Month: January 2015

Get “Ugly” with press cartoonist Gérald Herrmann at Creative Mornings Geneva’s 30 January 2015 lecture

This Friday morning, 30 January 2015, from 8:00 to 9:30am, Creative Mornings Geneva hosts Gérald Herrmann, a Swiss-born caricaturist who since 1987 has contributed press cartoons to numerous Swiss publications including the Courrier de Genève, L’Hebdo, La Liberté de Fribourg and the SonntagsZeitung. For the past 15 years, he has been drawing principally for La Tribune de Genève. In light of the recent Charlie Hebdo tragedy in Paris, Herrmann will speak about press cartoons, freedom of speech and the sacred, covering topics such as: What are press cartoons? What is humor? What are its possibilities, limits and rules? What impact will the terrorist attacks have on press cartoons? The lecture will take place at Impact Hub Geneva, 1 rue Fendt, 1201 Genève, near the Cornavin train station. There are still spaces available but don’t delay in reserving yourself a place if you’re interested in hearing what should be a very interesting discussion about press freedom in the face of extreme attempts to repress it. Creative Mornings for creative people Creative Mornings Geneva is the local branch of a global lecture circuit that holds monthly …

Fancy holidaying in a former hay barn? Farmhouse or Alpine hut? If so, Swiss Heritage has you in mind

If this holiday season you’re interested in renting a home that offers something out of the ordinary then the Fondation Vacances au cœur du patrimoine (the foundation for holidays at the heart of heritage) may have just what you’re looking for. Founded in 2005 by the Swiss Heritage Society with one goal in mind — to purchase, renovate, and then rent as vacation homes endangered historic properties — the Foundation now boasts a list of 21 impressive buildings that are available to the public to rent. I love the look of the 200-year old “Scheune” barn at Beatenberg in canton Bern. You would never imagine that originally the upper floor served as a hay loft and cows were housed on the ground floor. It stood empty for 18 years and was in a state of collapse before being transformed into a sleek, spacious 2-person apartment in 2007. Its location makes it ideal for long walks in summer and autumn and for skiing in winter. I can just picture the fire place roaring and wine glasses clinking after a super day out on the ski slopes. Heritage with mod-cons included …

A Sunday afternoon winter walk that never fails to delight, heal and inspire

At this chilly time of year it’s easy to hunker down at home and not cross the threshold except when I have to, especially on a Sunday afternoon free of the usual obligations of a weekday or shopping Saturday. Yet I’ve developed the habit of putting on my no-frills clothes and good walking shoes, free of makeup and sometimes hair askew (or hidden under a sensible woollen hat) and getting myself out into the beautiful countryside near my home in Vaud canton, just outside Geneva. It’s sometimes hard to believe that I’m only a ten-minute train ride from a busy city, yet that’s one of Switzerland’s many charms and particularly of this area…you’re never too far away from open spaces. The views are reassuringly familiar, yet endlessly reinterpreted depending on the season, the weather and the time of day. They are consistently captivating and endlessly inspiring. I often return home less burdened by worries and negativity, and often with a new perspective on how to overcome any challenges that might have been blocking my progress. Usually, …

magazine photo

Le Renard offers up the best tips for need-to-know addresses in Geneva

One of a few guest experts profiled in Le Renard, biologist and naturalist David Bärtschi of the Association La Libellule, which organizes nature excursions in the area, offers up his personal tips for local nature lovers.    When I passed through Gare Cornavin in Geneva last week I noticed that there are still copies available at the TPG office of the sixth edition of Le Renard sur la Lune, ed. 2014, in which the area’s favorite little fox sniffs out more than 1200 indispensable addresses in the Geneva area for us to explore and enjoy. A publication of the UNIRESO (rail, tram, bus and boat) transit authority linking greater Geneva with adjacent areas of Vaud Canton and neighbouring France, this 320-page paperback features the same funky retro look and offbeat humour as its sister publication, the biannual brochure Ou Bien?! Like that little magazine, Le Renard offers up practical info for getting around on the area’s public transport system, as well as bus and tram zone guides, and maps. However the main reason for letting the little fox out to …

barley soup

Creamy Bündner Gerstensuppe will keep you warm on cold winter nights

One of my favourite Swiss cookbooks, not only for the delicious and largely easy-to-make recipes, but also for its beautiful photographs of Swiss scenes, landscapes and traditional architecture (it would qualify as a lovely coffee table book) is Manuela Darling-Gansser’s book Winter in the Alps, Food by the Fireside. At this time of year I often make my slightly altered version of her Bünder Gerstensuppe when a hearty bowl of soup is just what I need to warm myself up on chilly days or evenings. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. Bündner Gerstensuppe (Pearl Barley Soup) Serves 4 to 6 people Ingredients: 1 onion finely chopped 2 trimmed leeks, washed & finely chopped 2 medium carrots, finely diced 2 celery stalks, finely diced 1/2 small celeriac, peeled and finely diced 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (I like “Celtiane” potatoes from Co-Op) 1 fresh bay leaf 150g (5oz) smoked speck or bacon, diced (I prefer Co-Op Natura Farm speck, rind removed) 2 litres (3 pints / 8fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock 100g (3.5 oz) pearl …

museum

Switzerland’s Loveliest Buildings built from 1960 to 1975

Musée International d’Horlogerie at La Chaux-de-Fonds. Photo ©Patrimoine Suisse   Another in the series “The Loveliest…” published by Patrimoine Suisse, the Swiss Heritage Society, The Most Beautiful Buildings 1960-1975 highlights both celebrated and lesser-known buildings that are often overlooked precisely because their history is so recent. Yet their existence bears witness to a period of social, cultural and architectural change that is possibly the most significant in the country’s history: the era when nuclear power stations, super highways, commercial centres, high-rise accommodation and vast lots of individual dwellings first began to dot the Swiss landscape. From a mountain cabin to a satellite station, from libraries to seniors’ residences, and from churches to concert halls, the publication looks at 50 architectural ‘gems’ representing every Swiss canton. The 120-page, A6 pocket-sized brochure, available with French and German text, can be purchased in the Swiss Heritage online shop for CHF16 (for the general public) or CHF8 (for members of Patrimoine Suisse). To accompany publication of the booklet, a dedicated website is available featuring beautiful full-spread, color photographs of the buildings profiled in the brochure along …

coffee and tea shops

The Loveliest Coffee & Tea Houses in Switzerland

The Swiss number among the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, a beverage they consume in local espresso bars and cafés ranging from the traditional to the modern, many of which with their distinctive architecture and history make a rich contribution to Switzerland’s heritage. Patrimoine Suisse, the Swiss Heritage Society founded in 1905 to preserve important Swiss landmarks and promote good architectural design, publishes a series of booklets entitled “The Loveliest…” and this issue shines a light on the “Loveliest Coffee and Tea Houses” in the country. It tantalisingly serves up photographs of 74 architectural gems found in every region of the land, from Lower Engadine to Lugano, from Basel Land to Geneva. The selection is complemented by snatches of instructive text on the theme of coffee. The photographs invite us into a world of coffee/tea drinking and conversation (or peaceful solitude) and also remind us that these establishments, many with historical significance, deserve to be appreciated and treated with care. The 96-page, pocket-sized brochure, available with French and German text, can be purchased online for CHF16 (for the …