My friend Pat throws down the hiking gauntlet on all future visitors.

Meet my good friend and notoriously-slow-Snickers-candy-bar-eater Pat M. He was just here for six days. I’ve known Pat since we were teammates on a powerhouse third grade boys soccer team back in the late ’60s. These days, Pat spends much of his time working outdoors as a wetlands scientist so I knew he would be up for a solid week of hiking and exploring in the Swiss and French Alps. He did not disappoint. Continue reading

Join me for the 7.3K Course de l’Escalade run in Geneva’s Old City

I’m going to admit right from the start that I plan to put a lot less effort into writing this post than I did in producing it. I ran a 7.3 kilometer race earlier today, called the Course de l’Escalade. Regular followers of this blog might recall a previous post in which I explained the historical significance of the Escalade celebration.

Another event of the week-long celebration is a running “race” through the Old City. Continue reading

My Geneva Pet Peeves

I generally consider myself to be a pretty easy-going guy. Most of the time, I’m not that easily annoyed. Live and let live, and all that. But like anyone else, there are a few things that for some reason get under my skin. Here is a photo montage of things I encounter too frequently in Geneva for me to just brush off. Yep, these things get on my nerves. Continue reading

Contrary to conventional wisdom, it only occasionally snows in Geneva

When I tell my American friends about life in Geneva, many assume the entire country is snowbound for much of the year. People think “Switzerland” in winter and they imagine the Alps, skiing, and powdered hot chocolate.

The truth is that snow in Geneva is a rarity. In fact, due to the tempering effects of Lake Léman, and surrounding mountains (the French Alps and the Jura Mountains) Geneva is pleasant almost year round.  And the city is not perched high in the mountains, its altitude is a mere 1,225 feet.  Its not a long trip in virtually any direction to get up into the mountains where there is plenty of snow, but you won’t find much in the city.

But on occasion, it does snow. And we just experienced our first “major” snowfall. Continue reading

My opinion on the best tour-guided attraction in Geneva? The European headquarters of the United Nations.

One of the things that makes Geneva uniquely Geneva is that the city hosts the greatest number of international associations in the world. These include the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, the European Organizatin for Nuclear Research, the International Federation of the Red Cross, and many many others. Due to the historical significance of these organizations, many of these facilities include their own museum and/or guided tours. For my money — and it’s 12 Swiss Francs for an adult — the best of these tours is the hour long tour of the Palace of Nations, the European headquarters of the United Nations. Continue reading

Here’s what happens to a 20 Swiss Franc coin when it gets run over by a light rail tram

Ever wonder what happens to a virtually useless 20 cent Swiss franc coin when it gets run over by a really heavy light rail train?  Well I do.  And I figured, rightly I’m sure, that other inquiring minds would want to know.   So I conducted the scientific experiment depicted in the following video. Continue reading

Desperately need a stuffed blowfish? The Geneva flea market has that!

Outdoor markets are a big thing — not just in Geneva, but in all the European cities we have visited. We’ve gotten into the habit of frequenting Geneva’s largest market to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, and our favorite booth, which sells awesome fresh Italian food (which I will feature in a future blog!). But this post’s topic is not the food market, which takes place every Sunday, but rather the “Flea Market” which takes place every Saturday. Every Saturday morning, around 100 or so venders display their wares, and as this post will attest, you never know what gems you are likely to find. Continue reading

Car? We don’t need no stinking car! Look at all these cool things within 2 blocks of our apartment!

There are many differences between our lifestyle here in Geneva and that which we were accustomed to back in the states, but at the top of the list might be the fact that I never have to drive! Yes, we have rented a car to take our various trips, but whenever we are in town, virtually everything we want or need is within easy walking distance or a short bus or tram ride. Continue reading

An Unbelievable View from Our Neighborhood Mountain, Le Salève

Le Salève, and on a clear day we catch a glimpse of the Alps

Le Salève, and on a clear day we catch a glimpse of the Alps

Another of the blog posts I am planning will be a description of the coolest things we can see from our apartment. One of the things that will be included on that list is the view we have of our closest mountain, Le Salève. (Yes, it’s partially obstructed, but we are one of the fortunate city dwellers that has any view of the mountains at all.) Continue reading