Swiss Bliss Day 3 (Part 1)

Using Lausanne as our base, we took off on our first day trip, testing the efficiency and punctuality of the Swiss transport system. Our destination for the day? Geneva. Most of you might be wondering why would I want to visit such a city when there are so many other interesting towns and villages to visit. My main reason was the United Nations, while the rest of the family wanted to do some shopping.

A quick check of the train schedule allowed us to hop onto one of the earliest non-stop train to Geneva. Don’t worry, there are plenty of choices even if you missed your connection.

Tram/Bus/Metro Maps

Using the Swiss transport or actually any other public transport in Europe is pretty simple. Don’t worry about the number of lines or which colour are you supposed to be on first. The most important thing is to know where do you want to go, if possible, the name of the bus/tram/train/Metro stop. Then in order to know which direction on the platform that you are supposed to be on, look for the last bus/tram/train station that you are heading towards.

Tram #15

Tram #15

For example, I am heading towards Genève Nations from Genève Cornavin. From the schedule, there are two numbers that passes through my stop — a #8 bus and a #15 tram. I’m supposed to be heading TOWARDS Nations, so the last station would have to be AWAY from Cornavin. For the bus it was Genève OMS and for the tram, Genève Nations. Just my luck, I see the tram heading my way, usually the last station will be shown on the display at the front of the bus/tram.

Most of the time, the same numbered bus will also travel in the other direction, so saving you another hassle of looking at the map.

Continue reading →

Advertisements

24 Hours Music Video

Pushing the boundaries of the normal music video duration (+/- 4 minutes), Pharrell Williams latest music video — Happy is 24 hours long. Don’t worry, you won’t be watching him for 24 hours, he will only show up at certain periods of the day. The rest of the time is filled up by other stars including some well known ones. See if you can sit through the whole video and identify each and every celebrity that shows up on the video.

If you don’t have the time, just view the ‘normal’ version below.

 

Eliminating Medical Errors

Ever wonder what can a few designers come up with if they share ideas with people from the medical profession? The DOME (designing out medical error) project took three years to study the typical routine of healthcare professionals and infused their own ideas into the design.

They came up with the CareCentre which serves all needs of a typical doctor in a single, free-standing station that can be situated at the foot of the bed. These come complete with hand gel, gloves, aprons, drug locker, chart surface, waste and needle bins.

Care Centre

Care Centre

At least these people gave much thought into the process. Over here, we have almost a similar setup except the authorities prefer to do it alone without consulting anyone else. And there was a time limit to these projects, usually less than a year. Furthermore, those involved seemed lethargic when it comes to sharing their ideas.

Café de Grancy

I read about this place during my research into good food in Lausanne. Although initially my reason for choosing this place was because of its locality. It is on the south side (downhill) of the main train station and the Grancy Metro station is just right next to it. Since it was within walking distance, we dropped by at 7pm without any reservations.

Reservations? This is still a new concept for us. Unless for certain parties and celebrations, we seldom resort to booking for a place at the local diner/restaurant back home. Usually, the shopowner would go all out into getting a place for us but not so over here. If the place is booked, then so be it, even though there are empty tables staring back at you.

Enough about that, we didn’t reserve a place but we got seated anyway. So all is fine. So far so good.

Tom Sawyer (name of the drink)

Tom Sawyer (name of the drink)

The decor can be considered as chic, catered towards Gen-X, such as the wife and I. A bookcase divides the bar from the sitting area and it’s full of good reads. I saw a couple of titles there, unfortunately they were in French. Not only that, they have a selection of board games too, I tried looking for Settlers of Catan but I think someone was playing it already.

If that wasn’t enough proof of the restaurant’s laid back attitude, check out the names behind your chairs. I was seated on Van Helsing’s spot, there’s Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Lee, Al Pacino and a few more famous names.

Food wise? It was superb. The prices can be exorbitant but then what isn’t in Switzerland. Just empty your wallets and enjoy your meal here. No one is in a rush as can be seen with the books and board games. We saw two families of four that were together and they took two to three hours to finish their dinner. They played boardgames, went for a smoke, came back and had their dinner, went out for a smoke again before finishing it up with desserts.

Saumon? Salmon?

Saumon? Salmon?

My Saute Poulet

My Saute Poulet

Despite the heavy lunch, we ordered four dishes and two helpings of desserts. We had the créme brulée and something that had meringues in it. All in, it was a good experience and the ambience was very nice. A perfect way to end the day in Lausanne.

The price? CHF174.50 for the six of us.

Six

Six

Café de Grancy

Avenue Rond-Point 1

Swiss Bliss Day 2 (Part 3)

After the satisfying lunch of burgers, it was time to walk off the calories and indulge in some window shopping around the area. The shopping zone is bordered by Rue Centrale on the north, the Grand Pont to the west, the Pont Bressières on the east and Place St-François on the south.

“Get your maps out and mark out the area,” I said. Knowing full well that GC and QS will soon embark on some brand name hunt, I have better make sure they don’t get lost.

“We will meet you up at the Olympic Museum in two hours time,” chipped in the wife. We are off towards sightseeing rather than window shopping.

Look at the sign motifs!

Look at the sign motifs!

Window shopping

Window shopping

Continue reading →