Sunday, April 26, 2015

Wissifluh; a perfect Sunday getaway

I have been living in Lucerne, the main city in the heart of Switzerland, for over a year now and I cannot stop being amazed by the natural beauty that surrounds it! Your eyes will be constantly spoilt by an incredibly idyllic nature of mountains in their varied shapes and sizes, historical villages around the lake marked by the heroic legend of Wilhelm Tell , lavish hilly fields dotted with imposing wooden farm houses and the snow-capped Alps visible in the distance. The irregularly shaped Lake Lucerne (or its real name Lake of The Four Cantons, in German Vierwaldst√§ttersee) unifies this idyll in a unique and compacted geographical area belonging to the Cantons of Lucerne, Schwyz, Uri and Unterwald (today split into the Canton of Nidwalden and Obwalden).

Apart of the world's most known mountains such as Rigi Kulm, Pilatus, Stanserhorn and Engelberg, the area offers an infinite number of unique hidden spots to be discovered. One of my favourite ones is Wissifluh which offers a thrilling cable-car journey to the top of the mountain and a mind-blowing view over Lake Lucerne. 

View over Lake Lucerne from Wissifluh

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Basque Countries: Euskal Herria

Being Swiss, I felt almost at home while traveling through the Basque Countries. In fact, I found they were like a mini Switzerland on the ocean: a land of small towns and tiny villages spread all over the hills and valleys, clean and well organized. There aren't lakes but a breathtaking ocean coast instead!

The Coast

Monday, February 25, 2013

Discovering Ethiopia "from inside"

Since 2010 I have been working on a voluntary base for a non-profit organization called INSIDE TRAVEL which offers interactive and social trips to Ethiopia. Under the motto "Discover, Learn, Participate", the 11-day program offers you the opportunity to meet local people of different backgrounds, discuss with them, learn about the culture and participate in various activities to be part of the everyday life in Ethiopia. 

From February 3 -13 (2013), I had the great honor to coordinate together with my two Ethiopian colleagues, Abye and Wondi, one of the interactive trips which took place in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and in the Gurage region. The group of travelers was composed of 11 participants coming mainly from Switzerland and formed by a varied mix of ages including a family with two kids. The majority of the participants were young, aged between 23 and 31 years old. The youngest child was 9 and the eldest lady was 59... a great mix!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Chaotic but Entertaining Marrakesh!

I have only spent 5 days in Morocco which was enough time to get a taste of it. But I wouldn't mind going back for a deeper exploring at least into the countryside.

Marrakesh, former imperial city of Morocco's history, is located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains and is a must! First of all, I would recommend it even only for feeling the frenetic confusion of its remarkable human jungle. There, is where you get a unique sensation of constant total chaos but with a hint of enchantment.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chichi: an impressively colourful market!

Chichicastenango (a town in the El Quiche' department of Guatemala) means "Tenango"= the place of "Chichi" = nettles, a very flowery tree. In fact the town is known just as Chichi. El Quiché is mainly populated by a large community of indigenous Maya who leave all over on the mountains surrounding Chichi. The visit of this town is definitely worth it only on its market days: Thursday and Sunday. It starts very early in the morning between 7 and 8 am and lasts until 4 pm when the stalls slowly start to get dismantled. The market stalls, mainly hand-made with wooden sticks and ropes only, are found along both sides of the back-streets and the biggest section is found in the main plaza between the two white churches facing one another (see picture of one church below).


The best time to shop is in the afternoon after 1pm when the majority of the tourists, who arrive with an organized tour, have just left and therefore it is easier to get better deals :o) . Bargaining is part of the game and the latest you'll do it better prices you'll get!