Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gone as Fast as they Came!

My parents, that is! Although they were here for a little over two weeks, it seemed like they were only here for a few days. I am not sure if it is because we had such a great time or if it is because we stayed incredibly busy the whole fortnight. Regardless, it was hard to say goodbye (ok, maybe not so hard for them as the are now in Alicante, Spain sailing with good friends!). After our trip to Italy we stayed in Geneva for a few days and visited the picturesque town of Annecy, France and gave our legs a test hiking the very steep trail of the Saleve (a mountain just 15 minutes away with great views of the Swiss/France countryside). It did not, however, take us long to hit the road again. This time we headed to Interlaken. A small mountain town meaning between two lakes, Interlaken is true paradise for hikers, cyclists, skiiers, and adventures seekers. On our first day we discovered the village of Wilderswil (pictured above) and fell in love with the old, wooden chalets and a small hotel set against a babbling brook. On our second day we had planned to take a train up the mountain and hike down. However, our plans were altered with heavy snow. So, despite Mom's hurting legs from our hike up the Saleve, we hiked a trail in the valley and found ourselves ascending a tough trail once again. At least we had plenty of amazing views to use as excuses for rest breaks. After returning from Interlaken, we FINALLY had a rest day where we relaxed and did absolutely nothing (ok, we did stuff ourselves with chesse fondue)! However, with only days before my parents departure (despite the volcano), we spent each day researching and then exploring nearby towns in the French and Swiss coutryside (including Rolle and Nyon). Despite the volcano (no, we could not see ashes in the sky), my parents got lucky and their flight to Madrid left as scheduled (well, a few hours late but were not complaining). It was definitely hard to bid them farewell and the flat now feels quite empty. I guess we will just have to make plans for our next visitors. Any takers?

Au Revoir.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mama and Papa Osz Visit Switzerland (and Italy)

My parents are currently in town for a little over two weeks. Since their arrival, we have been going non-stop. Just a day after landing we packed into our small car and headed for Italy. With a quick stop in Milan to pick up Jignesh (who was there for work), we continued to Tuscany. Our first day was spent in Florence where we stayed at a small hotel set back in a stunning neighborhood full of old Italian villas. Since Jignesh and I were there about this time a year ago, we were able to act as tourguides and show my parents the sights. One our second day, we decided to leave the big city behind and head to the coutryside. Siena and San Gimignano are two towns that should be on everyone's list when visiting the area. They are both quaint little villages full of scenic alleys and quiet, undiscovered little spots. Yes, there are musuems and churches to visit but we just strolled and strolled (usually with Gelato in hand). Oh, I do have to mention Jignesh's wild goose chase for a computer power cord. Finding a computer power cord in small italian village on a Saturday afternoon is not easy but 8 hours and $120.00 later, we were successful! Day two in the countryside found us in the walled city of Lucca. Despite the dreary weather, we were troopers and enjoyed a walk on the wall and lunch at a casual pizza joint. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped in Pisa where dad took about 1,000 pictures of the Leaning Tower and then needed some V8 juice after climbing to the top.

From Tuscany, our road trip took us to Cinque Terre. Set on the mediterrian, Cinque Terre is a collection of 5 tiny villages connected by a 7 mile cliff hike. The only word that I can use to describe the area is stunning. The scenery is undescribable and villages are full of character. While Jignesh bailed on the hike after village #3, my parents and I trekked all the way to the end and were rewarded with an almost empty trail and unspoiled views. What a perfect way to end our Italian getaway. Stay tooned for more details of my parents trip to Switzerland including a hike up the Saleve.

Au Revoir

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another Italian Roadtrip

The Duomo, Milan

The Tuscan Countryside

Lucca, Italy

Tuscan Countryside

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Via dell' Amore, Cinque Terre Italy

Vernazza, Cinque Terre Italy

A Victorious high five after the 7 mile Cinque Terre hike

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools Day!

Happy April Fools Day! While I am no jokester, I do love April Fools Day! I love this day because, for me, it is the first real sign of Spring. Over the past few weeks, Geneva has seen both sunny and rainy days. We can finally go outside without the bundling up in multiple layers complete with hat and gloves. In fact, I have been able to run by the lake in shorts! Although I will miss being able to hit the slopes, I am looking forward to breaking out my bike and exploring the Swiss countrysides, discovering nearby hikes, and having lunch at an outside Old Town cafe. The best part, however, about April first is that it maks 5 days until our first Geneva visitors arrive and test the newly purchased guest bed! Starting Tuesday, my parents will be here for a little over two weeks. While they are here, we are going to take a road trip to Italy (Florence and Cinque Terre) and spend a long weekend in the mountains. If time permits, we might even hit Marsielles, France for a night. We cannot wait to show them a bit of our Geneva lives.

Aside from preparing for my parents visit, we have both been simply plugging along and still adjusting to living abroad. I am slowly making friends and contacts and may even join a tennis team! Jignesh is busy, as always, at work. We are looking forward to summer when the days are longer and we can take advantage of the beautiful lake just minutes from our front door. We also hope to pack the summer with tons of travel! So, Happy April Fools Day and enjoy the Spring!

Au Revoir.

PS. The above pic is of some of the hundreds of swans that call Lac Leman home.