It’s all about my travels in Europe.

So Swiss: Eat Fondue & Raclette

La fondue crée la bonne humeur. Fondue isch guet und git e gueti Luune (figugegl). 'fondue creates a good mood' - a promotional slogan created for Swiss cheese fondue

Cheese fondue is more popular as a national dish of Switzerland. I've been here for more than a year so I would commit a crime only if I haven't had a taste of it.  Yet fortunately enough, it's also at this month last year when I enjoyed not only cheese fondue but also raclette, for the first time.

Fondue and raclette are both Swiss and French dishes. Nonetheless cheese fondue in particular, is claimed to be as a Swiss national food during the 1930s by the league of Swiss cheesemakers as a way to increase cheese consumption in the country.

Fondue has also been generalized to other dishes such as chocolate fondue and fondue bourguignonne, where food pieces are dipped into a shared pot of hot liquid. Both terms fondue and raclette are derived from French verbs: fondre meaning 'to melt' and racler 'to scrape.' From these words, it's already giving you an idea how these dishes are done.

A Glimpse of Annecy

Annecy is one of the villages at the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France and it is known for its lake, Lac d'Annecy. Together with our very own Taal Lake in the Philippines, Lake Annecy has also been featured as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world at Budget Travel magazine.

From the city proper, there's a beautiful green park and a very charming canal, alluring us to walk a few steps more; and there you will find where the water is coming from. At the foot of a majestic mountain lies the equally bewitching lake of Annecy.

We found ourselves very lucky, since the weather turned out to be warmer than we expected. The bright, sunny day added to the beauty of the lake. The water's captivatingly clear that I really felt like going for a good plunge, just like the ducks here that were not shy to show off their butts!

So Swiss: Visit these Swiss Places, Lonely Planet says

Click on the image to see more of Switzerland, courtesy of Lonely Planet.

Benazir Bhutto expresses her distrust when she said, “I’ve never had a bank account in Switzerland since 1984. Why would the Swiss do this to me? Maybe the Swiss are trying to divert attention from the Holocaust gold scandal. ” Gertrude Stein nonetheless shows her confidence, “In a war everybody always knows all about Switzerland, in peace times it is just Switzerland but in war time it is the only country that everybody has confidence in, everybody.”

Graham Greene is being sarcastic afterall, “In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock! ” Larry David follows suit, “Switzerland is a place where they don’t like to fight, so they get people to do their fighting for them while they ski and eat chocolate. ” Ernest Hemingway takes Greene rather seriously and replies in an artsy manner, “Switzerland is a small, steep country, much more up and down than sideways, and is all stuck over with large brown hotels built on the cuckoo clock style of architecture.”

Read more

10 Things I’m Loving Now – i amsterdam

In Amsterdam the water is the mistress and the land the vassal. Throughout the city there are as many canals and drawbridges as bracelets on a Gypsy’s bronzed arms.

– Felix Marti-Ibanez

From life’s simple stuff to grandiose pleasures, bring it on!

Whenever I am off for vacation, days before the trip I’d normally google and read articles about my next destination. This time however, I didn’t do much. I was less excited. I only had few expectations. Perhaps I was influenced by what I heard (about the Dutch) and what the trip is primarily intended (for a conference).

Read more

10 Things I’m Loving Now – mad about madrid

Fui sobre agua edificada, mis muros de fuego son. Esta es mi insignia y blasón.
(On water I was built, my walls are made of fire. This is my ensign and escutcheon.)
– Motto of Madrid, Spain

From life’s simple stuff to grandiose pleasures, bring it on!

My first time to go out of Switzerland and visit another piece of Europe, the Madrid vacation has somewhat made me feel close to home.

I couldn’t help but repeatedly say this many times during our stay, “Madrid is like Manila. Manila is Madrid…”.

Read more