Author Archive for Dan Willis

More snowboarding

This is the third weekend in a row that I’ve been snowboarding. It is so awesome.

I’ve been frequenting Flumserberg; a resort about 2 hours from where I’m staying. It’s pretty accessible; just hop out of the train into the gondola and up the mountain. The end of the season draws near, but there is still plenty of snow due to the particularly cold and snowy winter we’ve had here in Switzerland.

Here are some photos I took today. I tried to write fairly interesting and descriptive descriptions, so don’t be scared to look a bit closer:

Also, I have to mention that my lovely wife sent me my favourite sweets from NZ: Pascall Eskimos. She is awesome and I miss her and she really needs to post on this blog!!

I know I still owe you some posts, too.

Just got back from the airport…

Michelle and the boys have just flown out, and I’m here for another six weeks to finish work, hand over the apartment and tie up any loose ends.

I’m sure Michelle will blog about her trip, and I’ve got a couple of posts lined up (Geneva Auto Salon, and more) so there will still be plenty more to read about here.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying our sunny balcony – something we’ve not really been able to do until recently.

Top 10 Cars: Aston Martin DB4GTZ

I’ve added a write-up for the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato to my Top 10 Cars list.


So we recently spent a week in Bettmeralp (Google Maps shows it in summer, which is not cool. Zoom out to get an idea of where is is. The resort also has it’s own website.), as you may know, and I tried my hand at a bit of snowboarding.

There’s limited photographic evidence due to a) me going by myself most of the time, and b) I don’t have a nice long telephoto to stick on the front of my Canon.

We arrived on the Saturday and I went across the road to the ski school and booked a 1-hour private lesson for the next morning. My colleague Alain lent me his board and boots, which was totally awesome, and thanks to some decent sports shop sales, I was kitted out.

I met Patrick, my instructor, at the learner’s slope the next morning and got cracking. Had a wee muck around at the bottom, and I quickly got back the feel from the day-and-half I did on Ruapehu about 18 months ago.
We hopped on the T-bar and made it to the top. I had been told that the T-bar was the worst part of snowboarding (only a chair-lift and a platter (platters suck) on Happy Valley at Whakapapa), but if you know what you’re doing and relax, it’s sweet as. The next hour went fast, as I learned the toe-side and heel-side positions for traversing, and the turns. Took a few tumbles, but got the hang of it fairly quickly.

After my lesson I did a few more runs by myself without bailing and had pretty much mastered the learning slope.

I managed to get back on the slopes a few times throughout the remainder of the week and found that as I gained confidence I started to crash more, but that was cool; it’s all part of the fun! I got in a full day’s boarding on the Friday, and managed to get down most of the blue slopes on the mountain and thoroughly enjoyed it.

And here’s the sole item of evidence for your verification:

I’m really keen to get back on the board, so I’ve been looking at some rail and snow deals (Jessica writes about these) and there are some massive resorts around; St Moritz has over 350km of pisten with 56 lifts. Crazy! So I’ll have to disappear for a couple of long weekends sometime soon 🙂

A awesome cat

So, since this blog is brought to you by the word ‘awesome’, I thought this picture was rather appropriate.  It doesn’t get much more awesome that that.

Oh, and how is our cat, Michael and Adele?  Hopefully not lost, but surely just as awesome and chubby as this one!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Willis family

Thanks for following our Swiss adventures; we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Weight a minute

In which Dan tells of his battle of the bulge, and breaking his addiction to other harmful substances.

It’s a compelling tale, so do read on…
Continue reading ‘Weight a minute’

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.


My top 10 cars update

I’ve re-formatted my top ten cars list. I’ve completed the list, but haven’t finished any more write-ups.