The picturesque Antigua, Guatemala

The former 16th century Spanish capital has a peaceful feeling to it. The vivid colours of the well preserved baroque architecture, the luxurious patio gardens, the dwarfing surrounding of volcanoes and the creative vibe made me want to stay a little longer! Continue Reading

Running and waltz’ing in Vienna

Vienna did not disappoint last weekend: the sun was high up, we discovered an astonishingly pretty (and underrated!) historical capital of Europe, ate some delish’ chocolate cake at the Sacher hotel, then burnt some of that climbing up the 343 steps of the stunning Stephen’s Cathedral, and even waltz’ed in the Rauthaus City hall! Mission accomplished for a first taste of Vienna, and I’ll definitely be back. Continue Reading

An “expat” weekend in Yangon, Myanmar

  Yangon was Burma’s capital during the British occupation, and remains one of its main business centres. The city is booming so fast that it feels a bit like a teenager that’s quickly outgrowing its clothes. Continue Reading

Milan, Italy, a love and hate story

The first time I travelled to Milan, I was in for a huge disappointment, and it was partly my fault: no, going mid-August is not a good idea, as for ferragosto the Milanese just shoot off to the lakes or the Continue Reading

Venice, the magic marathon

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One marathon a year has been my target for the past few years; and last weekend was Venice marathon turn. The scenic run easily makes it to the most beautiful in my ranking. A memorable way to see Venice, a unique experience, however not one for great times, mostly due to the 14 bridges at the end, and if you are anything like me, the “OMG this is unreal” moment on Piazza San Marco will make you loose another few seconds, just gazing in disbelief!!! Continue Reading

Stuff you should never take on a trip

Leif Pettersen at The Lonely Planet has just published an article about “stuff you should leave at home when traveling” and it did crack me up. At a time where I’m scratching my head and wondering how to pack for Myanmar (the very exciting countdown until November has started!!), I thought it was a good idea to bring up the topic.
My top five tricks and leave at home items, and a request for advice on how to choose and pack a good travel rucksack. Continue Reading

Chillin’ in Oslo, the place to be?

Oooh Norwegians… they’re lovely, blond, tall, spend their free-time running uphill and their holidays in wood cabins, they don’t drink, don’t smoke, they have the best-managed oil fund in the world, split kids nursing between Continue Reading

Souvenirs and tokens of Travels from… Helsinki…in a global world

I love travelling of course, collecting experiences, memories, but also organising those memories in the form of this blog, photos, and other small tokens of travels. Bringing back home small objects (and lots of food) is Continue Reading

Fêtes de Genève, fireworks and Gruyere cheese, Switzerland

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Les Fêtes de Genève

For almost a month during the summer, the placid Geneva turns into a mix of public amusement fair and chic beach bars, becoming the scene to one of the world’s grandest fireworks display. This year’s cost chf 700,000 and was no exception (that’s £460k).. No wonder why Les Fetes de Geneve attracts up to 2m visitors each year.

A friend of ours threw a roof party on Saturday where the average guest could speak 4 languages and was holding 2 passports…I wondered if it was an extraordinary sample or …?

From the  Council of Europe website I learned that “Geneva is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland (after Zurich) and is the largest in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Whilst the municipality itself (Ville de Genève) has a population of 191,415, the canton of Geneva (République et Canton de Genève, which includes the city) has 463,919 residents. (…)

The majority ethnic group, Swiss, makes up 60.83% of the canton’s inhabitants and 39.2% of Geneva’s population are non-nationals (and  up to 48% in 2013 according to the Office Cantonal de la Statistique). The most significant ethnic groups are: Portuguese-7.40%;
French-5.5%; Italians-4.85% and Spanish-2.95%. Of non-EU/EFTA migrants, the largest groups are, in this order, from the USA, Russia, Brazil, Kosovo,Turkey, former Yugoslavia, India and Morocco. 44.6% of the canton’s working age population are non-nationals and 54% hold at least one foreign passport. At the end of 2010, the unemployment rate was 6% in Geneva, or twice the Swiss level”

As a reference, London’s non-UK born population was around 37%  in 2011 according to the Oxford Observatory at the last census, and a large share of those actually hold a UK passport…

The pristine canton of Gruyere

And Switzerland would not be a human size chocolate-box without villages like this one: the medieval town of Gruyere, home if the infamous cheese, where we hopped by to reload the batteries.

Puzzling Tokyo in the Sakura season

Even just a few days in Tokyo were enough to be dazzled the 3 reasons why Tokyo is an easy city break destination and a quick wedding etiquette guide! For the outstanding service: ease of transport, wifi Continue Reading