the famous Italian composer , author of masterpieces such as La Traviata, Rigoletto, i Vespri Siciliani , was was born in 1813 in a little village called Busseto close to this town, and the Festival is the most famous event of the year.
The festival takes place in the most important Theater in Parma, the Teatro Regio and in the very modern Auditorium built few years ago by the worldwide famous architect Renzo Piano .
The program of the Festval  is very rich of great events that can be also booked online.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

How to discover Italy - The WHITE TRUFFLE Fair -Alba until Nov 16th 2014

A great way to spend one of the next week ends is to go to Alba , a small  town in Piedmont, about 3-4 hours driving from Geneva . Alba is a beautiful town in the magnificent Langhe Hills , the town was founded by the Romans and it has a very well preserved medieval city center where each Saturday you can also find a nice markets with hundreds of stalls.
Alba built its fortunes on the White Truffle and it's considered the capital of truffles. Each year the most important event is the International White Truffle Fair which begins in October and ends in November; in this period the city center is full of exhibition stands, where you can see, smell and buy white truffles and also many other products typical from the area such as such as sausages, wine, honey and cheese . 
The program of the Fair is full of fantastic activities for everybody , including workshops for kids , cooking lessons from very famous chefs, concerts and various exhibitions ; have a look at the detailed  White Truffle Fair Program  to see what's on in the coming days /weeks  
The fair ends with the World White Truffle Auction which was first held in 1999. The auction is hosted in a castle and there is a satellite connection with other international locations that compete to get the most precious and rare truffles.

Monday, 20 October 2014

How to discover Italy -October 24-26th weekend in Chatillon and in Lillianes (Aosta) for the Honey Festival and for the Chestnuts Fair

If you like honey and chestnuts and you would are looking for something original to do this week end , go to Chatillon and to Lillianes , south of Aosta, less than 2 hrs driving from Geneva , to attend the Chatillon Honey Festival and the Lillianes Chestnut Fair 
Lillianes is known as the Land of Chestnuts, because this village it is the biggest producer of this fruit of the Aosta Valley. 
Every year at the end of October the chestnut fair takes place for 3-4 days with various exhibitions and activities all around chestnuts , you will eat the typical food of the region and taste the famous Lillianes chestnut beer!
The full program of the Chestnut Fair is visible here 

© 2000-2014 Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta
The honey Festival is a very popular event in the valley and attract visitors from the entire Valle D'Aosta Region. The program of the 3 days includes many events such as for example children's workshops 
The full program of the Honey Festival is available here 
© 2000-2014 Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta

Sunday, 19 October 2014

How to prepare Tagliatelle ai funghi porcini (porcini mushroom) - True Recipe from my mother

Yesterday I went to the food market in Gaillard and I found great fresh porcini mushrooms at a decent price , so I decided to cook one of my favorite dishes, an heritage from my mother :

Tagliatelle ai Funghi Porcini , Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushroom  
Ingredient  for 4 people: 
  • 250 gr of Tagliatelle all'Uovo  - I bought them at Leclerc Annemasse and I foudn the Brand De Cecco , however this type of pasta can be found also at Coop Geneva and  Manor 
  • 300 -400 gr porcini mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons of  extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled 
  • A small bunch  of parsley -chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
Process (preparation: 15 min. cooking: 20 min.)
First you have to prepare the porcini mushrooms , cleaning the mushrooms is an operation that requires ability and a bit 'of time, don't use water , remove or even cut the lower parts of the stem if there is a lot of earth then use a kitchen brush to clean the chapels ,finally clean all mushroom with humid but not wet kitchen paper .
Now cut the mushrooms in pieces (not in slices ! )  checking  that the  inside part is perfectly intact and white. 

Cut the parsley in very small pieces, I always do using my grandmother 's "half moon knife" but you can use any type of mixer 

Put the oil in a large pan , once the oil has reached teh highest temperature , add the peeled garlic clove and the mashed parsley , then cook 1-2 minutes max and then add the porcini mushrooms, reduce heat to medium heat  temperature and turn frequently for 20 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper and keep softly turning .You might add a bit of hot water if  the mushrooms are too dry to avoid they burn.

 Boil pasta in salted water; and when it is almost cooked , 1 minute before the final cooking time, remove the garlic from the pan ,drain the pasta and pour it inside the pan where you have cooked the mushrooms , stir the mushrooms sauce with the tagliatelle for 1 minute adding if you need a couple of spoons of the water where you cooked the pasta 
Serve the tagliatelle with porcini ushrooms immediately with a little chopped parsley on it, olive oil and parmesan cheese.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

How to learn the art of making Tea.JAPANESE GREEN TEA WORKSHOPS from November 27th till November 30th as of 30 CHF -IN ENGLISH

If you love tea and have always wanted to learn the Japanese art of making it, these workshops are for you.
Workshops will take place in the Tokyonama Japanese boutique shop in Rue de Carouge 75 in Geneva; there are 7 workshops from this Thursday till Sunday ; each workshop lasts 1.5 hours, it is open to a maxim,of 8 people and costs 30 CHF .
Watch out : workshops could be already full, however it's worth trying. Call the shop directly to know if there are still places available.
Workshop schedule:
1. Thursday, November 27th 18:30pm
2. Friday, November 28th 18:30pm
3. Saturday, November 29th 11:00am
4. Saturday, November 29th 18:00pm
5. Sunday, November 30th 12:00pm
6. Sunday, November 30th 14:00pm
7. Sunday, November 30th 16:00pm

How to learn about the Particle Accelerator and have fun - The CERN Passport to the Big Bang 54 km scientific bike trail - FREE

This is a  54 km trail  through the Swiss and French countryside around CERN ;this trail    goes through 10 key intermediate stops , they are exhibition platforms located at 10 different CERN sites, this trail follows the course of the huge underground ring of the LHC particle accelerator.  In each platform there is a  mini-exhibitions that explains the key researches conducted at CERN  , in each platforms there are  telescopes and visitors are able to watch short video sequences illustrating  CERN science and technology. 
When you go there, do not miss the opportunity to participate to the LHC mission , an interactive game  that  you can play through  the entire trail in the 10 terminals of the platforms  by activating them via special codes ,  the codes to play the game can be found in  the  Passport to the Big Bang booklet containing all the necessary information ,  available at Geneva tourist offices  tourist offices and at the CERN Reception,  the passport can also be downloaded via the above website. link  
The website offers all needed information also in English, including also the detailed map of the trail , special signs indicate the precise itinerary to be followed by bike.

                                the itinerary of Passport to Big Bang Trial - copyright CERN 

How to discover Switzerland - the Bacon Fair in Martigny on November 30 and December 1st 2014

The Bacon fair takes place each year in Martigny ,since 1801, the town is  about 2 hrs driving from Geneva. This is a very popular fair that animates all the main streets of the town.
In the street market you can taste and buy all types of bacon , and other local food and enjoy the atmosphere thanks to several street concerts and to the music of a famous band of musicians from Aosta .
                                                                                 © Blaise Coutaz

How to learn Pumpkin Carving - Workshops for kids on October 29th as of as of 13 CHF

It's almost Halloween so why don't offer to our kids the opportunity to learn the art of Pumpkin Carving ?
There are two workshop planned on Oct 29th afternnon:

  • Pumpkin Carving workshop by WWF Panda Club Geneva   from 1.30 p.m. till 5.30 p.m. for kids from 6 till 12 years old for 15 CHF 
  • Pumpkin Carving workshop by Schilliger Plan Leas Ouates  store from 2p.m. till 4.30 p.m.  for 13 CHF
In both cases to enroll your kids please call directly the  phone numbers in the respective websites to get more information . I have enrolled my 9 years old son to the workshop organized by Panda Club because he has already attended many of their sessions and he always had great time, however I'm sure that the Schilliger 's ones area also good.
                                                                                                                                             © Schilliger Garden Centre SA

How to learn key tips for Dog Grooming on November 8th at SCHILLINGER Plan Les Ouates - FREE

If you would like to learn some key tips on Dog Grooming and bring your dog for a personalized advice , then go to the Schillinger Store in PLan Les Ouates  on Saturday Nov 8th from 10a.m. till 5 p.m. , a professionist in dog grooming will give you a free demonstration on the key techniques.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

How to discover Switzerland - The Onion Market in Bern on Nov 24th 2014

The beauty of Switzerland and in particular the beauty of staying in Geneva is that it's possible to travel in many places within just few hours .
I thought that the foreign people who read this blog might want to get advice on the most interesting sight seen  attractions  so I will start from the Onion Market in Bern, it takes place every year on the 4th Monday of November , so this year it will be on Nov 24th . 
The Onion Market is the most important event of the year in Bern .During that day the main streets of Bern city centers are full of booths selling all possible types of onion from all over Switzerland , the street market also sells art craft, ,spices , onion sculptures and all types of local food. The most popular dish on that day is the onion soup served with hot wine and the onion cake.
This event is worth seeing it due to the charming atmosphere and the very special smell, in the evening the people from Bern engage in confetti battles , a tradition linked to the special day.
The history of the market dates back the mid-19th Century, when the new railroad made it easy for farmers to bring their onions into the city, but it has its roots in a two-week autumn market that began in the 1500s. One legend claims that the original market was created as a reward to farmers who helped the Bernese clean up after a city fire in 1405.
If you go to Bern for the market, take the opportunity to visit this beautiful city, Switzerland capital and to see the city center and the bears'park, the bear is the  symbol of the city. 

How to make bargains: second hand kids clothes , toys and ski equipment TROC Chene Bourg on Saturday November 8th

I have already extensively talked in one of my previous post about the TROCS , the second hand  sales  held by private people or school associations, that take place typically in the schools on Saturdays twice a year ,in Autumn and in Spring.
The TROCS are great place to make bargains because the quality of things , toys typically , but also clothes on sales can be very high (i.e. branded goods) and the price are extremely cheap
In the past I years  bought not only tons of books and like new toys but also ski equipment, bicycles, scooters , skates ,  helmets and so on for my 9 years old boy .
Last Saturday I went to the TROC of Champel and I bought a pair of excellent ski for my son for 18 CHF only

This Saturday there is the TROC of Chene Bourg , it takes place in Rte F. Perreard 2 1225 Chene Bourg from 9.30 a.m. till 12.30 p.m. , this is a good one but there is normally a long queue to enter so go there 30 minutes in advance
Next Saturday TROCS takes place in Meyrin  and in Bernex.

.                                                             copyrighthowtogeneva

How to rent for 50 CHF a beautiful place where to organize your kids' birthday party

Hi I'm sure most of you have faced the challenge to find a great and large place where to organize your children's birthday parties.
I live in an apartment and I'm not willing to host here something like 20-30 kids running and jumping all over the places , not to take into account the fact that after you host such a party , it's better that you look for another place to live because neighbors in Switzerland do not particularly like noise.
So if you don't have an isolated house  and still want to make your kids happy by celebrating their birthdays with all their friends , the solution is to rent for a day one of Geneva public places .
There are many possibilities to rent great places, my advice is first to look at the Maison de Quartier of the district where you live. The Maison de Quartier is the Public Place that  host all services offered to the residents of the districts , including  the possibility to rent the place for children anniversaries  either on Saturdays or on Sundays. Just for example,  in Champel, you can rent  all the ground floor of the charming 19th century Swiss Chalet located in front fo Parc Bertrand  that hosts the offices of the Maison de Quartier de Champel for 50 CHF + a deposit that you will take it back  after the party has taken place.
The only and key condition to rent the Maison de Quartiers is to be resident in the district , so if you live in Eaux Vives you cannot rent the Maison de Qaurtier of Petit Lancy, for example. Note also that  this option is very popular among the local people so  you must book 1-2 months in advance the selected date;  the area that is rented has usually also a separate kitchen where  you can cook the food and snacks that you plan to offer  during the party .
Here is the list of the Maison de Quartiers in Geneva
Below the  image of the Maison de Quartier de Champel

How to discover nearby France SALON DE LA GASTRONOMIE in Bourg en Bresse November 7th -11th

If you love French food and wine and if and would like to discover the best offer of French Gastronomy , then you can't miss  the Food Fair -Salon de la Gastronomie in Bourg en Bresse, , a very nice town at only  109  Km from Geneva , easily accessible by car or train (line TGV to Paris)
This town is by itself worth a visit in fact it is full of History and it has a very charming Medieval center and a beautiful Gothic Cathedral , the Royal Monastery of Brou that is one of the most famous monuments in France.
As of next Friday November 7th and for the next 4 consecutive days the town hosts the Salon de La Gastronomie , an exhibition with more than 150 food stands , offering all the most famous specialties from the Ain Region, among those the famous poultry and a very large selection of of French wines that can be tested and bought directly from the producers  . Special events  and cooking demonstrations are also planned
Worth seeing it also because the Salon closes late in the evenings and the  entry ticket is very cheap, 5 Euro/person, free for children younger than 12th .

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Storytelling Night for kids- Museum Natural History on Friday November 14th from 5.15 p.m. till 9 p.m. FREE

Storytelling night in Museum of Natural History in Rte de Malagnou 1 in Geneva
Several storytelling start at different timing , see program for further details.
It's free, however space is limited to 30 people , registration is made 15 minutes before the storytelling starts.

© DR

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

How to enroll your kids in Botanic Workshops on Wednesdays at BOTANIC GARDEN -Geneva 12 CHF/each

This is a great opportunity for kids aged between 8 and 11 years who love Nature, plants and animals .
The Geneva Botanic Garden organizes 17 workshops starting on October 29th 2014 and ending on June 10th 2015 , each Wednesday except in December and during Easter Holidays. These workshops are in French and are called "Ateliers Verts" , the full program is available on the website and it includes a very interesting variety of topics such as bees, birds, special plant , art-crafts and other educational subjects related to plants and animals of Geneva area Each workshop costs 12 CHF and lasts from 2 p.m. till 4.30 p.m.
To enroll to one or more workshops or to have  additional information about the program please check teh website and contact :Mrs Ghebali,on Tuesdays and on Fridays from 9 a.m. till 11 a.m. at +41 22 379 70 68

Monday, 13 October 2014

How to make your personalized stamps - with your picture- for your letters to friends around the world -LA POSTE SUISSE

Although we are in the era of digital, mobiles and social media , for those of you who like me still enjoy to send letters or Christmas wishes via the traditional old way , La Poste Suisse has an application called Webstamp -easy  that enables to create and print yourself your personalized  stamps online.
Basically you just have to decide the image that you want to print on the stamps the type of stamp value (this is based on the the destination of your letters  and on the dimension of the letters) and the quantity that you want to print.
At the end you pay and get the stamps immediately printed , you don't pay additional charges to print your stamps , but will have to buy the special adhesive paper at the La Poste shop online or at post offices. Note also that before proceeding you have to enroll in La Poste website and own a La Poste Card to pay online . 

Dani's advice I think this is a fabulous idea for the wedding invites that at least in Italy are still sent via traditional letters to each invitee via postal services. 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

How to enjoy Music and Light Festivals in Bern and Lyon

This post highlights two unique events that take place in Bern and in Lyon in November and in December .  I'm talking about the Fete Des Lumieres when key monuments are enlightened by very famous artists in a carousel of incredible lights.

In particular :
La Fete Des Lumieres takes place in the whole city of Lyon from December 5th till Dec 8th , each evening starting at 6 p.m. with more that 70 spotlights in the most beautiful monuments of teh city ;, this is one of the most important event of the year that attracts in Lyon a huge amount of visitors, so if you plan to go book as soon as possible and try to stay in the heart of the city to walk through the light itinerary and enjoy the atmosphere.


The Music and Light  show in Bern takes place each day in Parliament square  from October 17th till November 30th each day except November 23rd and 24th when there is the Onion fair, see my other post. The show in Bern lasts 25 minutes and takes place twice a day at 7 p.m. and at 8.30 p.m. ; it's breathtaking because of the perfect synchronization between music and light; each year the show has a different theme, this year theme is a "journey through the time in paradise.
The Music and Light show can be combined to a visit to this very nice city .
copyright www,

How to start the ski season! Special offer 1 day skiing in Nendaz or in Davos/Kloster on Dec 6th at 59 CHF (skipass +train tickets)

I found this great offer on the Swiss daily  magazine 20 minutes .
They offer 1 day ski pass in the ski resorts of Nendaz or Davos/Klosters for only 59 CHF  per person.
The offer includes the train transport from Geneva or another location to the destination resort round trip and the skipass for the  opening day of the ski season on Saturday December 6th
A full day of entertainment is planned ,for that day  on the ski resorts , for example Music with DJ will start as of 3 p.m. Worth going! Important: the offer has limited availability so first comes, first served.

How to rent a Costume for your kid as of 10 CHF

If you have children of ages between 3 and 10 you will soon realize that you need a set of Carnival dresses because there will be many occasions in which your kid will need it , especially in Geneva. Typically these occasions are :
  • Birthday Parties - while in Italy kids wear Carnival dresses only at Carnival, here many birthday parties require children to be dressed with costumes : princess, king superheroes and so on
  •  La course de l'Escalade , La Marmite a typical event within the Escalade that takes place in Geneva in December and when kids go in town or participate to the race  in costumes.
  • Halloween  and Carnival 
So,  it's better to be equipped to face the above ,and  since to buy  costumes here is  quite expensive , the best thing is to rent them , also because in such a way your kid can wear a different costume each time he/she is invited to a birthday party or to an event.
A very good place  for me to rent costumes at very reasonable prices is Vet's Shop in 2, Rue Leshot ,at the corner with  Rue de Carouge  in Plainpalais.
This Vet's Shop is a Red Cross second hand shop specialized in Carnival costumes rental for adults and kids, the tarifs start at 10 CHF , but price can be  higher depending on the costumes, worth a visit! Note that costumes are stored in the shop's basement, so they not visible from the outside.

How to learn Bricolage (DIY) : place wooden floor/ tiles or renew a furniture , paint walls, for 15Euro/lesson -training courses at LEROY MERLIN

If you like doing it yourself and to repair things at home, these training lessons are for you.
LEROY MERLIN   stores s in nearby France , in Annemasse and in Thoiry offer lessons on how to paint walls, apply wooden floor , tiles , renew old furniture  and many other things for as less as 15 Euro for 3 hours lessons.
You have to select the Leroy Merlin Store closer to your place and choose the course that you would like to attend and enroll on line after  having registered in Leroy Merlin data-client for free. Click the link above and you will be  directed to the list of courses.
Lessons take place during working days and sometimes also on Saturdays, from 9.30 a.m. till 12.30 p.m. and/or  from  2.30 p.m. till 5.30 p.m. , they are in French and they are  open to a maximum of 8 participants so first comes, first served.
At present there are about 7 courses planned in the October and November 2014 period

How to spend a great Sunday with your kids VIVARIUM de Geneva Meyrin-entry ticket 6 CHF

Sometimes , especially when weather is not so good to stay outdoor , it might be difficult to find ways to entertain kids on Sundays.
This post proposes you to have a trip at the VIVARIUM of Meyrin , this place is easily accessible by car or by tram and it's a children paradise. In fact the exhibition hosts several animals, reptiles: crocodiles, turtles, spiders , lizards and it's definitively worth going especially if your kids love these type of animals.
Opening hours are from 2 p.m. till 5 p.m. every day and from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. on Sundays ; tickets costs 10 CHF for adults and 6 CHF for children on request you can ask a guided tour and  also the possibility to touch a few animals under the supervision of the Vivarium guides .

Dani's advice 

  1. Go there via public transport via tram 14 and 18 stop Jardin Alpin- Vivarium 
  2. Get your kids birthday organized there, it costs 250 CHF and it's an unforgettable experience

Saturday, 11 October 2014

How to entertain your kids on Sundays : the Geneva Firefighters Museum - FREE admission

If you are looking for a great way to spend a couple of hours with your kids on Sundays, you should  absolutely visit the Geneva Firefighters Museum  Musée du Service d'incendie et de secours , this is fantastic place in the city center - tram stop Palladium, take note about the precise address because the museum is not very visible from  the outside.
The museum if free and it's open only on Wednesdays and on Sundays from 10 a.m. till 12 p.m. and from 1.30 p.m. till 3.30 p.m.,  its hows cars and trucks from all eras,  the oldest date from Eighteenth century. The inside of the building itself is worth a visit with its magnificent wooden structure. Once you arrive you will be welcome by men who were firefighters and are now retired, they will be glad to guide you and you kids through the museum and to answer all questions. Besides car and trucks you can find all accessories equipment and uniforms.
 Do not miss it, it will be an unforgettable experience for your kids , the museum is totally free and you can spend  how much time as you want in it, if you want at the end of the visit you can  leave an offer  for the  firefighters associations. 
Dani's advice 
  1. Note down the precise address , there is almost no visible sign outside the building
  2. Go there at the beginning of opening hours to be alone to explore this beautiful place
  3. Ideally go there with someone speaking French who can translate all the fascinating tales that the old Firefighters guides are willing to tell you.

How to have your hair done for 30 CHF in Geneva Ecole Superieure de Coiffeure

To get your hair done for 30CHF in Geneva is possible by going to the Ecole  Superieure de Coiffeure , they have 2 hair  saloons in Geneva, one in the very central Rive and the other in Plain Palais , both places are easily accessible via public transport.
The have two hair saloons  are open from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m., however they don't take new clients after 4 p.m.; you go there without appointment and can also request to have your hair done by a specific hairdresser , in which case you have to call and book in advance .
As the name of the Hair Saloon  says , this is a hair dressers school , the environment and setting is  pretty basic and  the young people who will be doing your hairs are students, so do not expect to have the same results as you would have if you go to a professional hairstylist , however if you don't have special requirements and you want to get your hair done simply and quickly then you might give a try. This place is also good to cut your children (males) hairs at a super convenient price.
I have been there several times especially at the beginning of my stay in Geneva , an advice is to always ask for a student with experience, this means a student who is the last period of her studies, once you find someone who gets your hair done in a way that satisfies you , then you always ask to be assigned to the same person, a small supplement applies but it's worth while .

I have been told that there is another chain of hairsaloon at extremely low prices in Switzerland and that has two saloons in Geneva,,  it's called GIDOR, they are in Cornavin train station and in  Planete Charmilles shopping mall. I have never tried them but teh website seems appealing and prices very cheap.

Another and different option to get your hair done by professional saloons at very good prices is to seek for Buyclub specific offers  , as already talked in one of my other posts .

Friday, 10 October 2014

How to learn to cook Italian dishes FOR FREE

Have you ever dreamed about learning how to cook Italian specialty dishes for FREE?
If you did, your wish now becomes true , in fact at the SAIG , the Societa' delle Associazioni Italiane a Ginevra, organizes free cooking lessons on how to prepare the most famous and typical Italian dishes , the lesson are given by Italian people who live in Geneva.Lessons take place twice a months in the evening in the SAIG offices  in 10, Av. E Pictet 1203 in Geneva , to enroll you have to call Mr. Vaccaro at 078 8653500
IMPORTANT : lessons are in Italian , and you have  to check  that lesson  are open also to not Italian people , this might be  the case if the lesson is not fully booked.
October lessons take place on Oct 16th , about  Braciola di agnello con patate (typical dish from Campania Region) and on Oct 30th  , the lesson is about Ravioli di noci e caprino al radicchio (typical dish of the Molise Region )

How to learn all types of cooking starting from 25CHF -ECOLE MIGROS

Ecole Migros is a Company of the Supermarket Chain MIGROS , they have offices everywhere in Switzerland, in Geneva there are two places , in the city centre -rue du Prince  3 - and in Balexter buidling.
They offer a huge variety of courses fin many areas, ranging from sport activities to language lessons , however not a lot of people know that they also offer all types of cooking classes for all type of learners from absolute beginner to master chefs.
At present the Ecole Migros website   offer 655 cooking classes so basically you can literally find any type of cooking lesson that you are looking for and at very reasonable prices , price of the lessons starts at 25 CHF  , the most expensive class is at about 360 CHF for 12 periods sessions.
Many courses take place after working hours and in the evening , enrollment can be done either in the Ecole Migros offices or online
There are quite many  classes for English speaking people, however better to check before enrolling .
My husband who is an excellent cook, attended several courses , including how to make Sushi, Sur La Voi de Grands Chefs  how to make Fois Gras , how to make Macarons and others, he enjoyed each lesson very much , the teachers are very professional and very helpful in explaining how to cook , he was able to understand everything although his French level wasn't so good at the time he attended the lessons
At the end of each class,the participant stay and eat what they have cooked all together , so thsi si also a good way to meet new people while enjoying the result of your hard works.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

How to loose weiight by drinking water -the Water Diet

I thought you might be interested in knowing that to drink water ( at least 8 glasses a day , 2 glasses before each  main meals + other 2 during the day ) activates metabolism and helps burning fats . This has been scientifically proven, as many internet articles shows.
In Italy an interesting book "La Dieta dell'Acqua" has just been published with a good success.
So Drink Water !

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

How to buy great second hand ski equipment in Geneva

If you have decided to buy second hand ski equipment for you or for your kids, the not to miss place is  the Ski Bazar fair that takes place on Nov 1st in Onex  -see link attached , where you can buy excellent equipment and ski clothes/outfit at very cheap prices
The fair starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 12 p.m. , it takes place in the Salle Communale d'Onex , however to find the best quality/choice you must be among the first to get in so be prepared to go there at least 30-45  minutes before doors open to stay ahead of the queue. You can also take the opportunity to get rid of ski equipment /clothes for adult and children that you don't use anymore , in that case you have to call the Ski club d'Onex that organizes the fair and go and deposit your stuff for sale on Oct 31 , each piece with a tag with your selling price ; the organizers  take a very small percentage on the sales , you will have to go and collect your unsold items after the sale.

Another great second hand market for children ski equipment and children clothes in general is the International Children Clothing and Toys Sales that takes place on October 12th  in the Geneva  place Eglise du Sacré-Coeur (1st floor rooms), 25bis, Boulevard Georges Favon (Plainpalais) , this is a huge  very big fair that it's organized twice a year , the fair starts at 1p.m. , however you must be there before 12 p.m. to be among the first  to enter.
This fair offers great opportunities for excellent bargains not only on ski equipment but also on clothes and  toys ; prices are extremely cheap, and quality of goods offered is excellent , you can find ski , ski boots , helmets for as less as 10-20 CHF each.

Other places where to buy excellent second hand material for children are the  so called TROC's, second hand markets that takes place twice a year in  most of Geneva districts, normally the troc'sare hosted in the salles communales or in the schools - see next post on this topic

Monday, 6 October 2014

How to rent Ski equipment

First thing to think about before renting ski equipment is whether you want to rent on occasional bases or for the whole season
If you aren't sure whether your child  will like skiing or not then I suggest you do on a week end bases, I always rented for the season because it's much more practical and less expensive if you consider the number of times that you will use the equipment. Season starts in December and ends mid April normally.
The place I would recommend  is Locaski from MIGROS , in Geneva they are close to Mparc La Praille in Carouge area , and you can park just outside the shop, they are efficient and less expensive than other places in town , staff is helpful and can give you good advice, watch out they might not speak English so better to go with someones who does.
It's probably now a bit early to rent ski equipment, however I would suggest you to give them a call, the earlier you go the better choice you will have to get the model you have in mind.

SKI Clubs in Geneva : How to get your kids up to speed in skiing in Geneva

Although the summer is not yet over, at least from weather standpoint, you should start  getting organized for the next winter season that is about to start , the time to enroll our kids to ski activities for this winter season is NOW and these activities get full very soon so if you wait some weeks you risk not to find any available place anymore

 Find here some useful links to Ski Clubs in Geneva areas , these clubs offer kids activities during the week ends : Swiss Ski & snowboard school , this  school offers group classes for kids from 6 to 16 years old and also adults each Saturday and Sunday : the set of 6 sessions cost 590CHF for the kids, it includes lesson and transport to les Brasses a ski resort 30 minutes far from Geneva in nearby France
The website of the school ,   is also  in English and so it's easy to use also for not native French speakers.
The bus deparst from 2 place in Geneva left bank , one in  Sous Moulin and the other in Vernet at 7.45 an 8.10am  respectively
 Another option  that I would recommend because I have tested it personally and enrolled my 9 years old son in the last 2 ski seasons  is the Ski club  Geneve  their website is in French only but easy to use and navigate
Enrollment is open as of Oct 1st and kids do not have to attend all sessions so parents will pay only the ones that have been booked . Each session cost 50CHF (65CHF for not members) I would recommend to enroll in membership, it only costs 40CHF and it's pay out already after 3 sessions.
Parents bring kids at the meeting point at Bout Du Monde at 7.30 a.m. every Saturday and are back at 6.30 p.m. after having spent a day skiing in the area of Saint Gervais in France .

 Third option is indeed to seek if your quarter/district where you live has skiclub or to enroll your kid to a commune that has one
The full list of the Skiclubs in Geneva by district/area   is here  although the site is in French you can easily translate the page and get all the information ( name of district , children ages , if the skiclub is open only to people living in the commune or to everybody and so on)  .For example in the list you find that the district of Lancy  has his own Ski club  ht tp:// that is open to kids as of 7 years old and organizes daily sessions on Saturday and Wednesdays and so on.