To break away from the whole hustle and bustle. 🙂
Coming to Switzerland was more about having an affordable gateway (aka a cheap flight) to Central Europe from Portugal, than anything else. Yeah, there’s cheese, fondue, chocolates, breathtaking scenery, fairy-tale cities and towns, but there’s also getting your wallet raped if you go to McDonald’s to have an unassuming frappé. If you don’t believe me, go and check the Big Mac Index. If you can guess where Switzerland stands, I’ll buy you a nugget (that’s all I can afford right now).
Eating out and sleeping in hostels, as well as using public transportation, was something we planned on avoiding in this country. So Couchsurfing came in handy. Bed: check! Going to the supermarket to buy goods: check! Hitchhiking: more or less checked (further down I’ll explain this).
These three principles are actually golden rules for our summer roadtrip (with no car though).
Now that we’re done with the introductions, let’s get right to it: Bienvenue à Genève!
A fairly small city on the western tip of Switzerland, a stone’s throw way from France, it might be home of the highest concentration of Portuguese in the country. No matter where you turn to, you’ll find yourself looking at a padaria, pastelaria, café, ourivesaria or even at a Portuguese bank branch. So be careful with those snarky comments that everyone, when abroad, feel like doing in our mother tongue… thinking no one understands! So be careful, caralho!
Honestly, Geneva is one big melting pot, attracting individuals from all around the world. Even our couchsurfer was an expat, who came from England
attracted by le Jet d’Eau, a fountain who shoots 140 meters into the air to work on a multinational pharmaceutical (gotta leave Britain before it crumbles). Considered by many a peaceful city, it is home of the European Headquarters of the United Nations, as well as of 10,000 physicists who work at CERN – the world’s accelerator os science. Talking about scientists, Victor Frankenstein actually grew up in this Swiss city.
Being such a peaceful and calm place, everyone embodies this spirit. And I also did to a great extent. While we were heading to the junction where river Arve meets river Rhône, we were lost “breathing in” the scenery and stopping every few meters to sit. In one of these hop on hop off moments, I left my beloved camera behind. A silly mistake that took me around a minute to realise… Which was too long for it not to be there anymore.
RIP SONY α5000
2016 – 2017
** Hence the B&W photos. Mourning still taking place. **
It was a domino effect: lost my camera, lost my joy, even my willingness to continue. We didn’t even continue our tour around Geneva, just stayed at the train station killing time until we had green light to go to our host’s.
The evening was actually good, Jacob (host) was cool, cooked us a heart-warming meal and took us on a proper tour of the city at night, since we had barely visited anything that day.
What a strange beginning. Hopefully our next chapters won’t be so gloomy.
Deciding on where to go during the holidays has always been a difficult thing among my friends. Well, not anymore!
We prepared our lunch, lightly packed our bags and off we went 30 km south of Lisbon, to the sun-kissed-luscious-green-crystalline-waters Arrábida.
Spending the day between dipping our toe in the water and exploring the natural wilderness seemed to be the perfect plan!
I gotta admit, I had to use my good ol’ friend Google to get the title, which simply translates to Lithuanian Family. The cases of this Baltic language are horrid, so I needed to be sure that I had Lietuvos written correctly.
Thank God that the Skype call ran in English, which was universally understandable. Despite not seeing them daily anymore, the bond between Lietuva and Portugal is still strong! 🙂
After the ComICS training course which took place in Latvia last January, the Portuguese group had the chance to finally show the world (or at least to the Lisboetas) the results of the work during those 10 snowy and incredibly cosy days in the Baltics.