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Spring 2015 Caves Ouvertes: A biking adventure to Satigny and Dardagny

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A popular event in Switzerland is the Caves Ouvertes where vineyards open their wine cellars to public for free tasting. In Geneva, this is usually done in May and in November. The May Caves Ouvertes is always the most popular one as people welcome the warmer weather.

 

It is also an opportunity to buy really good wines at a cheaper price since you are directly getting them from the vineyard owners. I remember last year, I really liked a Sheurebe in Satigny but since we were biking, I was too lazy to get bottles at the Caves Ouvertes. It was sold at around 16 francs. After a couple of months, I saw bottles of it, from the exact same vineyard, at Globus but they were sold at 38 swiss francs per bottle. Ridiculous, right? Well, it’s Geneva.

 

It is also very common to combine a biking/cycling adventure with the Caves Ouvertes – although it can be a dangerous activity once you had too much to drink. This year, my friends and I decided to bike to Satigny and all the way to Dardagny. The entire route was approximately 40 km with seriously steep uphill. Same as last year, we also had a really good weather at this year’s Caves Ouvertes. Although we were dying of exhaustion at the end of the day (most of us are not really serious bikers), we had a really great time. So yeah, I look forward to another Caves Ouvertes next year.

xo, I.

When 14 Minutes is Too Long for You…

My Filipino friend would always say: “You’d know you’ve lived long enough in Geneva if 15 minutes of waiting for the bus to arrive is too long for you”. I’d say TRUE!

During my last year in the Manila, before I came to Geneva, I commuted from home to work. We live at Montalban, Rizal while my work was in Makati City. Montalban is 1.5-3 hour commute ride to and from Makati City. On weekdays, my mom, sister and I would leave the house before 6 AM and I would reach work at 7.30 – 8.00 AM. Going home was much more difficult because of a heavier traffic. I would leave the office between 5.00 to 5.30 PM and I would arrive home at around 7.30 – 8.00 PM. During Christmas season, town festival, or sale season, which is like almost every month in Manila, the travel home can go up to 3-4 hours! (and I am not exaggerating on these figures)

The long queues at the terminals is another story as well. Just this January, during my vacation in Manila, I was reminded that, in my hometown, if I reach the shuttle terminal at past 6.30 AM, I have to stand in a long queue for a good 45 minutes to finally get a ride to the city. 

So why am I saying this? Just to make a point that as a Filipino, my patience for commuting, by nature (or nurture that is), is relatively long. However, being in another country with an excellent local transportation system tend to take that away. My apartment is probably 6 minutes drive away from my office. When I take the local trasportation, which I normally do, it usually takes me around 15 minutes to reach the office, including waiting time. I also take 2 buses going to work and the last bus actually stops right in front of my office (talk about convenience, right?).

Moving on to my main point, yesterday, when I arrived at Nations, the bus stop where I get the bus (Bus F) that passes by my office, I saw in the monitor that it was arriving in 14 minutes. I thought: yikes! that’s too long! So I immediately pulled out my trusty iphone and checked the arrival of Bus 28, which also passes by my office but is less frequent than Bus F and the bus stop, although also in Nations, it is located in a weird corner.  Anyway, when I checked my TPG app, TPG is the name of centralized public transportation in Geneva, I saw that Bus 28 is arriving in 8 minutes. So, I immediately brisk-walked towards there (it’s a 2-3 minute walk from bus stop for F to bus stop for 28). That’s when I realized: Geez! There’s only 6 minutes difference between the two buses! Although walking is good for my health, but what does it say about my patience?! hahaha!

So, I therefore conclude that 1 yr and 9 months of living in Geneva is long enough to feel that 14 minutes of waiting for the bus is quite long enough despite my 27 years of training of loooong commutes. Yikes!

TIP: If you are living in Geneva, you have an iphone (or an ipad) and you haven’t discovered the TPG app yet… well, what are you waiting for?! It is a very useful app. It gives you a real-time bus schedules.

That’s all for now! Ciao!

xx ~I.