Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A challenging hike on the Gotthard Pass

Looking for a place with a view? Beware, it is also a bit of a challenge.

The ridge path from the Gotthard Pass to the Bedretto valley is outstanding and has wonderful views onto the Tessin mountain world. The panorama ranges from Val Piora to the Cristallina region. The old Gotthardpass road, which winds its way in numerous curves up the Tremola ravine, is also impressive. A perfect getaway for hot, sweltering summer days. the hiking time is about 4 hours, however, it is an experience you won't forget.

The hike begins at Gotthard Pass and leads first of all along the main road, going South. The view into Tremola ravine is most impressive during the stretch along the road gallery. At the end of the gallery there is an ascent to Strade dei Banchi. After Costoni di Fieud, views of Leventina and Val Bedretto become visible. The ridge path leads past the alpine pastures of Pian Secco and Fibbia before it reaches its highest point at the alpine hut Rosso di fuori. The valley of Bedretto with its charming villages lies far below. The descent winds its way via Alpe di Vinei and Alpe di Cavanne down to Ronco.

Technical information
Begin of tour: Gotthard Hospiz bus stop
Access starting point: Journey from Airolo to Gotthard Pass by postal bus
Point of arrival: Ronco bus stop
Access point of arrival: Return trip by bus from Ronco
Hiking time: 4 h
Physical fitness: challenging
Difficulty: medium difficulty
Difference in elevation: 720 m

Here's the map: http://www.myswitzerland.com/



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Articles I like about Expat life on Pinterest

Pinterest is a beautiful tool to gather all your recipes, deco ideas, printable websites and favourite articles. When I come across an article about a subject I am passionate about I pin it on my designated "Articles I like ...." board. Check out the Expat articles I have collected over the past months: https://www.pinterest.com/expatwithkids/articles-i-like-expats/


Discover some facts on TCK here: https://www.pinterest.com/expatwithkids/tck/


Happy Sunday Reading

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July to all my American readers.

These bright and delicious fruit skewers were inspired by the American flag and are super easy to make. Try the simple recipe below to make a patriotic treat perfect for Independence Day.


Ingredients:
12 wooden bamboo skewers
1 pound strawberries
6 ounces blueberries
3 bananas
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (or orange juice)

Preparation:
1.) Rinse and dry berries. Chop the stems off strawberries, then cut into halves from stem to point. Cut the point off strawberries and set aside.
2.) Slice bananas and set aside.
3.) In a bowl, mix water and lemon juice, then place banana slices in lemon water and coat both sides to prevent browning.
4.) Starting with the blueberries, skewer about six on top and alternate between two banana slices and one strawberry slice until you reach the end.
5.) Place on a platter and keep refrigerated until serving.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wondering about cost of living

June is the month of moving for many Expats. The school year ends and the families continue their journey onto their next destination. Here is useful tool that calculates the cost of living across the globe.

Numbeo is the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide. It provides current and timely information on world living conditions including cost of living, housing indicators, health care, traffic, crime and pollution.

So give it a try and see how much a coke or a cup of coffee costs in your new home: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/


Saturday, June 27, 2015

What do Italians think of PopTarts?

This video is too funny for words. If you live between two worlds such as I (in this case America and Italy) you will enjoy these Italians tasting American candy and voicing their opinion. Admittedly it is junk food but just take it with a pitch of salt.



Italians Try American Sweets For The First Time
Posted by BuzzFeed Video on Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Comparis: Switzerland's favourite comparison service

June is the season of departures and arrivals for Expats. If you are arriving in Ticino, I have just the app for you: Comparis Property Switzerland. You'll find the all listings of the largest property portals at a glance, it searches all listings on comparis.ch, Homegate, Immoscout24, Newhome and other Swiss portals simultaneously.

Comparis is the leading Swiss Internet comparison service. On www.comparis.ch, consumers can easily and quickly compare rates and services. The site had almost 60 million visitors last year and thus counts among the most widely used Swiss websites.

The Property App allows you to quickly and easily check out the current offers on the real estate market throughout Switzerland. There is also a Car App, an health Insurance App and a Mortgage App.

The Car Market App allows you to quickly and easily check out the current offers on the car market wherever you are.

With the Health Insurance App you can compare the premiums for 2015 from all Swiss health insurance providers and save plenty of money.

The Mortgage App always keeps you up to date on the daily interest rates. With the help of push notifications you can additionally create a personal interest alarm.

For more info click here to enter Comparis site: https://en.comparis.ch


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Long Lake Festival 2015

Summer will be hitting Lugano tomorrow in the form of the LongLake Festival. The 5th International Festival proposes entertainment, theatre and dance shows, concerts as well as a lot of activities for kids. To better acquaint yourself with the ongoing events, the LongLake Festival has been split in six different Festivals: Rock’n’More Festival Lugano, Classica Festival Lugano, Buskers Festival Lugano, Urban Art Festival Lugano, Family Festival Lugano, Words Festival Lugano as well as many other side events Plus.

There is so much going on, you'll just have to check out the programme for yourself to see what tickles your fancy. Here you go: http://longlake.ch/en/

Or else you can stroll down town and enjoy a nice warm sunny evening walk along the lakeside and just go with the flow. While you are sitting on a bench contemplating the beautiful view, you can download the app here: http://longlake.ch/en/download-the-official-app

With over 300,000 visitors, the international LongLake Festival, confirmes itself as one of the greatest urban open air happenings in Switzerland. Don't miss it!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

The three most important personality characteristics necessary for a successful expat life

If you ask expats to name the top three expat personality traits, this is what they would come up with:
Flexibility
Sense of humour
Resilience

However, equally important would be:
Adaptability
Open-mindedness
Optimism
Curiosity
Patience

Finally, it does help if you show:
Positivity
Enthusiasm
Spontaneity
Foolishness
Persistence
Determination
Organisation
Bravery
Sociability
Adventurousness
Tolerance
Self-confidence
Willingness to learn

What is your most important characteristic as an Expat?


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Changing your attitude when you cannot change the situation

You have learnt that as an expat, sometimes changing your physical circumstances isn't possible, at least not right away.

Changing your perception, belief or opinion of the situation will help you change your attitude.

The Greek philosopher Epictetus said it beautifully more than 2,000 years ago: "People are disturbed, not by things that happen to them, but by the principles and opinions which they form concerning those things. When we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never attribute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own principles and opinions."

Here are five easy ways to start changing your perception:

1. Admit to yourself that you're not happy.
You can't change anything if you aren't aware that something needs to be changed. Stop the cycle of wishing things were different and take control of your thoughts and reactions to events and people.

2. Realize optimism is a choice.
You are not born with a positive or negative attitude. It is something you become through your perspective of experiences. Very few situations are completely bad. Always try to come up with three to five positives of any challenging situation and write them down so you can remember them.

3. Use positive words.
Use statements like, "I am hopeful," or, "We will find a resolution," throughout the day. The words you use when you talk have a major impact on your attitude and emotional outlook.

4. Hang out with friends who have a happy vibe.
Try surrounding yourself with friends that exude positive energy. Pay attention to the words they use when they talk to you about their day. You will be amazed how simple it is to ascertain if they are a positive or negative influence.

5. Say a daily affirmation.
Find a quote that is meaningful to you and say it aloud every morning. "Something great is going to happen today," sends your energy in an expectant and positive direction. I know it sounds a bit "Zen" and somewhat mystical, but it is actually a very simple and effective method for retraining your subconscious mind — and advocated by both ancient and scientific research.

So the next time you are faced with a challenging situation, remember these tips for molding your perception — and improving your attitude. You may not be able to change it, but you can certainly choose your mental and physical response to it. As time passes, you will notice a real shift in your attitude, and so will your friends and family!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ticino's swimming pools

The summer is nearly here and I thought I'd share a useful list of open air and covered swimming pools throughout Ticino. Did you know the Lido of Lugano was founded in 1928 or that Bellinzona's outdoor pool was inaugurated 45 years ago. Check them out for yourself.

Switzerland's pools by Canton: http://www.badi-info.ch
Lugano's Lido: http://www.luganoturismo.ch
Bellinzona' Bagno Publico: http://sport.bellinzona.ch
Lido di Locarno: http://www.lidolocarno.ch
Lido's and public baths around Lugano: http://www.luganoturismo.ch

My personal favourite is Lido di Caslano. Make sure you get there early since it is very small but a unique experience.


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