The day I played tourist in Geneva

Armed with our cameras, S from Schwingen in Switzerland spent a relaxing afternoon doing a walking tour of Geneva.  I later on found out that if you only have 1 day in Geneva, this is pretty much what you could do in a couple of hours.

We first started here at Lake Leman and the towering Jet d’Eau which happens to be the world’s tallest fountain.  Because I had an errand to run, we then continued across the Rhone River into Geneva’s ritzy shopping and banking district – Rue du Rhone.

This street will hold many memories for me for I spent many an afternoon just roaming along this street, window-shopping and meeting up with friends.

After a trip to the post office, we continued the tour starting from the very heart of Geneva’s Old Town – the Place du Bourg-de-Four.  This has always been a meeting place of many and today people still gather around the 18th century flowered fountain or on the terrace of the nearby bistros to enjoy a chilled beer or gelato on a sunny day.

We then walked on further to the beautiful Bastions Park where I marveled at the Reformation Wall containing the effigies of Geneva’s founding fathers.

S even took time to make a new friend along our walk.

Beautiful chess pieces at the Bastions Park.  A relaxing afternoon spent just watching people playing chess.

Out on a walk..

We were blessed with some really wonderful weather during our last week in Geneva, so I decided to ask S from Scwingen in Switzerland out for an afternoon walk.  It was to be my last ‘exploration’ walk of Geneva before we left.

Meeting point?  The famed flower clock located at edge of the Jardin Anglais (English Garden).  You could tell that Spring is definitely in the air with the bright, pretty florals that are used to decorate the clock.  Armed with our cameras, we took a leisurely walk around the lake.

It was such a gorgeous day and I was really pleased to have captured this sight of a beautiful rainbow going through the Jet d’Eau.

S also mentioned that it must be my lucky day for the weather was perfect for the walk that we were going to take.  Well, lucky or not, I’m just thankful that I spent the last week doing this with S.  She really is the perfect companion to hang out with if you’re ever clueless about exploring a place.  🙂  Will share more about what we did for the rest of the afternoon soon.

First up, another kind of walk that I’m going to take with the fur-kid!  We’ve gotten a little pudgy over the past couple of months, the Man’s put us on a strict exercise regime and today is my first day walking the kiddo.  Here’s to better health for us both.  😉

Au Revoir Genève

I guess this is it… Another chapter closed. I’m now no longer an expat wife , back to being an ordinary gal in search of another role.

Our life in Geneva can be summed up in the 300 odd posts that I’ve written during our stay. I had planned to write more but it’s been a whirlwind of activity here.. Will share more but first up> got a plane to catch!

Tata and see ya all in Singers!

xx: Lady J’s last sign-off in CH

Tribal Prints

As much as I love Marni, I have to admit that not all items from the label complement the wearer.  What may look seemingly fashionable on the rack/ clothes hanger, may look completely different when worn and vice versa.

I was head-over-heels with the Marni at H&M collection.  I looked hard at some of the items prior to the launch but didn’t think that some of the pieces were all that great.  The 10-minute shopping spree did stressed me slightly but I was pleased with my haul.  When I compared notes with Fashionista Cat, I realised her haul was much better.  She poked fun at me thinking that I was supposed to be the better shopaholic in this case but my buys were just average.  Well, I blamed it on the chaos at the store.

3 days after the launch, I headed back to the store to check out the Marni at H&M rack.  Turns out people do return stuff.  I guess the strategy for such sales is to basically grab everything that you could possibly get your hands on, try them at home and then return them if you end up not liking them.  Well, lesson learned.  But in my case, I got lucky the second-time round for I went through the rack and managed to try on some of these ‘returned’ items in my size. Yay!

Photo credit: Marni at H&M

Okay, at first, I didn’t think too much of this dress or rather robe as it was described on the H&M website, but after viewing a pic by Fashionist Cat, I was sorta sold.  Took my time to try this on in the fitting room and was pleased with the fit.  Didn’t turn out all too bad.  Bought it, brought it home and after styling it with a belt plus leggings, I was finally satisfied with the overall look I’ve put together for a cosy farewell dinner with friends.

What do you think?  I say the dress is definitely for keeps then.  It’s a fun outfit to have in the wardrobe for tribal prints are all the rage this Spring/ Summer plus I can’t think of a better way to keep up with this trend and be decked out in my all-time fave fashion collaboration – Marni at H&M.

My loot at Marni at H&M

This had been a collaboration made in heaven. It was like a dream come true for me when the fashion stars aligned for Marni and H&M. Finally something I can happily afford from Marni!

My love affair with Marni started a couple of years back. I love their accessories; they are bold and often help add that ‘jazz’ for my outfits. It’s expensive so I often have to wait for the end-season-sales before splurging on any of the accessories. So the partnership with H&M is kinda ideal for the pocket.

I waited with bated breath for 8 March to come. We were supposed to head to London on an earlier flight today but I decided to change it to a later flight so that I could make it for the shopping expedition in the morning. Woke up bright and early this morning, skies were a little grey but I figured it kinda worked to our advantage. Only crazy people like moi would go stand in the drizzling rain to wait for the store to open. ;p

We were amongst the first few to arrive at the store and was allotted one of the earliest time-slots to shop at the Marni corner. Only 10 minutes were given to us, so it’s basically grab-and-go. Thankfully, I kinda knew which items I wanted so it was a breeze for me.

Pretty pleased with my haul. There were some dresses that I really liked but didn’t feel like peeling off the layers to try, so dissed that and just went straight for tops and accessories.

And since I’ve always been a huge fan of accessories from Marni. So no guesses where bulk of my purchase went to.

Must add that the quality for the accessories is really pretty good. At least in my opinion, it’s almost as close as what you would get for a bona-fide Marni product. So thumbs up for quality control for the items that I purchased.

Aviator shades that were CHF 29.90 (SG 41.70) a pop. Prices for the Marni at H&M collection here in Geneva is slightly more expensive compared to the pricing in Singapore. But I guess, it was worth it since it was about a 2 hour wait in line and I could at least get my hand of some of the pieces.

Thought these sequined collars were all the rage now and since I couldn’t decide on either black or white, I decided to get both. 😉

The last of my loot – this oversized floral necklace that I’m loving to bits!

I even got round to going to the men’s section and getting some stuff for the Man too. Not too bad for a day of early morning shopping. Whee…

So how did you do? Did you manage to get any of the pieces from the Marni at H&M collection? Let’s compare notes, would love to raid your shopping bags and see what you ended up. 😉

A quick tour of Lausanne

Since we were expecting slightly warmer temperatures last weekend, we decided on a whim to make a short trip to visit Lausanne.

Lausanne (pronounced as loh-san) is Switzerland’s fifth largest city.  This hilly city enjoys a spectacular lakeside location (which we didn’t get a chance to see because we didn’t have enough time).  Other must-sees in the city according to my new-found friend, Shinn include heading over to Ouchy to see the Musee Olympique and Lake Geneva, visiting the Eglise Saint-François and for a bird’s eye view of Lausanne – the Lausanne Cathedral.

With only about 2.5 hours in the city, we arrived to a some-what grey Lausanne and did a leisurely walk around the Rue de Bourg and Place de la Plaud where boutiques and shops lined the narrow and hilly streets.

With my fave gal!  Check out how we have matching bags with our some-what matching leather outerwear.  I didn’t know if the leather jacket was going to keep me warm, so I decided to layer my faux fur-vest over the jacket for good measure.

Then, we took a leisurely walk to visit the Cathedrale de Notre Dame.

My fave pic of the trip where we took a snapshot of our shadows as the sun slowly set behind us.

I guess this marks one of our very last excursions with one of the closest family that we’ve grown rather attached to during our stay here in Geneva.

Basler-Fasnacht 2012 : A Swiss Carnival that starts in the dark

When S from Scwingen in Switzerland invited me along for  the carnival ‘Basler-Fascnacht‘ (listed as one of the top fifty local festivities in Europe) happening in Basel, I knew I couldn’t give it a miss for this would be a fitting way to end my Swiss adventures literally with a big bang!

The Carnival of Basel (German: Basler Fasnacht) is the biggest carnival in Switzerland and takes place annually on the Monday, after Ash Wednesday in Basel.  It starts precisely at 4:00 am with an elaborate ceremony called Morgestraich and the carnival lasts for exactly 72 hours and, therefore, ends on Thursday morning at 4:00 am.

We were up all night catching the overnight train from Geneva to Basel.  We arrived into Basel at about 3.20am all blurry-eyed, but felt an adrenaline rush because the crowds were all in high spirits, and after finding a nice spot along the crowded streets, we were all ready to dwell in the festivities.

At exactly 4am, all the lights in the old town of Basel are turned off and the Morgestraich marks the beginning of the Carnival.  With the command “Morgestraich, vorwärts marsch!” (“Morgestraich, forward march!”) from the drum majors, all cliques begin to march and play their instruments.

Approximately 18,000 revelers participate in this grand carnival by wearing a costume with a mask.

Masks of clowns, cartoon characters, animals and public figures (politicians and other celebrities) are modeled.  I think some of the most striking masks I’ve seen are that of the pipers and drummers-cliques for it’s equipped with a head lantern.

The cliques play their way through the downtown by marching with their flutes (piccolos) and their drums.

A clique usually consists of a large Zugslaterne (parade lanterns) that are wheel-mounted or carried by 2 to 3 people in front of the clique followed by participants wearing the head-mounted Kopflaterne (head lanterns), pipers and drummers.

The cliques often follow no particular route when they march.  It is said that they often take the path that’s always ahead of them so it’s not unusual to find a path that crosses several cliques. If that’s the case, the clique simply waits until the other has passed.  Be sure to steer clear in the way of a clique as a spectator else you will be pushed away.  Happened to me and S as we got trigger-happy taking photos of the clique.

Also from 4 am on Monday, many restaurants and bars in the old town open their doors and remain open for the following 72 hours.

After watching the parade for about an hour, we decided to head to the famed Brauner Mutz beer-hall to sample some of the traditional Basler carnival specialties such as flour soup and Käsewähe (a quiche-like baked dish). There, we had to share our table with a group of guys who couldn’t help making fun of us when we whipped out our cameras to take pictures of the food.  S had to explain to them that we are doing this for our blogs.  Not sure if they understood but loads of laughter were shared amongst the group.

After the break, we continued to dwell in the merry-making by the marching cliques and explored the old town further while waiting for dawn to break.

As the kids marched on, one of them cheekily whipped out a peace sign as I snapped the picture.

The character ‘Chucky’ immediately came to mind when I saw this clique marched passed me.  Definitely sent chills down my spine!  Brrr….

I couldn’t pass this photo-op with this reveler from the carnival.  I mean, check out his costume!  Fun and naughty all rolled into one.

We were looking forward to the fun parts of the carnival that included the Confetti attacks but was later told that this would only happen in the later part of the carnival.  I guess if you do plan to make it for the Basler-Fascnacht, I would recommend that you stay in Basel for the full duration of the carnival.  In that way, you could participate fully the various parts of the festivities.

Thanks S once again for the wonderful gift and inviting me to join you at this amazing carnival!