Dubai’s River, It’s Other Waterfront– I liked how different Dubai was from Geneva and loved its mix of cultures. While you can see cool skyscrapers lots of places, there aren’t many where you can see the old wood dhows and the people from all over the world who trade on Dubai’s waterfront.
Since everyone seems to come out with a Best of 2012 list at the end of the year, I thought I would list my top 10 most viewed posts this year.
Everything You Don’t Need And Can’t Live Without – I don’t like to sit still, don’t nap and hate to be bored. I realize that it doesn’t always make me the most relaxing person to be around, but it’s generally pretty entertaining. When we had a free Sunday, I decided to go check out a little shindig they had going on in the cool Carouge neighborhood. Unexpectedly, this post was selected for Freshly Pressed.
More Pictures of the Versoix, Switzerland Ice Storm– Remember the picture of the frozen car? Well, since it was taken in a suburb of Geneva, I couldn’t help myself. I went to get the shot. On a side note, it would have been smart of me not to wear high heals when doing so. A couple of nice Swiss gentlemen helped me off the ice. Yep, I’m an idiot, but the pictures are great.
I had a bad day yesterday. It was crushing. After bawling for a few minutes, I decided should just go for a good long run because it never fails to make me feel better and clear my head. On the run, I saw Mont Blanc behind lush, green fields and thought “god, I love this.”
Here’s why I love to run:
There are no shortcuts. What you get out of it is what you put into it.
I am a nicer person when I’ve run all the piss and vinegar out of me. I swear it’s true, just ask him.
I love how train running forces me to be in the moment. To avoid roots, holes, etc. I must be hyper-aware of my surroundings. My brain can’t make grocery lists or worry about trivialities. That being said… While I am thinking about getting up the hill, my subconscious works on things.
Running clears my mind. I solve problems, write blog posts, prioritize…
I am almost a midget little person. There aren’t many activities where I get to feel physically powerful, running is one of them. Catching (and dropping) a couple of big, strong guys running up a giant hill yesterday brought me my first smile of the run (FYI, Switzerland isn’t flat).
You don’t have to be pretty or dress up. Most of my favorite things to do necessitate a shower and don’t require makeup. Running, cycling, hiking, painting, skiing, gardening…you get the idea.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to run. Even when my day is bad, if I am still healthy enough and safe enough to have the opportunity to run. It reminds me that I am pretty lucky.
Gettin’ high. Who doesn’t love themselves some runner’s high?
You don’t have to wait for the gym to open. You don’t even need a gym membership. There’s no fancy equipment. All you need is a good sports bra (or two if you are double-bagging) and you are off and running…literally.
I love being outside. It is a great way to experience beautiful places. Some of my favorite runs have been on vacations, but I could probably wax have waxed nostalgic about my high school cross-country course too.
Running has taught me how to break down a big task into smaller manageable ones. A marathon training program is a series of smaller activities that add up to something huge.
Energy begets energy. It’s true.
I have no natural gift for running, but the longer I do it, the better I get. I am one of those who will have to age into her Boston Marathon qualifying time. I’m okay with that. I should be so lucky as to be the last woman standing running.
I love to eat and would be overweight if I didn’t exercise. Period.
Better nutrition. Running also helps me to make healthy choices. I may not be smart, but I learn from my mistakes. Eating fried pickles (dipped in copious amounts of ranch and bleu cheese) and sweet potato fries (dipped in honey mustard) for dinner the night before a long run was a mistake I will only make once. I don’t eat as much crap when I know it will feel like it (yes crap, a pile of steaming poo) on the next day’s run. Decent food nourishes me and allows me to have the energy, the stamina to do long runs.
The camaraderie. In Geneva, I have run by myself. Our incessant traveling has gotten in the way of joining a weekend running group. It is better for the blog, but worse for socializing. In North Carolina I used to gleefully hop out of bed well before dawn to go meet my running group. I am not a morning person and can’t function without a cup of coffee, but even without coffee I would be excited to go (and not just for the caffeine in the GU’s).
It’s a challenge. Challenges are good for us. They teach us how to push ourselves beyond our limits. Running has taught me about strength, how to push myself, that I am capable of more and how complaining doesn’t help (even if I still do it). Trying something new and pushing beyond our comfort zone, even if it is hard, is good for us. It can also be habit-forming tackling one challenge makes me want to tackle others.
I am always happier at the end of the run than at the beginning. It is (almost) never because the run is over. Running is a great stress reliever.
I love the sense of accomplishment. Even if I did nothing else productive during the day, knocking out some miles is a measurable, quantifiable accomplishment.
It is something that I do for me. I like to help others, but running is something I do because I love it. There aren’t many things (or weren’t until we started travelling so much) that I do just because I want to.
I love a good project. Training for a race, particularly a marathon, is definitely a good project.
It’s easy. I am short and have no coordination. You don’t even want me in right field. Any sport with a moving ball is out of the question. Running = a sport for the uncoordinated.
It is a great way to explore. I have learned how to navigate Geneva and the surrounding area not by studying a map, but by running its streets. I am constantly intrigued by what I see. Sometimes I even run back with a camera to take pictures of cool stuff for the blog.
We’ve reported on the fashion in Europe and in Geneva, but never on workout wear. Spring is here and people have taken off a couple of layers so you can actually see their workout attire.
Runners here wear a lot of spandex. More specifically, male runners here wear a lot of spandex. I’m not saying that we don’t wear spandex. I’m guilty of it on occasion. We both wear bike shorts when cycling. However, most male runners in the US don’t wear spandex. If they do, they usually wear shorts over them. It is definitely something we aren’t used to seeing.
We’ve had great weather and I’ve been running along the lake. On one run, I counted 29 guys running in spandex shorts (I had to entertain myself somehow). If you come to run in Geneva and forget to pack your spandex, don’t worry. You can buy them everywhere.
We spotted these puppies at the auto show. You can get them everywhere.
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Apartment doors here automatically latch shut when they close.
Right after we moved, I heard a story about a poor lady who was 5 months pregnant getting locked out at 8:00 a.m. They were so new, she didn’t know her husband’s work phone number and had no money on her. Luckily, she got some assistance from the American Women’s Club and made it through the day until her husband returned home that evening.
Yesterday, I went for a run. I walked out of the apartment and shut the door…with my keys still on the table by the door! I was locked out.
Some people look cute when they work out. Check out Jessica Biel above. She definitely looks cute on her runs. I do not. I wasn’t wearing any makeup. I had on running tights with a burgundy dry fit top. My clashing red sports bra was visible. My blue gloves and white hat (covering up my greasy hair) didn’t exactly coordinate either.
This is perhaps the only running gear that is worse than what I had on. Normally, I just don’t care what I look like when I’m running. Once the door locked, I regretted my apathy because it meant I had to run across town to his work to get the keys.
I showed up at his very busy office building 45 minutes later looking like a hot mess. I was mortified. Compared to me, Snookie is looking good for a workout
Unfortunately, he was in meetings so I had to sit and wait in the lobby while people walked by. It was worth it though because I was able to get the keys from him. Once I had them in my hot little hands, I got the heck out of Dodge and ran back home.
I’m not really sure, but these might be Geneva’s version of Paul Revere? If you’re going to visit Geneva, this might be the best time to do it. It’s a really cool festival that’s part spectacle, part party and very accessible. You’re in the middle of it so you’ll experience it with all of your senses. The sounds of drums and fifes echoed through the city walls, while the smell of mulled wine (vin chaud) wafted through the air.
Here’s the deal. Charles Emmanuel I the Duke of Savoy wanted Geneva’s wealth. Genevans wanted their independence. Many of them were religious refugees and would have had no where safe to go if Geneva had fallen to Catholic France. They also wanted to keep their money instead of giving it to the Duke.
When the Duke’s troops attacked, grandma threw a pot of boiling soup over the city walls as they attempted to climb them. She then woke up the city so that it could defend itself. Pretty much, they celebrate not their city not being overtaken by the Savoy and not becoming part of France.
It’s historic in the best possible way. They have parades. The old town is lit up by people carrying torches. They really did fire the muskets! They were so loud. It scared the heck out of me… and the kid next to me. They fire cannons too. People dress up in period costumes. Some are even on horseback. The Passage de Monetier, a secret passage in Geneva’s old town is open for only this one night.
How do you celebrate grandma’s victory? In the most quintessentially Swiss way. Chocolate! They make giant tureens (cauldrons) of chocolate with marzipan vegetables (to be like granny’s tureen of soup). Stores like Migros and Co-op sell the “vegetables.” I bet it’s really easy to get kids to eat these vegetables. They also have tasty street food and (of course) mulled wine.
Children dress up in costumes, kind of like they would in the US on Halloween. We didn’t see any risqué costumes like you do there.
The cannon was louder than the muskets. Unfortunately, there are not enough occasions where shooting off a cannon is permitted. If you can get away with it, it definitely says celebration (or attack). There’s also a race/run that takes place weekend of or preceding the night of the 11th It usually starts in the Parc des Bastions, where the Savoy troops congregated before attacking the walled city, and goes through Geneva’s old town, before finishing near the start. It’s a big deal here and everyone gets involved; you’ll even see families and running together. There’s even a youth race and a costume run.
*Escalade translates from French into English as climbing.
I found a running group that meets several times a week. I went for a run yesterday morning and it was delightful. It was also VERY international. I ran with people from Haiti, the UK, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Hungary, the states and Switzerland. I’m sure there were more nationalities present, I just didn’t have time to talk to everyone about where they were from.The run was a very nice and varied run through different parts of the city. We started at the lake, went through a park, passed fields with cows, ran around the UN (as usual, protests were in full swing), in front of embassies, by the train station and back to the lake. It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning.
It is becoming clear that just by virtue of living here, we will be exposed to and have the opportunity to be enriched by people and things from all over the world.