Geneva Motor show, Gland and Grindelwald (Pt 2)

After Cern, I took a hasty train to Gland where my host parent’s grand parents have a ‘Summer House’ there.

My host brother Philipp met me at the station. Gland had a completely different vibe to geneva. The house was huge, with a lot of land. We arrived at the gate of the house. However at the time it was dark so I couldn’t see much. 

The next morning I woke up in a brilliantly floral bed room. The house made me feel like I had jumped into a time machine, it was an amazing immersive experience.

After having a wonderful breakfast, Philipp took me on a tour around the house and the garden area. 

We went to where the Lake of Geneva met the end of the Garden and we saw a Swan. 

Later that day, I had to trek it to Grindelwald where my host parents were. 

A 3 hour train ride… But I was definitely worth it. 

Geneva Motor show, Gland and Grindelwald (Pt 1)

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On friday, I traveled to Geneva to see the Geneva Motor Show. It is one of the worlds biggest motor shows and it is where the Apple “CarPlay” as announced this year. 

I traveled by my self but I was later accompanied by my friends, Barbara, Valentina and Guilame.

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From the minute I walked into the show floor, I nearly wet my pants with excitement so many amazing cars. 

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It was certainly a strange feeling when you notice that people in Geneva don’t speak german but rather French. 

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After the Motor Show, we went to have coffee by the lake of Geneva and I instantly noticed a different feel to Basel. It felt more “international” I guess. All types of foreigners, heaps of Chinese restaurants. I looked though the windows of Rolex dealers and quickly glancing at the large digits next to them..

 and then we decided to go to CERN… yes CERN!!!!

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Check out Pt 2 for Gland and Grindelwald

Fasnacht (The Carnival of Switzerland)

Every year, towns of Switzerland celebrate Fasnacht/ Carnival which originates hundreds of years ago. A ritual to “scare away” winter. This is conveyed though an array of wonderful however scary costumes which people parade though their respective towns playing piccolos and drums (and any other loud instruments) “A bit like Mardi gras”. Basel happens to have the larges of these celebrations in all of Switzerland. The three day celebration begins on a Monday morning at four.. yes four in the morning.

I was able to attend all three days of Fasnacht, accompanied by a group of friends both from Rotary and from School. 

The Men, Women and Children who wear these costumes are called Waggis. Their faces distorted with long noses… Scary… In the four o’clock celebration the Waggis line up along the street with large lanterns depicting satirical messages on local and international news topics (Such as the Swiss Banking problem with America which was depicted as and Obama though the barrel of a gun mocking James Bond)

At night, these lanterns are shown in the Munster Platz. 

During the day parades, The waggis march down the streets playing band music and handing out flyers describing their costumes, their lanterns and their large carts which they ride in. At the same time, the waggis in large carts would throw, Fruits such as Oranges, Apples as well as candy etc. Sometimes they would throw beer, vodka, condoms and tampons !! 

But most importantly, they throw confetti on the on lookers and in order to receive such items like an orange, you would have to literally be covered in Confetti. Onlookers have to wear a special badge called a Plakette which tells the Waggis that you are in deed “participating Fasnacht”. 

The waggis like to stuff confetti down people’s shirt however luckily for me they mostly only do that to women unless you want them to do it to you.

In the end the streets become filled with confetti, orange peel and glass.. Fun!!!

The Old Bridge

It is near the end of the german speaking camp and we have all become quite good friends with the addition of Patricia (Patsy) Baldwin and Katherine Steed who both come from New Zealand. 

The second last day, Zeni, Andy, Lincoln and my self decided to do some exploring in Bischofszell. We went to this old stone bridge which was really awesome. 

More info on the Bridge here.

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alte_Thurbr%C3%BCcke_Bischofszell

Along the way we saw this bikie gang meeting point with a huge motor bike out the front. An awesome pic of Andy sitting on the bike. 

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There was still frozen water under the bridge!image

It was really chilled and relaxing just to sit by the river and admire the stone bridge.

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#teamcozy

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Fall

Im here again in the same cafe with ultra fantastic wifi. The cafe people are getting to know me quite well.

Anyhow this week has being pretty amazing! with the lack of a proper Australia Day and Chinese New Year, they were replaced with a visit to the Rhine Falls and a closer look of St Gallen. 

Another highlight It was snowing in Bishofstzell 

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Rhine Falls was really awesome! 

The mighty strength of tones and tones of water gushing though from the mighty Rhine. 

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After that we went to visit St Gallen where I walked into a magnificent protestant church. 

imageimageThe organ was magnificent.

However but more was waiting when we entered St Gallen’s colossal Catholic Church.

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Once I walked in I literally fell to the grown and stared at the sealing for a good 5 minutes.

Walking though St Gallen was awesome

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We had lunch at the patisserie there and later had Heise Marroni (Chestnuts) 

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Morning

With no wifi in our hostel in the town of Bischofszell, I crave for wifi. With my fix met in a little cafe, "Carpese" I sit with my new friends, Izzy, Andy and Fusae. We have being learning German for about four days now and its brutally hard. Masculine, Feminine, Neutral, Accusative, Nominative the list goes on…


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Well anyhow I will update y’all on what has happened recently… 

Wednesday / Mittwoch 

We went on a night walk in the town of Bischofszell. Little did I know that we would actually be guided by a night guard with their badass axes and little night lamps. 

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I have become reunited with my friends who we met on the plane and only conversed for 12 hours. The image below is of Lincoln and Elizabeth.image

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Thursday / Donnerstag

With little sleep I am extremely tired. However I was energized by the thought that we would be going ice skating (Eiclaufen) at St Gallen. I was able to power on learning german for the day. 

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This is Fusae and Izzy waiting at the station for St Gallen.

However…

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This is St Gallen Station


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Ice skating was awesome!!! I approached random local school students and asked them where they were from in german!!! (All from St Gallen of course). image

Anyhow das is alle

Flight

 With very minimal sleep the night before (due to coffee and adrenaline), I embarked on my 22 hour journey to Zurich from Sydney Via Bangkok. 

Flying on Thai Airways, seeing the motto , "Smooth as Silk" I told my self "This trip better be smooth as silk!”. One of the main highlights of the trip to Bangkok was that we were able to view the First Class seats but most of all, seeing the Pilot’s cabin at the end!

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At Bangkok I was sad leaving the friends I had made through Rotary in Sydney as they took their flights to their respective countries (Denmark, Sweden) which left four of us who were going to Switzerland from Sydney. Feeling intimidated and nervous, I felt scared thinking that it would only be the four of us who would be flight to Switzerland. When we reached to gate that would take us to Zurich, I felt the colossal and overwhelming force of the Rotary Club as I was greeted by 16 other members all going to Switzerland from Australia alone. I noticed that we would quickly be able to converse and that we all had the same passions, ideas, tastes and values. 

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At Zurich airport, I was willkommened by my host family holding a large sign written on it "Welcome Vincent!" Feeling grateful and a little guilty that they had to wake up at 5am to pick me up, we conversed on our hour drive to my host town, Oberwil. 


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At home I was presented with a large hearty breakfast. Consisting of an array of cheese and salami as well as bread and croissant (gipfeli - in Swiss German) as well as home made Jams.

I felt like Jordan Key from the short - Continental Breakfast 

"Im here to stay indefinitely” 

Key & Peele: Continental Breakfast from Peter Atencio on Vimeo.

This is what we had - “Allez Cuisine!”

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After that I introduced my self and gave them gifts from Australia. Looking at the photographs by Steve Parish I noticed I probably haven’t visited 90% of the places on the book.

With the family we took a walk around the town of Oberwil. Then my host brother drove me to Basel. It was a lot to take in in one day but I enjoyed every moment of it. 

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In the City of Basel we saw the lookout from the church while eating warm chestnuts in the chilling breeze of around 3 degrees.

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After that we rode a little boat on the Rhine which was powered only by the current of the water! 

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So thats it for today! In summary first day was rad!

Tschüss! 

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