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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Swiss-A lesson in efficiency

So Switzerland was amazing. From where we are living we only have to drive an hour north and we hit the swiss border just after Lake Como on the Autostrada. We took our passports just in case they wanted to see them since Switzerland is NOT part of the EU. No one asked us for them though! We had to pay 40 Swiss Francs, 32 Euro for a road tax sticker that is good until the end of February. I can see why they make people pay this though because their roads are brilliant and the Swiss tunnels are perfect. There are exits clearly marked all the way along, SOS phones, its clean, well kept and thoroughly organized. Nathan and Claire said that these tunnels are all over Switzerland, apparently the Swiss like their tunnels. We took this little trip to Switzerland to meet up with my cousin Nathan and his wife Claire who live in Zurich but were down for the weekend to a little village called Ascona, near Locarno on the north shore of Lake Maggiore. It was BEAUTIFUL!!!! They were staying at the Eden Roc hotel which was A-mazing! Ascona was gorgeous, nice little lake front cafes, the lake itself was clear and looked like it would be a blast to swim in during the summer. The mountains had snow on top of them(which we were VERY excited about!)
Apparently the yellow signs all over the place were walking signs, telling you how far it was to walk to different destinations, transit, tourist areas, or the next town. There were bike signs in a different colour. Basically the Swiss are SUPER efficient and everything is brilliantly planned out. Nathan and Claire said that this was the way it was all over Switzerland. How amazing would it be to live in a society where everything actually works like its supposed to and the government has gone out of its way to make travel and getting around EASIER for everyone!!!
We wandered around Ascona and then drove up to Locarno and checked it out. Then we said goodbye to Nathan and Claire and drove home. We had a laugh when we crossed the Italy-Switzerland border because you come out of this 5.5 km long tunnel on the Swiss side, cross the border and then immediately go into a tunnel on the Italian side, and HOLY CRAP can you notice the difference!!!!!! The Italian tunnel looked shoddy at best compared to its Swiss counterpart!!! So now I'm yearning for some Swiss style efficiency in the chaos that is Italy :)

The lake front- we had coffee/lunch here. It was officially an Italian speaking Swiss town!!

Reese having a "Swiss Fit" below!!!

OK...so this is the story behind the next two pictures. Peter Greenaway is a Welsh artist/film maker who did a fairly insane project called the Tulse Luper Suitcases
This is what its all about...(from the official website)
"The Tulse Luper Suitcases reconstructs the life of Tulse Henry Purcell Luper, a professional writer and project maker, caught up in a life of prisons. He was born in 1911 in Newport, South Wales, UK and was presumably last heard of in 1989. His life was reconstructed from the evidence of 92 suitcases found around the world. 92 being the atomic number of the element Uranium(of which he had been researching) Our ambition in the next three years is to build an extensive online archive of his adventures, the places he visited, the characters he met, his prisons, the projects that he made and the objects that were found in some of the 92 suitcases, as well as events from 20th century history." Apparently its on a three year tour around the world and this just happened to be where it is currently!!!!!
this was the backside of the exhibition, which is what made us take notice in the first place as I saw suitcases hanging randomly as I walked past one of the gates on the main street!!!


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About Me

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Milan, Italy
I am 34 years old, married to my wonderful husband Richard and mother to a beautiful 8 year old daughter named Reese. We lived in the suburbs of Calgary until January 2010 where I worked as an ER Nurse. Then my husband was transferred to Vancouver for a 6 month temporary project. Our blog Tripping over the Sidewalk told all about our adventure living on the 30th floor of an apartment building in the middle of downtown Vancouver. Then we moved to Milan, Italy for 18 months, Ciao-Eh was the online forum for our Italian adventures. We moved to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates in January 2012 and lived there for two and a half years. Sandscrapers, Souks and Sand is the blog of our adventures in the Middle East! We are now happy to be back on a little acreage just outside of Calgary where I'm sure more adventures await!!!!



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