Geneva celebrates 200 years of being Swiss

Celebrations take place in four main locations (see programme)

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – This weekend is the 200th anniversary of Geneva joining the Swiss Confederation and the party is on! The canton is holding a year-long celebration, but 1 June is the day when Swiss Confederation troops embarked at the Pont Noir and this weekend is filled with activities. The city is offering a number […]

Long weekend: extra trains, traffic, weather, Vaud wines

Cave du Vidomne sun cool vines_191013

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Ascension weekend begins this evening, with many people in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe taking a four-day weekend. Expect heavy traffic on the roads, so avoid peak travel times, suggests the Swiss Federal Highway Office. The CFF rail company is putting on extra trains to handle the increase in passengers. And […]

Swiss return stolen Roman coins to Serbia

Stolen Serbian Roman era coins, illegally excavated for sale online in Switzerland

BERN, SWITZERLAND – A Serbian man arrested by Swiss customs in 2011 for stealing 150 ancient coins never saw his expected booty from their sale, and Serbia received the treasures Tuesday, handed back by the Swiss ambassador to the country. The theft is one of some 100 cases handled by Switzerland’s special unit for the […]

How well do you know your moon phases?

Pre-dawn moonrise, waning moon, over the Swiss-Italian Alps and the Rhone river, canton Valais

This is a good time to remind yourself what the difference is between waxing and waning moons, and everything in between. Early Sunday, at 04:40, I took photos of the waning crescent moon over the Rhone River and the Swiss-Italian Alps. Check here and you’ll see that the next phase is a new moon, followed […]

Modern Marco Polo, from Vaud, wins dream travel contest

Liam Bates, modern Marco Polo, with sign recounting the story of the original Polo in Hangzhou

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Hangzhou, China, which bills itself as the most romantic city in the country, this week named a 26-year-old Swiss man as its ambassador to the world, to get the message  out. The city of some six million is home to the beautiful West Lake, a Unesco World Heritage sites. The job is […]

Blue diamond sets record in 2nd Geneva sale

Christies jewelry sale in Geneva 14 May

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The diamonds have it, setting world records this week in Geneva, this time Wednesday evening at Christie’s, where a Winston blue diamond went for nearly $1.8 million a carat, a world record per carat price for a blue. The Winston Blue, a pear-shaped fancy vivid blue, flawless diamond of 13.22 cts, was […]

Sotheby’s sees new gems records set

Big yellow Graff diamond set world record in Geneva

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – New records for precious gems were set at the Sotheby’s auction in Geneva late Tuesday 13 May, and sales were strong overall, showing that the market is still very much thriving. The sale netted CHF125.5 million ($141.5m), slightly over the top end of estimates for the sale beforehand. The star of the […]

HR Giger, “Aliens” artist, dies

outside Giger museum Gruyeres_260414

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – HR Giger, the man behind the science fiction sets used by Ridley Scott in his 1979 horror film “Aliens”, has died in Switzerland, age 74, from injuries related to a fall. Reuters reports that the artist, who was born Hans Rudolf in Chur in canton Graubuenden, studied architecture and industrial design in […]

Trio of thieves caught at Caprices Festival

Caprices Festival 2014

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A reminder to music festival fans to keep a close eye on their possessions because thieves actively work them: police in canton Valais say they caught three thieves red-handed during last month’s popular Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana. Complaints filed by festival-goers the first day of the festival that their cell phones, wallets […]

Weekend weather forecast

La Chat tree bench_080514

Mixed is the word! GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – If you’re planning to plant grass this weekend, do it Saturday. If you’re planning to stay in and do some spring cleaning, Sunday is the best day. And if you’re heading out to party, take a bit of sun cream and an umbrella. Temperatures Saturday will range from […]