The evocative and beautifully curated exhibition “A Chinese Adventure: A Swiss family in pursuit of success in the Celestial Empire” tells a story not often associated with the prosperous Switzerland we know today: that of a young Swiss man seeking his fortune in a far off land of unknown mysteries, great uncertainty and no small amount of peril. But things were different in 1859 when 19-year-old Pierre-Frédéric Loup from the Val-de-Travers in Canton Neuchâtel set off on a two-month journey by coach, rail and steamship via the Mediterranean, Egypt, India, Singapore, and Saigon to Hong Kong to join compatriot Eugène Borel in selling Swiss timepieces to the Imperial Court.
If it’s spring it’s time again for the creative extravaganza that is the UNIcréa Arts & Crafts Salon, which twice annually brings together more than 100 artisans ‘handpicked’ for their originality, passion and talent by UNIcréa founder and director Céline Dreveton. I spoke with Céline last autumn (Meet Céline Dreveton: Artisan, Entrepreneur and Creative Force) just before the Salon’s 22nd edition at the Château de la Sarraz and she impressed me with her commitment to unveiling fresh, new talent at each subsequent fair.
Think of Switzerland and what comes to mind are mountains, pastures and lakes, but islands? Not really. Yet Swiss Heritage’s latest addition to its “Switzerland’s Loveliest” brochure collection introduces 33 islands — both big and small, natural and man-made — that dot the country’s lakes and waterways and traverse national borders.