Sunday, 22 March 2009


Recently we decided to celebrate the coming of Spring by buying ourselves micro scooters.

Anywhere other than Switzerland this would be seen as being a strange move since, after all, scooters are for little kids. In Switzerland, however, no-one is too old or too cool to be seen riding a scooter, which are treated as a perfectly sensible form of transport (after all, the micro scooter was invented in Switzerland).

And they are sensible in many respects: they fold up to a very small package you can take on a bus or train without having to pay fair you would get charged for taking a bike, and you don't have to wear lycra to ride one.

Also for us apartment dwellers, on the third floor with no lift and no cave (cellar) in which we could store bikes, they are a far more practical proposition. In fact it means we can decide at a moments notice to leap out the front door and scoot our way down the lake front to watch sunset.

Of course it hasn't all been smooth sailing. On my first outing on my scooter I managed to hit a bump and fall over, right in front of a group of teenage boys who looked scornfully on. I quietly cursed, got back on my scooter, and continued quickly on my way.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Crashed Ice in Lausanne

There's a few events you're unlikely to find in Australia, and one of them is the Red-Bull sponsored, and silly-named, Crashed Ice that was on in Lausanne this weekend.

This event consists of a downhill track of ice, built in the middle of Lausanne, with jumps and bumps and turns, that ice-skaters, wearing ice-hockey outfits, race down. Apparently the locals are quite upset about the event, which has effectively cut off a large part of their town with the track construction.

There is of course lots of bumps and crashes along the way, and it really seems quite a crazy event.

We started watching from the top of the track, and slowly made our way down towards the finish, following the track, as the heats progressed.

It was incredibly crowded in Lausanne for the event, which was free, and the crush of people by the track made it almost impassable in points. It's really rare to see Lausanne so busy, and a friend from work commented that even on NYE it is not so crowded in Lausanne.

After the event we got some dinner in town, although it took several goes to find a restaurant willing to take us in (because they were full, not because they didn't like the look of us).

It was certainly a unique experience, but probably not one we'd repeat due to the crowds, and possibly also the fact that ultimately it is quite a pointless and ridiculous sport!

Vevey at Sunset

Sometimes I remember that I don't actually post that many pictures of Vevey, our home town, despite the fact that we live in one of the most picturesque parts of all of Switzerland.

We often wander down by the lake and are blown away by the views, particularly down towards Valais and les Dents du Midi.

Since the days are getting longer with the onset of Spring, I have been able to wander out after work to watch the sun set, and some nights the air is really clear resulting in a fantastic view.

I've also resolved that soon I will just spend some hours walking around the town taking pictures, because there's more to Vevey than just the lake and surrounding mountains!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Picnic at Mont-Pelerin

The last few weeks have been really busy and tiring for both Linda and I, so it's not surprising that we've been dialing back on our activities a bit.

On the weekend, however, it was perfect weather and we were feeling distinctly claustrophobic - motivating us to jump in the car and head up the hill to Mont-Pelerin for a picnic in the snow.

It was really cold in the hills above Vevey, but we were well prepared both with warm clothes and plentiful food. We also brought our toboggan with us, although we displayed our ignorance of the workings of toboggans by attempting a run down a hill through fresh, foot-deep powder, resulting only in our instantly sinking into the snow.

Further down the hill we found a track some kids had been using, and managed to get a good run out of it.

We had a lot of fun, checking out the views over the lake and towards the mountains, and mucking around in the snow. It was really good to get out into the fresh air, and with the onset of Spring I can see a lot more of that in our future!