GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – I have always loved back roads and highways seen through an early morning lens. Biking around the sweet two-horse lanes in Canton Geneva and neighbouring France this weekend, I stopped to capture some of the sights.
Furka Pass, Switzerland – There’s nothing like having friends visit to inspire the exploring spirit.
Last weekend, with a friend in town from London, we packed the car with water and food supplies and headed out on the open road.
With Geneva in the rear view mirror, I felt my bones settle into the cocoon of the firm driver’s seat and my mind plotted the secondary roads we would discover haphazardly as we made our way towards the Valais.
I had been traveling through the Furka Pass in my mind, ever since I tried to drive out of the Valais one afternoon in April four years ago, only to find the pass still closed for the season. Read more…
Geneva, Switzerland – You just purchased your first Geneva car and now what? If you closed your deal with a private seller, you may be facing a list of seemingly daunting Swiss regulations regarding the inspection, or so called “expertise“ of your vehicle, prior to registration.
My experience buying a “non-expertised” motorcycle shortly after arriving to Switzerland illustrates how costly this process can be if you are not careful.
When I road tested my bike it drove and stopped well, but was not expertised at the time of purchase.
In the end, I paid nearly three times the purchase price of the bike (not to mention several times the comparable US value) to bring the bike up to Swiss inspection standards – and the marital fallout was in the range of DEFCON 2.
Two years later, when looking for a family vehicle, I swore to my wife and to myself that I would not consider a car without a valid expertise.
The formula for the canton of Geneva is as follows: if the vehicle is more than ten years old, it must have been inspected/expertised within the last 12 months; for vehicles less than ten years old, the previous expertise must still be in effect.
Don’t forget, an anti-pollution or emissions control is obligatory for all cars every two years as well, which must be done by a certified garage (a good bet is the TCS service in Meyrin).
Why do you want to buy a vehicle with a valid inspection?
Geneva, Switzerland – The dog days of summer have seemed longer than ever with temperatures regularly tipping 34 degrees in mid-August.
I’ve been escaping more than ever this year to the shores of Lake Geneva, and more recently, to the shady banks of the Rhône below our neighborhood. Apparently, Geneva Anarchists are doing the same.
Yesterday, 22 August, afternoon I came across what appeared to be organized anarchy on the Rhône; 100 or so would be river men, women, and not a few river babies, launching their homemade rafts and inflatable dingys along the Quai du Seujet.
The last time my parents visited Geneva, my father was reminiscing about his ski bum days in Northern Vermont 40+ years ago, and the fact that a number of the instructors at that time were from Switzerland. I am often stricken by the similarities between my home state of Vermont, USA and its inhabitants, and many parts of Switzerland.
This weekend of course marks the end to another year of celebrating the Genevoise counterattack against the Savoyards in 1602, to defend the city of Geneva from the interlopers. In addition to the still awe inspiring historical reenactment of the battle and its Swiss protagonists, I am especially partial to the neighborhood street parades that unfold in the urban villages that make up Geneva, and which remind me of the Bread and Puppet street theatre I grew up with.
In true North American fashion, I am accustomed to being served copious amounts of food when eating out, or at least I was until moving to Geneva. There is certainly no shortage of filling or “heavy” food in the Swiss diet; think fondu, frites, raclette, croissants, and of course chocolate. However, I still find it a rare occasion (close to never) that I am served a plate of food in Geneva that will leave me 100% satisfied and not craving just a bit more of dinner.
I have to say on balance, that I think of this more and more as a healthy phenomenon in and of itself. But there are days meant for eating soul food, I call those days weekends, when really I am concerned less with eating well, than with the notion of burying myself in a pile of shaved lamb meat.
Sans Voiture à St. Jean
Geneva, Switzerland – When I first came to Geneva, I arrived with three suitcases and a passport. My first weeks were spent walking from a rented room to my office, in typically cold and wet January weather.
While I lamented not having a car during those first ear tingling winter days, I soon found that Geneva was small enough to accommodate a carless existence. And by my second month, I began questioning the need for a vehicle altogether.