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Thursday, August 26, 2010


Geneva has a lot of things going for it--don't believe those who easily dismiss it as boring--but what it does not have, yet, are these two fellows in blue, pictured here in the kitchen of my parent's home. I have never been separated from them this long but tomorrow there'll be cuddles and tickling and jumping and screaming and tonnes of kisses. Less then 24 hours to go...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer snippets

Sipping Greek coffee by the beach, while studying the map of Thassos. Or is the coffee Turkish? A quintessential Balkan dispute--petty, but always potentially dangerous. What matter is that the seeds are roasted right, not too mild but not too burnt either; that you heap generous amounts of coffee into the water; and that you brew it not one second longer than necessary (if you like a practical demonstration, send me an email :)

In a taverna under a century-old Platanus orientalis (Oriental plane) you eat a piece of toasted bread with some olive oil and a pinch of basil, and the world feels right. Especially once the grilled meat arrives.

A village, a promenade, a beach--Skala Marion in a nutshell. An ordinary place, where families run tavernas and grocery stores and rent out room for tourists. There are no hotels, aqua parks, carousels, or stands selling fake designer bags and cheap trinkets. It's a place which lives off tourism, but has a life without tourists as well, and this is why it is so beautiful.

A boy with a yogurt mustache, who just told me he wanted to come and live with me, so that he can start speaking French...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Through Lavaux

The first weekend in Geneva was spent exploring the Swiss side of the Geneva lake. The guidebook was full of praise for Lavoix, a wine region between Lausanne and Montreax, so we took the train to Cully and started from there.

A pedestrian road winds through the wine villages, each a few kilometers away. The view is fantastic--on the one side, wide expanses of neatly-ordered vines, and on the other, a view on the lake and the Alps in the distance. The houses are few and far between, which makes the landscape even more beautiful.

We passed through the village of St. Saphorine on our way to Vevey. Although quaint and picturesque, it would not have been different than any of the others we walked through had we not glanced at one of the local restaurants and noticed a menu of 150CHF. That was a no-nonsense introduction to Swiss prices that took some time to sink in. For the record, we went to Vevey and had a gyros for 15CHF.

I could not pass up an opportunity to take a photo of some boats. When you see them like this in a small marina, you could be forgiven for thinking you are somewhere by the sea.

And if you don't own a boat, you can always get on one of these regular cruisers--the view of the mountains is even better from the water.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

From Budapest to Geneva

Budapest, shortly before I left

And also from Budapest bits to here. I deliberated for weeks on what to do with my old blog–to continue to write under the umbrella of “Budapest bits” seemed strange, even though that blog was never really about the city of Budapest. To change the title also did not feel right, after three years and more than 200 posts.

And so it looks like the most logical thing to do is to start afresh. Perhaps the sight of a completely empty archive will motivate me to write more, because I haven’t blogged much lately. I missed it, but the emotions around the move were too much for words.

But now I am here, and it is time to resume life at the normal level of excitement.