Monday, 29 June 2015

How to see a movie on the lake.The coolest Outdoor Cinema in Geneva opens again from July 15th till August 20th -SALT CINEMA -Port Noir

My favorite Outdoor Cinema opens its doors again this year on July 15th for one month until August 20th in the beautiful background of Port Noir, on the lakeside, just close to Geneve Plage
Tickets can be bought on line , at the cost of 10 CHF/person and the full  program is available now on the Salt Cinema website 
The Cinema can be easily reached by buses  # 2 and 6 , E and G, bus stop Geneve Plage. The movie starts each evening at 9.45 p.m., the cost of the ticket for the movie includes also the bus ride to go and to go back up to 2 hours before and after the movie. If you plan to go to the movie many times, you can buy a ticket  valid for an unlimited number of times for 100CHF
The beauty of the place is that there are beautiful bars on the lake around the movie platform, from where you can enjoy a spectacular view and the sunset

www.daily-movies.ch



Tomato's Festival - Fete de la Tomate- in Carouge from July 3rd till July 5th -several free workshops for adults and kids

If you are in town this weekend , then I would suggest you to have a look at this event . The Tomato Festival  , Fete de la Tomate takes place every year and it's all around this great vegetable , it starts  on Friday and will end on Sunday evening ,  in Place de la Sardaigne in Carouge , entry is free and the program of the 3 days shows a series of interesting activities to entertain the entire family members.
Children can learn to cook while adults take vegetable sculpture lessons , the event include farm animals exhibition, pony rides , circus workshops and so on.
On Sunday visitors can try the brunch or just enjoy the concerts of typical Chorus from the Alps; worth having a look !

www.fetetomate.ch

Saturday, 20 June 2015

How to see the world's most famous YELLOW DIAMOND - Tiffany's Diamond -it advertised "Breakfast at Tiffany's " -Free entry till July 10th inGeneva

This is an unique opportunity not to be missed if you like extraordinary jewels!!! 
The world's most famous yellow diamond, one of the largest and most beautiful in the world , it's exposed to the public at the new Tiffany's store in Rue Du Rhone 21st . This extraordinary exhibition ends on July 10th , afterwards the diamond will return to its home, at Tiffany's in NYC.
This diamond is obviously priceless, its size is 128 carats and it was exposed for the first time at the Expo in NYC in 1939.
It has been used to advertise the unforgettable movie "Breakfast at Tiffany" 1961 with Audrey Hepburn, in that occasion the diamond was mounted on an incredibly  beautiful necklace.
I went seeing the yellow diamond this morning, and it's beauty is outstanding, it is exposed at the first floor of the new Tiffany jewelry store in Rue Du Rhone 21st . Staff is very kind and the entrance is free.


Tidffany Diamond  , picture taken from www.tiffany.fr

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Long week in NAPLES and POMPEI - The Top Naples attractions in 3 days

aples most popular attractions in Spaccanapoli district         www.notizie.coumuni-italiani.it

Geneva is the perfect place to explore Europe thanks to its location and to its Easyjet European hub.
This post is about visiting Naples , one of my favorite destinations , and the trip below is the very same one I did in April. I hope you can find it useful and that you will enjoy Naples as much as I did .

 Italians use to say "See Naples and Die"  and they mean that after you have seen Naples you have seen everything in your life so you can die in peace.
Naples cannot be described it has to be experienced. It's a city full of contrasts , magnificent buildings and old bad maintained areas that seem to collapse in the next second, elegant avenues  and chaotic narrow streets.I love almost  everything about this city although I know that one thing is to visit it as a tourist and another thing is to live there.
Hotel Chiaja de Charme www.chiaiahotel.com
Day 1 :Naples , try to get an early flight and once you arrive at the new beautiful Naples airport  take an official white taxi to the city center, asking for the fixed rate not to have surprise if you get blocked  in the traffic. Drop your luggage at your hotel and start exploring the city. I recommend to stay in a hotel close to Pizza Plebiscito, my favorite one is Chiaja Hotel de Charme, located at the first floor of an ancient building in the central pedestrian Chiaia street, the hotel is still owned by the aristocratic family and preserved the atmosphere from the last century with rooms that differ from each other and are furnished with antique furniture.
Walk through via Toledo and reach Spaccanapoli, the ancient street that "breaks the heart of Napoli in two ", this street reveals the ancient and true soul of Naples and shows a city that it is as it used to be many decades ago, walk through the narrow streets and watch every little corner or artisan shop, despite whta you might think, all what you see is authentic and not for tourists :) .
On your way from the hotel to Spaccanapoli , visit   Chiostro St Chiara part of a much bigger monuments area that at includes building from the XXIII centuries. If you don't have too much time, I would suggest that you focus your visit on the cloister  with its incredible majolica tiles columns decorated in the XVIII century and its magnificent gardens.
Cloister St Chiara Naples
 Naples is a city full of history and most monuments are restored or very well preserved you will find churches that are worth visiting at almost any angle of the city.
It's lunch time , so it's time to stop in one of the most famous pizzeria in Naples that are 5-10 minutes walk from the Cloister, you can choose one of the super-famous pizzerias Sorbillo or Di Matteo that make the best pizza in Naples (and hence in the world) and be patient, the queue is going to be long at any time  of the day; just give your name and number of people to the man at the entrance and wait outside till when someone will shout calling your name, normally at lunch time the average waiting time is 30-45 minutes.
After lunch continue walking in Spaccanapoli towards the Veiled Christ Chapel, probably Naples' most fascinating and mysterious attraction, the legend says that the veil over Christ 's face was a tissue that was turned into marble by a special liquid invented by the Prince of San Severo who wasn't only a very rich noble but also an alchemist. The Chapel is a masterpiece of the art of the XVII and XVIII centuries and it's full of mysteries and symbols.
Veiled Christ Chapel - www.corrieredelmezzogiorno.it

If you are not in a hurry , then you shouldn't miss a visit to Underground Naples forty meters below the lively streets , this is a different world that it's 2400 years old and whose origin are back to the foundation of the ancient Neopolis where any following century up to the WWII has left marks on the yellow tufo stones. Guided tours in English to this fascinating world in take place every day at fixed timing, check the website for more information.
image of Underground Naples from www.imperatoreblog.it

Time to go back to the hotel and refresh before going out again towards  the waterfront to have a nice walk in Corso Caracciolo and admire the view of Castel DellOvo (Ovo castle) , dated XXIII Naples most spectacular castle, built on a small island directly linked to the city .
Castel Dell'Ovo - Ovo Castle www.italia.it

Enjoy a seaview aperitif at the trendy Vanilla caffe  and then have a dinner in one of the restaurants in the area surrounding  the castle, this is a small village inside the town , worth seeing it .I have heard that La Scialuppa is a very good one, however I haven't experienced it.
After dinner go back to your hotel walking through Piazza del Plebiscito and the nreaby area, one of teh most beautiful in Naples, and if you aren't tired , stop at the Caffe del Professore for a coffee or to taste one of Naples best cakes , le sfogliatelle, that are always served warm.

Day 2 Pompei and Herculaneum .  Wake up early and take a taxi to the nearest Circumvesuviana station of Porta Garibaldi to get the train to Pompei, buy a day ticket and take into account taht it will take at least 40 -60 minutes to get there.
 I think that Pompei is so famous that it's not needed to describe it, I would instead use this post to highly recommend you to take a private guided tour to optimize your visit to this beautiful and very big historical area . I have hired a private guide from the company of Emiliano Tufano Pompeiin and the experience was fully worth the investment (about 240 Euro/day) in fact our guide was very well prepared and helped us focusing on the not to miss places /artistic jewels while visiting both Pompei and Herculaneum where I had never been before and that I found as spectacular as Pompei . I suggest you let your guide to lead the day, they are the experts , we trusted our guide's advice completely and we were extremely satisfied! The visit of the two sites will last the full day and at the end you will be exhausted , take enough water with you , it's not possible to find anything to buy inside the two sites.
Villa dei Misteri Pompei  www.inforaffreschi.com
The typical guided tour starts with Pompei and ends with Herculaneum so you will take the Circumvesuviana train there and arrive to the same station where you started your trip in the morning , take a taxi to your hotel , to relax a bit and then get out again to have an aperitifs in one of the nice places at the end of Via Chiaia (exiting your hotel on the right) and have a nice dinner in one of the nearby restaurants that the hotel will suggest.

Day 3 Capri , you have had intense but tiring two days so I would suggest you spend the third day visiting Capri (Ischia is a good alternative in case) relax and enjoy the beautiful seaside and panorama. Walk from your Hotel to the Beverello Pier to get a fast boat (aliscafo) to Capri , in summer there are boats every 30 minutes you can also pre-buy the ticket online. The trip will last 45 minutes so you can easily manage a short but meaningful overview of this worldwide famous Island in a bit more than half a day .Have a look at what to see in Capri in one day website
Alternatively you can take a fast boat from the same pier to Ischia , although the island is big and full of great natural attractions  so it and would deserve a 2 days  visit. I will write about Ischia in a separate post .
Back to Capri walk to your hotel and get your luggage and take a taxi to the airport , watchout during the day traffic in Naples is chaotic so it can take 1 hour to get there,  fly to Geneva where you will arrive late night or stay another night in Naples and take the first very early Easyjet flight the morning after.
Capri seaview www.capritourism.com






Monday, 15 June 2015

How to go to Cinque Terre , one of the most beautiful Unesco Heritages destinations -6 hrs driving from Geneva

Riomaggiore - Cinque Terre Copyright Vittorio Garatti- www.imagesnowords.com
If you live in Geneva , to visit  CINQUE TERRE  is simply a MUST . These 5 villages on the Liguria sea have been  named by the National Geographic one of the most beautiful coastal destinations in the world and the coolest Unesco Heritage place.
La Spezia waterfront
Cinque Terre are next door  to Geneva , in fact you can get there in as less as 5-6 hours driving (assuming no traffic :))
Cinque Terre have been the fabulous background of my childhood, in fact I've been so lucky to be born in La Spezia the town that is just 10 minutes by train far from the five stunning villages  and I get back there 2-3 times a year because my mother still lives there and also because I simply love that part of Italy!
Here below my advice to spend an unforgettable week end in Cinque Terre , any season fits, however if possible avoid the crowded August and July timing.

Day 1 : Lerici and La Spezia I suggest to you leave Geneva early in the morning, like 6 or 7 a.m. so to get there at 1-2 p.m.  take Mont Blanc Tunnel and then pass Aosta and continue  towards Alessandria , then Genova till the city of La Spezia that is where you will exit the motorway.
I would recommend to set your base in La Spezia , and from there to visit the Cinque Terre , the town is nice , it offers a variety of nice and cheap accommodations and great restaurants and it's very well connected with the 5 villages.

In la Spezia book the NH hotel or  alternatively the Corallo hotel (3 stars) ; these two places are very close to the pier from where the boats to Cinque Terre leave , if both are full, then choose an hotel in the central pedestrian area , but avoid the Train Station area that is not very nice.
Lerici Castle
Drop your luggage and spend the afternoon in Lerici , a beautiful little seaside village at 20 minutes by bus from La Spezia. Ask for the nearest bus stop, there is a bus every 10-15 minutes ; Lerici has a very charming castle and some small sandy beaches and a beautiful seaside walk ; stop in one of the little coffee places or , if the season allows , go to a private beach clubs such as il Lido or il Colombo to swim in the crystal blue sea .
www.lidodilerici.it  - beach club Lido in lerici
You can spend the evening eating in one of the seaside restaurants in Lerici or take the bus back to La Spezia to have dinner there .
St Agostino square from wikispedia.it
La Spezia has a large pedestrian center full of bars, coffee places, nice and cheap restaurants so it's worth a stop. My favorite way to spend the evening in La Spezia is to get one of its famous Italian aperitifs in a nice coffee bar and then have dinner in the area close to to St Agostino Square, you can pick any of the restaurants there, however my favorite one is La Suprema (it's not the cheapest though), Osteria Della Corte, (10 minutes walking from the square) or  Toa Degli Aranci or  Bolle in Pentola are also good . After dinner take an icecream at Riccardo, a basic place that is the  best icecream maker in town; if it's not too late it's also worth stopping at la Pasticceria Fiorini to taste La Spezia best cakes/pastries.

Day 2: the fabulous Cinque Terre. Get up early and go to the beautiful   La Spezia Palms waterfront  to the pier from where the boats (called Vaporetti in Italian) to Cinque Terre leave. The Company that operates the transport is called Navigazione Golfo Dei Poeti . Buy a daily ticket that will allow you to get on and off the boat as any times as you want and get a timetable to check the boats schedule.
Cinque Terre cannot be reached by car so the only ways to go there are by boat or by train from La Spezia Train Station, check timetable at the Italian Trains Company , Trenitalia  website ; although the boat is more expensive and it takes more time to get there, I would definitively recommend it because the experience of seeing the Cinque Terre from the sea is simply unforgettable. That said, if you are in a hurry , then the train is the fastest way to visit the villages , however the experience is not comparable to the one of the boat.
Once on the boat, after 30 minutes  you will arrive in Portovenere, this village deserves a half a day stop , so don't get off the boat and continue your journey to Cinque Terre, the view of Portovenere from the boat is superb, especially when the boat passes in front of St Peter church .
After another 20 minutes  navigation with spectacular view of the cliffs you will arrive to the first of the five villages, Riomaggiore.

Vernazza
Unfortunately the worldwide famous walking path called La Via Dell'Amore, "the Love Path " that links Riomaggiore with the second village , Manarola, is closed and under restructuring so I  suggest that you  on the boat and enjoy the view of the two villages from the sea. The boat will pass and stop in the  third village, Corniglia, but you will not get off  there and will continue instead towards Vernazza, that for me  it's the most beautiful of the 5 villages and it's certainly the most photographed one.
Manarola copyright Vittorio Garatti www.imagesnowords.com
Vernazza is worth a couple of hours stay , to climb the narrow streets of its center, to visit the tower and to swim in the beautiful dark blue sea , I would suggest to stop in a coffee shop and enjoy a glass of wine or a snack while admiring the view.
 After the nice break  in Vernazza , take the next boat direction Monterosso , this is the last one of the five villages , probably the less characteristic one, but certainly the largest and most organized to host tourists .I like Monterosso and I think it's worth spending some time there to walk its seaside promenade , to explore  its old city center and to experience its beautiful sea and beaches . Watch out the world beach in Liguria is misleading , there is no sand , you find instead small rocky colorful little stones.
Monterosso

It's late afternoon, get on the boat to go back to La Spezia and sit outside to smell the breeze and have another last look at the beautiful pastel color houses that in the sunset are even more charming. During your trip you might see dolphins swimming around the boat , the seaside around the five villages is a protected area with  unique natural fishes and plants ecosystem.
Once arrived in La Spezia, exiting the boat on the left, at the end of the waterfront you will see many people queuing. They are patiently waiting to have a dinner at the  Pescatori, a very basic seafood restaurant where you choose your dishes fist and then get  a table . The Pescatori  restaurant is owned by the fishermen of La Spezia so you can enjoy the freshest fish for as little as 20 Euro each. If you prefer a more elegant place then cross the white modern bridge nearby and reach the waterfront called Mirabello , an elegant harbor where you can find good although more expensive restaurants and nice bars.

Day 3 : Portovenere and back to Geneva. Get up early and take either the boat to Cinque Terre until the first stop in Portovenere, or take one of the very frequent buses that in 30 minutes reach this magnificent medieval village that it's for me of of the world's most beautiful places.
Portovenere
Once in Portovenere go straight to the Castle , it's quite a long climb with many steps , however the view from there is breathtaking and it's worth the effort . Once you have explored the castle and taken enough pictures go back down towards the St Lorenzo church and then through the village charming narrow streets until when you arrive to Portovenere 's most famous attraction : the St. Peter church that is a XIII century church built directly on a  rocky peninsula surrounded by the sea, the church and the area have attracted in the past centuries many famous poets such as Shelley and Byron, for this reason the area is also called the Poets' Gulf.
St Peter church is unique in the world , and cannot be described, it must be seen!
copyright www.howtogeneva.com -St Peter Church in Portovenere,I took this picture last summer


Your trip is coming to the end , however if you still have a couple of hours, I would definitively suggest to take a shuttle boat from the center of Portovenere and get in 5 minutes to the Palmaria Island , just in front of village, have a walk on the nice path opposite to Portovenere or take a bath at the   Gabbiani beach  club, the water there has a light blue color that is very similar to the Caribbian one and this island wild and beautiful as it was one hundreds years ago.
If you are hungry and prefer to have a lunch instead , then stop in Portovenere and eat at the Trattoria Le Tre Torri Restaurant in the main square or atResturant  La Chiglia , 15 minutes walk towards the exit of the village.
www.howtogeneva.com  Palmaria Island beach 
Get the boat or the bus back to La Spezia , and start your trip back to Geneva with your mind full of memories of your tarvel to this unique  in the world area.
If you still feel the energy, on your way back you could stop and do some shopping  in Serravalle Scrivia Outlet, 30 minutes north of Genova on the A7 Motorway , it's a huge place open 7 days a week , with tons of  famous Italian and International Brands at super discounted prices.
La Spezia , il Golfo dei Poeti, Poets Gulf -copyright Vittorio Garatti www.imagesnowords.com

Saturday, 13 June 2015

How to create a kitchen garden on your balcony

I like to always use fresh herbs to give a special taste to my food , this is why a year ago  I decided to create a little kitchen garden on my balcony.
This is quite easy to do  and it requires minimum maintenance , if you choose herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme  sand you place your kitchen garden  in a corner of the balcony that it's not directly exposed to the north wind, it can last several months and even years. You can buy herbs such as sage, rosemary, basil  and others at MIGROS Do it Garden in MParc in Carouge , each herb costs only  4.90 CHF , buy also one or two larger pots and a small bag of soil . Once you arrive at home , remove the herbs from their original plastic pots and then place them in the larger pots adding the right quantity of soil. Pour water based on needs and protect the herbs with plastic foil caps at winter
One thing you might not know, to get your plant of rosemary or sage just ask a friend that has the same herb to give you a little brunch of it, put the brunch in a glass of water for 1-2 weeks until new roots will grow , at that point you can put your new plant in the soil.




Friday, 12 June 2015

Sports Day and Swimming Night at the Outdoor Swimming Pool in Geneva Lignon this Saturday

This weekend is "Sports for everyone" in the district of Lignon !
There is the possibility to try and learn more than 22 different types of sports FOR FREE and also to swim till late night in the Lignon outdoor swimming pool .
Open to everybody and free
Let's go !



The Top 3 Switzeralnd Outdoor THERMAL BATHS at driving distance from Geneva

This post is for all of you who, like me , love  to relax in a thermal SPA, in fact Geneva is an ideal place to discover many beautiful thermal baths places  in France and in Switzerland.
Here below the list of my favorite SPA , in Switzerland , these places are between  1 and 2 hrs  driving distance from Geneva , so they are ideal for one day trip

My favorite SPA's in Switzerland, close by Geneva area, are :


copyright alpentherme.ch
  1. Leukerbad -Loeche Les Bain is the largest thermal spa resort in the Alps. with several SPA centers. The very picturesque mountain  village can be easily reached by car  in 2 hrs driving from Geneva with most of the journey via motorway  and the the last 20 kms of  a quite  curvy road. If you want to go by train it will take about 3 hrs, you will first  arrive in  Leuk and then you have to take a bus to the village. Once in Leukerbad my strong recommendation is to stay in the Alpentherme hotel that is directly linked to the AlpenTherme SPA, for me this is one of the most beautiful SPA where I have ever been, in terms of location, with the big open air pool surrounded by the very steep mountains, breathtaking! Many treatments are available at good prices. The Alpen Therme SPA is a public one, so you don't have to stay in the hotel to go there. There is another big SPA in Leukerbad with a big waterpark for kids, for me the two places are not comparable, meaning that the Alpentherme is by far superior in location and atmosphere. 
  2. Charrmey , Bains de La Gruyere ,  one of the  most recently built SPA in Switzerland  located at  about 1.5 hours from Geneva , easily accessible by car  and by train . The SPA is small and beautiful with the panoramic open pool surrounded by the nearby Gruyere valley. This SPA   facilities are very modern and nice ,Many treatments are available - at a charge. Charmey is a very charming village in one of the nicest areas of Switzerland so a trip to the SPA can be combined to a visit of the Gruyere Castle or of the Cailler Chocolate Factory. 
  3. Yverdon Les Bain , is one of the most ancient Thermal bath in Switzerland  and in Europe  in fact the bath existed in 1st Century AD , the village is at  1 hr from Geneva  easily accessible via motorway and by train ,  the village is nice and the castle is very well preserved. In Yverdon, differently than in  Leukerbad there is only one Thermal SPA  area , the Wellness Center is adjacent to the Grand Hotel , and it offer several treatments- at a charge-  and a beautiful large pools. 

copyright bainsdelagruyere.ch

copyright postauto.ch

The not to miss place for kids art workshops - Le CHALET DU PETIT PRINCE in Champel

Today I would like to share with you a place that is a true hidden gem in Geneva and one of my kid's favorite ones.: Le Chalet du Petit Prince in Route de Bout Du Monde 6 in Champel.
This incredible place is a very  ancient Villa , Chalet style , surrounded by a big wild park in the  heart of Champel. The place hosts an association that ,with the supports of the City of Geneva, organizes all types of activities and workshops for kids from 4 till 12 years old, I counted about 22 different types workshops  for the period September 2014  June 2015  .
Workshops take place with weekly frequency, after school classes, normally in the afternoon during the week days and during the the full day on Wednesdays ,
Workshops themes are for example Mosaic, Origami, Theater, Dance , Drawing, Pottery, Making jewels, Building puppets , learning the art of Clowns and  many others.
Prices for the courses are very reasonable, about 160 CHF for 3 month (about 12 lessons),  the watch out is that the workshops are in French and they are open only to a maximum of 6-8 kids  each, so they easily get full
The best is to call the Chalet directly and ask which workshops have still places available.

If your kid attends one of the workshops , then you are also eligible to organize your kid's  birthday there , this beautiful Chalet can be rented on Saturdays for about 50 CHF + a depot that will be refunded once you give the keys back.
I organized at least 3 of my son's birthdays there and all of these have been unforgettable moments for him and his friends.



Copyright Howtogeneva

Thursday, 11 June 2015

How to see snakes in Geneva- Snakes exhibition in Blandonnet Shopping Center- June 15th till June 27th

I have talked in a previous post about the Vivarium in Meyrin that host an unique and permanent exhibition of snakes, spiders , crocodiles and other "scaring" animals.
This time I would like to let you know that the Shopping Center in Blandonnet that is located 15 minutes by tram by the center of Geneva (on the tram lines 18 Cern and 14 Meyrin) hosts a big exhibition about snakes and this is FREE.

Your kids will love this exhibition, it takes place from June 15th will June 27th and opening timing are the ones of the shopping center.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

How to see eagles and condors at 40 minutes from Geneva - LES AIGLES DU LEMAN -Sciez -open until August 30th

www.ledauphine.com
Le parc de les aigles du Leman  is one of my favorite attractions in Geneva area and it's  a not to miss place if you have kids. It's a natural park that hosts more than 150 species of eagles and raptor including the 5 biggest ones in the world.

The park is in Sciez on the way to Thonon Les Bains, at about 40 minutes driving from Geneva , it is open  7 days a week from end of May till end of August , opening hours vary depending on the day, during week ends the park opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m.
You can easily spend the full day there because there are 6 shows  planned every day at different timings  , among which my favorite one is the Lord of Heaven when eagles and other raptors fly above visitors 'head in a spectacular way.
www.lesaiglesduleman.ch

Other shows include a great knights tournaments , the legend of D'Artagnan and the art of falconry
The park has a restaurant where you can eat and many walking itinerary where you can see other animals and hundreds of different birds.

It's simply fantastic and worth the visit . Tickets are reasonable too , the entry ticket for the morning costs 8 Euro for kids and 10 Euro for the adults  ; afternoon tickets are slightly more expensive (11 Euro and 13 Euro respectively) because it's when the most famous shows take place.
www.lesaiglesduleman.ch
www.lesaiglesduleman.ch

How to discover Switzerland -ALBINEN - the village where time stood still - 2 hrs driving from Geneva

Today I would like to start a series of posts about possible ways to spend a week end travelling to destinations that are not too far away from Geneva (2-3 hours driving maximum).
My first suggestion would be to go to  Leukerbad and  enjoy the beautiful thermal baths and then while you are there to have a short trip to the village of Albinen, about 6 kms from Leukerbad.
Albinen is a very small village whose position on a steep mountain and whose beautiful wooden and stones mountain houses are unique and deserve a visit.
Alpentherme Leukerbad 


Here is my suggestion for the week end :
Day 1 leave Geneva in the morning , take it easy and arrive in Leukerbad  after 2.5 hrs 3 hrs  driving ; Leukerbad can also be reached by train but car is definitively the best way. I have talked about this thermal bath station in another post because I love this peaceful village where you can relax and recharge your batteries after an hard week of work.
At Leukerbad I would definitively recommend to stay at the Heliopark Hotel ( former Lindler Alpentherme hotel) a good 4 stars hotel that is directly connected to the beautiful bath and offer special packages that include the entry to the baths.
After half day at the beautiful thermal swimming pool you can relax and take an aperitif and a dinner at the Lounge 1411  a  nice restaurant and bar where food is good although not cheap (ask a window table)
Day 2 in addition to the relaxing baths you can have one of the many beautiful walks in the spectacular mountain paths ; one of these is the lake tour that can be accessed via the Gemmi funicular , that reaches 20160 mts, the ride by itself is worth the trip.
www.gemmi.ch

However if you have one hour free I would definitively recommend to visit Albinen , 6 kms ride , via a very narrow scary road or 30 minutes by Leukerbad small bus (shuttle bus timetable is available at your hotel or at the bus station in Leukerbad) .
Albinen is a jewel and it's an unforgettable experience , time there seems to have stood still in the last century with the beautiful tiny houses in dark wood and stones , each of them different  from the others, and the narrow steep streets where no vehicle can access, just stop in the middle of the village, close your eyes and breath the silence ! Fantastic!!
Once a year , normally in June, Albinen celebrate the Heritage Day   when the people of the village  recall their ancestors and attach outside their houses the pictures of their family members and their simple lives in the mountains. The past week end was the heritage day so I had the great honor to experience the celebration , a very touching feeling that I will recall for a long time.

Last but not least, if you would like to stay in Albinen then you should definitively stay in the B&B Godswärgjistubu Wirtshaus, (website in German only, they speak English and French ), an incredible place with 4 rooms only and a very charming and romantic restaurant , this place offers special packages (meditation and zen, romantic, vegetarian cooking lessons and so on ) that will make your stay unforgettable

Godswärgjistubu Wirtshaus

How to SLIDE THE CITY - In Rue Voltaire Geneva City center on June 13th !

Have you ever dreamed of Sliding in Geneva city center ? On June 13th your dream becomes true!
The first ever Slide the City event in Geneva (the second one in Europe)  will take place on June 13th in Rue Voltaire , on that day a gigantic 200 mts water slope will be available to all the ones who want to try it from 1 p.m. till 6 p.m.
To have access to the slope you would need to buy a special bracelet , the entry last  1 hour and costs 10 CHF per person, 20 CHF for a family of 4 and 40 CHF for the entire length of the event
Children are allowed only if they are older than 7 years old and taller than 130 cm; children younger than 10 years old must be accompanied by an adult .
Bracelet can be pre-bought on line at a discounted price.
For more information please visit the official website

www.slidethecity.com






How to see real panthers and other rare animals at 10 minutes drive from Geneva -CHALLANDES PARK- Bellevue/Genthod

No need to go far away to see a black panther , lynxes , the very rare white leopard, wolves , monkeys,an hippopotamus all type of parrots and hundreds of other birds and more common animals !
This not very well known amazing place is just around the corner , 15 minutes drive from the center of Geneva between Bellevue and Genthod, the place is called Park de Challandes  and it's a beautiful park with an ancient manor house in its center.
The park and the animals exist thanks to the passion of Mr. Pierre Challandes and of some individuals that have created this association more than 20 years ago , the association si open to all the ones who love animals and who are willing to adhere and pay 50 CHF/year to contribute to the park maintenance and to the care of the animals .
The park is open every morning , Sunday included , between 9.30 a.m. and 12 p.m. , the entry is free the first time you visit the park, if you would like to come back you will be requested to pay the association fee. 
The animal park is simply amazing , because of the incredible variety of animals, including some that are very rare like the white leopard . I have never seen panthers and leopards in a zoo in such a natural environment, it's an unforgettable experience for adults and kids.
www.parc-challandes.ch

   
   

Monday, 8 June 2015

How to enjoy Swiss Wines -Chapter 3 - Geneva VINATHON - the wine tasting run -on June 13th in Satigny

As you might have noticed, I like the activities around wine and I think that this one is really special.
It's a Wine Walking-Running tour called Vinathon and open to everybody .
www.vinathon.ch


Departures start anytime between 10.30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday June 13th in Satigny (Domaine de Champvigny) , participants pay 24 CHF (adults) and 5 CHF (children between 5 and 16 years old) .


The price includes a glass and a map with the itinerary to the 4 wine testing cellars where participants can taste wines and small appetizers/local food. Children are offered orange and apple juice; at the end of the race each participants receive a prize, a bottle of wine for adults and a surprise for the kids.

It's a very nice experience, worth trying !
www.signegeneve.ch