Saturday, June 30, 2018

On the road again...

Same as every year... we hit the road to escape the big city heading South in search of the sun... 1250 km and every single kilometre is worth it! Viva Espana! 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Grotto Tour by boat

How about taking a boat to dinner rather than the car? Well, during these lovely summer nights you get to pick of a variety of typical Ticino restaurants thanks to the collaboration of Società Navigazione del Lago di Lugano.

The season runs from June through August and the grotto are open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The price for the boat roundtrip CHF 15.-.

Click here for the programme: Grotto Tour

Choose one of these grottos for your typical Ticinese dinner and turn the journey into a romantic and comfortable experience:

Grotto San Rocco
+41 91 923 98 60

Antico Ristorante Caprino
+41 91 970 21 11

Grotto dei Pescatori
+41 79 230 17 27

Cantine di Gandria
Grotto Descanso
+41 91 922 80 71

Grotto Teresa
+41 91 923 58 95

Ristorante Antico
+41 91 971 48 71

Ristorante Roccabella
+41 91 971 27 22

Locanda Gandriese
+41 91 971 41 81

Grotto Elvezia
+41 91 971 44 51

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

LongLake Festival Lugano 2018

The beating heart of the Lugano summer is once again the LongLake Festival. Over 250 events and outstanding guests will enliven the city, its squares, streets and parks each and every day for almost a month.

Having reached its 8th edition, the International LongLake Festival is one of the biggest open-air city festivals in Switzerland. Concerts, music for all tastes, literature, gatherings, entertainment, theatre, dance, cinema, children’s shows and urban art installations will invade the streets, squares and public parks of the city creating an intense encounter between artists and the public.

To better acquaint yourself with the ongoing events, the LongLake Festival has been split in six different Festivals: ROAM Festival Lugano, Classica Festival Lugano, Buskers Festival Lugano, Urban Art Festival Lugano, Family Festival Lugano, Words Festival Lugano and many other side events Plus.

The Family Festival offers a wide range of activities for families and children: musical events, children’s theatre, cinema, clown shows, and many workshops during which children and young people can learn while having fun. The hall and gardens of the Palazzo Congressi Convention Centre will host a fun village for families with lots of games made available to families free of charge.

Venue: LongLake Lugano
Date: Thursday, June 28th to Wednesday, August 1st, 2018
Calendar of events:
Programme in Italian:

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How many ways can you say Schätzli?

I could not resist. Please bear with me if your language is not Swiss German! Having grown up in Zürich this list is priceless. Schwiizerdütsch is definitely my second mother tongue. So, when I came across a fellow blogger's list of popular Swiss German terms of endearment I could not help but smile ... and then as I read the extensive list I found myself giggling and even laughing. A humorous guide to Switzerland - a Swiss lady currently living in South America - has nailed this collection of pet names.

What most of these names have in common is the ending "-li" which basically turns the thing or person a word refers to into something small. Some are common, some unusual, some fun and some kinky but they ALL ring a bell. Thank you, Irene, for letting me dwell in a moment of homesickness!

These are my favourite:
Amediesli (meaning unknown)
Ängeli (little angel)
Augesternli (little starry eyes)
Augöpfeli (little apple of the eye)
Böhnli (little bean)
Böpperli (meaning unknown)
Bubeli (little boy)
Chäferli (little bug)
Chätzli (little cat)
Chnöpfli (little button)
Chnuschperli (little crunchy thing)
Chröttli (little toad)
Chrüseli (curly hair)
Goldchäfer (gold beetle)
Hasibärli (little bunny bear)
Häsli (little bunny)
Herzchäferli (little heart bug)
Mückli (little mosquito)
Murmeli (little marmot)
Müüsli (little mouse)
Muus (mouse)
Pflödderli (meaning unknown)
Pfüderi (meaning unknown)
Schätzeli (little treasure)
Schätzi (little treasure)
Schläckerli (little sweet candy)
Schnadehüdeli (meaning unknown)
Schnäggechäfer (snail bug)
Schnäggli (little snail)
Schnüfel (little breath)
Schnügel (cutie)
Schnuggebuzzeli (meaning unknown)
Schnuggi (cutie)
Schnusi (meaning unknown)
Schnusimusi (meaning unknown)
Spätzli (little sparrow)
Sunneschii (sunshine)
Süürmeli (meaning unknown)
Tigerli (little tiger)
Totschli (little clumsy one)
Zuckerschnoizli (little sugar moustache)
Zwergli (little dwarf)
Source: Slangikon

Monday, June 25, 2018

4 attributes of Third Culture Kids

Children who grow up overseas, whose parents' careers keep them abroad for most, or all of their formative years, are called - Third Culture Kids.

Studies show that these kids mature faster, are more independent and introspective, more sophisticated and cosmopolitan, and far more knowledgeable about the world than their compatriots from their country of birth.

There are 4 common themes that give these kids an edge or advantage in today's world.

Change - They know how to cope with high change, because of the constant change of location, friends, schools and cultural experiences they have been exposed to. They are in a continual process of adapting and relating the culture(s) they are coming from, with the new cultures they are entering every few years.

Relationships - Before the introduction of social networking, they learned to make friends quickly, and also to let them go just as quickly, because of the many relocations they went through.

However this traumatic aspect is becoming a thing of the past, with the trend to social networking sites like FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, and Skype that allow them to maintain close, day-to-day communications no matter where they are in the world. These kids are now able to keep a network of close friendships even though they are not in physical proximity.

This is a global revolution that is sure to have implications professionally, as they become adults and move into the work world. Hopefully, it will also influence the future of world affairs in a positive way. It's interesting to note that President Barack Obama was a TCK.

WorldView - They see the commonality between cultures, viewing themselves first as humans, in a Global World, rather than being connected to any particular culture. Because they have friends all over the world, they have compassion, empathy and concern for people who live in other parts of the world, whose culture they have known personally.

They understand that one can hold a personal truth, and still acknowledge the existence of other truths being held in other cultures, without necessarily being impelled to change the views of others to conform with one's own worldview.

Cultural Identity - As a consequence of their global living experiences, they are not attached to any particular culture. Third Culture Kids can feel at home anywhere on the planet. They also have the capacity to select and integrate aspects from many different cultures that they have experienced. This gives them a strong cultural openness and understanding that is beyond the grasp of mono-cultural children.

They do not feel separate or isolated, as they move around the planet. They carry an inner confidence that if necessary, they could survive anywhere. They are truly 'Inhabitants of the World' - Global Citizens who can take a job in any culture, and fit in.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Ticino's most beautiful villages

From the shores of its lakes to the summits of its mountains, the Canton of Ticino is dotted with a large number of villages and towns, each with its own interesting history and different personality.

Here are three that shine with even more splendour and that you should take time to visit this summer if have not done so yet:

A real beauty entirely made of stone, Lavertezzo is famous in Ticino – and in the rest of Switzerland – for being a picture-perfect riverside village with a very pretty parish church. But what really makes this place popular is its double arch bridge crossing the incredibly blue waters of the Verzasca river: built in the 17th century to facilitate commerce, today, it has become a meeting point for daredevils who dive from it into what can only be described as ice cold water.

Located at the very end of the winding road that goes up the Verzasca Valley running along the eponymous river, Sonogno is a pedestrian-only paradise of stone houses, fountains and red geraniums on windowsills. The tall mountains around it make it the ideal starting point for unforgettable hikes, while the streets around town offer countless opportunities to shop or sit down for local products such as cheese, cold cuts, wine and honey.

Bosco Gurin
One of Ticino’s most unique villages, Bosco Gurin has a very ancient and interesting history: it was built during the Walser migration in 1244 at the very end of the Maggia Valley, near the Italian border and unlike the rest of the region, where Italian is the official language, the inhabitants of Bosco Gurin still proudly speak a Walser German dialect. Their strong attachment to their roots and traditions can also be seen in the wonderful architecture of the village, almost entirely made of wooden Walser-style houses, which add a unique Alpine charm to it. If you want to see Bosco Gurin at its most beautiful, visit in the winter when the village is covered in snow and the slopes are open for skiing.

If you still are looking for more inspiration, check out Switzerland's voted most beautiful village in 2016: Morcote. It is home to several architectural wonders listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance. Among these are the ornate Church of Sant’Antonio Abate, an Egyptian temple and an abundance of Greek sculptures.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Happy PiNk Day

As most of my readers know my fetish colour is pink... it is also pretty obvious looking at my blog.

National Pink Day is observed annually on June 23rd in the United States. This day is set aside for the color pink and all it represents. First used as a color name in the late 17th century, pink is a pale red color which got its name from a flower of same name.

Dating back to the 14th century, “to pink” (the verb) means “to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern.”

It would have been curious to find pink used in fabric or decor during the Middle Ages. Occasionally it was seen in women’s fashion and religious art. In the 13th and 14th century, the Christ child was sometimes portrayed dressed in pink, the color associated with the body of Christ. Pink was mainly used for the flesh color of faces and hands during the Renaissance.

The Rococo Period (1720-1777) was the golden age for the color pink. Pastel colors became very fashionable in all the courts of Europe during this time.

Madame de Pompadour (1721-1764), the mistress of King Louis XV of France, was known for wearing the color pink, often combined with light blue. At one point in time, Ms. Pompadour had a particular tint of pink made specifically for her.

Pink ribbons or decorations were worn by young boys in 19th century England.  The men in England wore red uniforms and since boys were considered small men, boys wore pink.

Pink became much bolder, brighter and more assertive in the 20th century and 1931, the color “Shocking Pink” was introduced.

Just for fun, here are some expressions using "pink":

In the pink – To be in top form, in good health, in good condition.
To see pink elephants – To hallucinate from alcoholism.
Pink slip – To be given a pink slip means to be fired or dismissed from a job. First recorded in 1915 in the United States.
Pink-collar worker – Persons working in jobs conventionally regarded as  “women’s work.”
Pink Money –  the pink pound or pink dollar is an economic term which refers to the spending power of the LGBT community.
Tickled pink – means extremely pleased.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Every Swiss abroad should know their roots

Founded in 1917 the Foundation for Swiss Children Abroad initially aimed to host young Swiss Abroad living in war-torn countries where there were shortages and restrictions.

During the First World War, children in the nations at war were extremely vulnerable. They suffered terrible conditions, were malnourished, poorly clothed and often badly educated. Switzerland began taking in children from regions blighted by war very early on in the conflict. By this time many Swiss had emigrate to elsewhere in Europe. Their children suffered just as much as those in the countries where they were living.

A decision was made to come to their aid.

In 1917, a handful of philanthropists from Basel welcomed 280 Swiss children from Germany. The Swiss Confederation met the costs. This marked the birth of the Foundation for Swiss Children Abroad, which survived thanks to donations, grants and volunteer work.

When peace returned, awareness of the needs of children in the regions devastated by war gave rise to the establishment of the International Save the Children Union in Geneva in 1920. This was followed by the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1923. In 1924, in cooperation with Pro Juventute, around 3,000 children were welcomed to the holiday camps. They came from big cities and very poor areas where children’s illnesses were rife and tuberculosis was prevalent.

At the end of the 1920s, the foundation almost disappeared due to a decline in donations, funding and hosts. The economic crisis of the 1930s saw needs resurface. While Switzerland was also affected, it took in Swiss children from deprived backgrounds in Paris, Berlin, Hamburg and Brussels during this difficult period. Benefiting from the patriotic spirit that emerged with the national exhibition in 1939, the Foundation gradually transformed itself into a fundraising organisation, enabling Pro Juventute to organise holiday camps and accommodation. These two partners ratified their cooperation by signing an agreement on 13 January 1940.

Then in the 1960s, the foundation organised the first holiday camps for children who are among the hundreds of thousands of Swiss citizens living in another country. There are now almost 760,000 Swiss abroad, either temporarily or permanently.

FYSA's goal remains the same even after 100 years: every child, irrespective of the financial situation of the family, is given the opportunity to come to Switzerland and get to know its roots!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

TCK identity dilemma

"Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was."
Jodi Picoult

Although TCKs tend to have a high level of cross-cultural awareness, they also have a concerning identity dilemma. TCKs live in a dichotomy of worlds. They identify with an abundance of cultures but yet they are unable to take full ownership of any. As they get older, questions such as ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Where is home?’ becoming increasingly difficult to answer. For a TCK, home is everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

TCKs have little experience in domestic schools where peers do not fully appreciate their multicultural backgrounds. Often on repatriation to their ‘passport countries’, this can sometimes push them to the fringes of social groups where they are misunderstood or simply do not feel like they fit in. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is common to find TCKs who possess a deep-rooted wanderlust.

Third Culture Kids are Third Culture Kids for life. When they can recognise their own TCK behaviours, feelings and identity traits they are more likely to realise that they do in fact share a common ground with others. TCKs of all ages can manage their cross-cultural awareness and unique multicultural identities and use them to their advantage rather than a restraint, throughout life.

So just remember, you are not the only one out there. There ARE people who feel just like you and know where you're coming from even though you yourself cannot explain where home is.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Busy in Ibiza

I cannot deny I have been busy this past week... busy looking after my friends, busy enjoying the island rhythm, busy suntanning, busy celebrating life and friendship!

Dinner with a view

Exploring the old town of Ibiza

Island cruising

Black and white impressions

Guess what colour the sky is?

Lots of relaxation

Surrounded by peace and love

Chilling at the sunset bar

Friday, June 8, 2018

Happy World Ocean Day

On World Oceans Day, people around our blue planet celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all. Get together with your family, friends, community, and the planet to start creating a better future. Working together, we can and will protect our shared ocean. Join this growing global celebration on 8 June!

A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival. Every year, World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve our world’s shared ocean.

Will you participate in World Ocean Day? How will you celebrate this day?
It’s fun and easy! The site below was developed as a free resource for everyone around the world to use:

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Pop-up Hotels: Sleep where no one else has slept before!

Blink and you'll miss them. Discover the new pop-up hotels in 11 Swiss towns and sleep where nobody has ever slept before. These hotels offer comfortable accommodation in unusual locations but will only be around for a short while.

As part of Switzerland's Tourism campaign, Swiss Urban Feel, these pop-up hotels aim to provide guests with new experiences from different and surprising perspectives, while encouraging them to see almost untouched, and sometimes unknown, tourist paths.

The concept was conceived by Switzerland Tourism after their research findings showed that 25% of the 21,000 overnight visitors from 130 countries interviewed were after “hidden” places. Also taken into consideration was the fact that urban tourism in the country is booming, having increased by 50.5% in major cities since 2000 as recorded by the Federal Statistical Office of Switzerland.

While various locations were hand-picked for this program, selected hoteliers have been contracted to furbish and service the rooms, ensuring guests the promise of high quality Swiss hospitality.

The eleven pop-up hotels are located in:

1. The City Tower in Baden (serviced by Trafo Hotel)

2. A fishing cabin at Fischergalgen in Basel (serviced by the Youth Hostel Basel)

3. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Torre Nera Castelgrande in Bellinzona, (serviced by Hotel & SPA Internazionale);

Defending the valley since the 15th century, the three castles of Bellinzona controlled the access routes to the Alpine passes. Today, Castelgrande, Castello di Montebello and Castello di Sasso Corbaro are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The pop-up hotel, located in one of the impressive towers, guarantees an unforgettable night and gives you a close-up view of history. Ticino native and star architect Carlo Rampazzi brought together the history of the castles and modern design in the tower room. Enjoy breathtaking views of the historic centre and castles of Bellinzona.

4. The Old Customs House in Bern (serviced by Altes Tramdepot)

5. In the hotel garden of the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne (serviced by the hotel)

6. A private boathouse in Lucerne (serviced by Seehotel Kastanienbaum)

7. A floating hotel in Schaffhausen (serviced by MS Konstanz)

8. The 14th century fortified tower of Krummturm in Solothurn (serviced by Hotel on the Aare)

9. The tower room in St Gallen (serviced by Einstein St. Gallen)

10. An old ballroom in Vevey (serviced by Astra Hotel)

11. The trendy restaurant of Milchbar in Zurich (serviced by Milchbar / Péclard)

Full of character, history and countless tales, travellers should note that these pop-up hotels will only run for the three-month summer period ending August.

Book room here:

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