Monthly Archive for November, 2008

6 months in Switzerland

Wow, can’t believe that 6 months ago we boarded a plane to Switzerland.  Having no idea what would await us here.  We had no job, not much money and big dreams to fulfill.  And we are still here – with a job, still not much money and a lot of fulfilled dreams later.

It feels longer than 6 months as so much has happened, we have had many new experiences and met so many great people.  Highlights have been having family and friends visit and doing some travelling of our own.  I love this country.  I still can’t get enough of the beauty, history and good food.  I know, food…  It plays a huge role in my life.  Good thing we haven’t got a car so I am forced to bike or walk everywhere.  I still can’t resist stopping in at every bakery I come across and just taking in the smell and array of fine breads and pastries (you know all about that Missie and Mum!).

Thanks for sharing in our adventure thus far, for your support, love and prayers.

Aarau Rüeblimarkt

So Aargau is the ‘carrot canton’ of Switzerland, a bit like Ohakune is in NZ.  And Aarau – being the capital of Aargau – has an annual Rüeblimarkt (carrot fair).  And guess what you do – buy carrots.  And other stuff made with carrots, like carrot soup, carrot cake, carrot bread, carrot muffins, carrot chocolate, carrot decorations, carrot juice etc.  I had a nosey yesterday.  It was crowded but worthwhile.  There were lots of other stands too selling everyday market stuff.

Aaah, i love all these traditions and markets.  Bring on the Christmas markets – they are everywhere in Europe and are like a dream.  Can’t wait.  Louise and I went to the Stuttgart one about 10 years ago (doesn’t that make us sound so old, Louise?!).  That was pretty awesome, overwhelming even.  It isn’t even about buying stuff, it is about the experience.  It is about walking around out in the freezing cold, drinking Gluhwein, eating Heisse Marroni and being captivated by the magical atmosphere! Now, just have to decide which ones to go to.  Anyone got any suggestions / recommendations?

To market, to market

It has been a week of markets.  On Monday, I went with 3 girlfriends, 5 kids and 4 pushchairs to the Basel Herbstmesse (Autumn Fair).  It was the 538th annual Herbstmesse – just to give you an idea of how long it has been running!   And it is spread out over 7 different parts of the city for 2 weeks.  It is HUGE and awesome.

We had lots of fun travelling on the train to Basel (try and get four pushchairs on and off one carriage and then onto a narrow old tram!).  At the fair were hundreds of stands, all beautifully presented (perhaps thousands in total).  You could get everything from Anis biscuits to dried apple to candles, mugs and many beautiful handmade items.  And lots of Swiss delicacies – including magenbrot, raclette, chocolate covered bananas, apples, Opfel Chuechli and other stuff I can’t remember.

We spent our time in Petersplatz which is beautifully set amongst trees, and had a traditional carousel in the middle (which the kids all had a ride on, of course!). Unfortunately, I didn’t take my camera so missed out on some wonderful photos but here are a couple from ones taken in previous years.

Today was the Rüeblimarkt in Aarau – will post about that one tomorrow.

Toby turns four

Yesterday was Toby’s 4th birthday.
Here are a few photos of him in birthday mode, trying out his new laufrad, at Roggenhausen and the cake at Muki Treff.  As is tradition in our family, Toby got to choose what he wanted for breakfast, so it was Gipfeli (croissants) and M&Ms all round!


I know Michelle writes better blog posts than I do, so I’ll make this quick.


She used several exclamation marks, and even wrote some words in CAPS, but I’m not entirely convinced that Michelle managed to express just how awesome it is to have snow around. Trust me: think about just how awesome the most awesome thing you can think of is, and multiply it by a factor of at least 10 or 12. Then you’ll have some idea of the order of magnitude of awesomeness I’m trying to describe. And it wasn’t even the best snow.


This is an awesome lamp. It takes our already-awesome apartment into the next league of awesome.