Archive for September, 2010

September 21, 2010

Visit to the Netherlands

I had a week of holidays between the end of my intensive french course and the beginning of classes, and so I decided to make the trek to the Netherlands to visit friends and family.  I took the train in the early morning from Lausanne to Geneva Airport, and from there flew into the Schipol Airport in Amsterdam.  I spent the afternoon in Amsterdam, two days in Ede, one day in Scheveningen, and a final three days in Zeeland.

When I was in Ede I went with family to visit the town of Aalten, which was where my grandmother grew up.  I got to visit a museum there that honors my great grandfather for his efforts in the the resistance during the second world war.  I also visited the little town of Dinxperlo which lies on the border with Germany, and got to straddle the two countries on a street that runs right along it.

During my time in Zeeland I took a day trip with family to Rotterdam and got to see the Cube houses for the first time by dutch architect Piet Blom.  We also went to the Museum Park and got a tour of the Sonneveld house, which is a house in the ‘Nieuwe Bouwen’ style – a dutch branch of functionalism.  Designed in the 1930’s by architect Leendert van der Vlugt, it follows many ‘Le Corbusian’ ideas.

The only downside to my trip is that it rained and it rained…. and it rained!  No matter though because I had a great time and it was so nice to see the family that I had not seen in over a year.  I learned quite a few dutch phrases as well and was amazed at how much I could understand.  Now I have to begin planning the next trip for Christmas… : )


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September 5, 2010



Yesterday Andrea and I went on a trip to a nearby village called Broc to visit the Cailler chocolate factory.  It was the first chocolate factory built in Switzerland in 1819!  We learned about the history of chocolate and the history of chocolate in Switzerland.  We also got to see a bit of the process of how chocolate is made and got to try way too much of it!  Swiss chocolate (especially the milk chocolate which was invented here) is amazing stuff.  Andrea and I decided to visit this place because we will be doing a presentation about Suisse chocolate for our french class this Monday.  So the first thing that I’ve found that’s pretty sweet about Switzerland is the chocolate!  Luckily I’m poor and so won’t be able to buy to much of it!

On the way back from Broc we took a bit of a detour to the town of Gruyères (yes it’s where the cheese got its name) to visit the castle there.  The town was quaint and the castle quite beautiful.  The village is also nestled in the juras and so the backdrop was amazing.  The image above was taken just inside the wall surrounding the castle.  We came across a little girl there who looked lost and had to stop and take a picture!