Monday, December 20, 2010


All over Switzerland, this is the time where Christmas market sprung up in towns and villages. 

I do think its kind of fulfilling a basic economic theory, where there is demand, there is supply. Just like in Malaysia, people tend to spend more during the period leading up to a festival. People need new stuffs to celebrate the coming celebration and are more than willing to part with their hard earned money.

SBB (the Swiss Rail company) offers good rail tickets discount (30%) for those who wants to visit these Christmas markets. If a person have a 1/2 fare card, it will be double, meaning 30% off the Christmas market discount plus the 1/2 fare, for a total discount of 80% from the the original ticket price. Children below 16 travels for free provided they have a Junior Card and travels with at least one parent.  Since my love one and I have the 1/2 fare card, its a huge savings for us. Besides, I could enjoy the scenery on the train and not stress out trying to find the always elusive and difficult to find parking space.

Perhaps KTM could learn a thing or too from SBB and offer something similar since its a good way of promoting, attracting and encouraging people to visit.

I think I dont have to write about Montreux since its already famous and need no introduction. I mean, the jazz festival, the place where they sort of adopted Freddie Mercury need no more write up from me, right?

I observed the Christmas Market in Montreux do offer a variety of stuff that are not sold in the next door supermarket. Locally made handicrafts were featured prominently on the display, in between cheap clothing with its Made in China labels.Lots of good food too. Apart from that, there are stalls that sells Christmas ornaments and biblical figurines. And as usual in this kind of place, there are always  something to attract the children.. A giant ferris wheel  rose above the stalls. Its crowded, hectic and very fun place for people watching. The Christmas Market location right on the shores of Lake Geneva guarantees a great sunset view of the lake and the Chablais Alps.

These are some of the pics I took.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Geneva is having its annual Festival Arbres & Lumières (Trees and Lights Festival) starting from the end of  November until early January 2011. Its too tempting not to go and capture as much pics as possible of the event despite the below zero temperature.

The reflection on the lazy flowing river and lake are simply stunning and I hope I have done enough to convey the amazing sights with my camera. 

I have also submitted 2 entries for this event photo contest. Better to do something with the photo than to keep it in my hard disk. A win would be nice, but the most important thing is that I finally have the courage and the confidence to let my work be judged in a competition. (Thanks for the support and encouragement, FB friends!)

Still got a lot to learn.

Enjoy the pics.

Friday, December 3, 2010


This is a series of pics I took right after the snow storm subsided in Geneva. The pics turns out quite nice. People walked past me heading for home when I took these pics and I was the only one standing with a tripod taking photos.

Anyway, please enjoy these.

Should have lowered the tripod to capture that footprint. Isk!


This is my favourite!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Geneva was hit by a severe snow storm yesterday, paralyzing most of the public transportation. It snowed from Tuesday's night for about 24 hours non stop.

People walked to their work place since buses were stranded on the streets all over Geneva. Those who drives, found their cars and motorcycles under a deep blanket of fresh snows on Wednesday morning. Those who did not change their summer tires quickly found out that its a slippery world out there, with their cars skidding on the road.

By mid afternoon Wednesday, some people took out their skis and actually skied to the office. Seriously. Unfortunately I was not there to snap the pics and have to rely on what was seen by my love one and a colleague. (They swear its true!)

I was amazed to see a few guys cycling to to work in the deep snow. As far as I know, there are no snow tires made for bicycles. 

The snow blizzard finally stops around late Wednesday night after its success of disrupting the normal, everyday life of the people in Geneva.

The children however just simply loves it, and were spotted happily sledding and throwing snowballs.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Dah 2 minggu dah tak lepak pepagi kat Pekan Geneva ambik gambor. Sebabnya aku demam, omputih kata flu. Ni pesen takde paneh badan. Seram sejuk, lesu jer badan. Lama pula tu, sampai 2 minggu tak leh lepak memana. 

Geneva ni memang tahap pekan sebenornya. Tak besor sangat pun. Keliling naik beskal tak sampai sejam abih dah.

Lepak pepagi ni seronok sebab tak de orang. Lecehnya kalau ada pulak orang sini yang bawak anjing datang eksais. (Undang-undang kat sini anjing tu kena bawak eksais, kalau dak jiran tau dia report polis. SIRIUS!  Tak menipu aku nih!) Di lepaihnyer pulak anjing tu. Dah ler aku ni memang phobia ngan anjing sebab kekecik dulu kena tokak anjing jenis anjing polis. Ada parut lagi tang betih aku. Aku ushar jer dengan  penuh curiga kalau nampak depa bawak anjing.

Ni jambatan yang rentas hujung Tasik Geneva. Kat sini kalau nak buat jambatan kena ada referandum, semua penduduk sekitar kena setuju. Tak setuju tak buat. Kalau rajin ada la depa letak bendera kat tiang-tiang bendera kiri kanan jambatan tu. Cantik jugak nengok.


Kat sini tempat shopping. Tu yang tertera Louis Vuitton, aku cukup ngelak kalau keluor dengan orang rumah. Hala ke lain je la aku pun.

Memang banyak bot-bot kecik, saiz sedang depa parking kat Tasik Geneva ni. Seronok ambik gambor.

Pandangan dari sisi bawah jambatan.

Yang ni gambor tingkap display beg tangan LV, tengok menarik gak cahaya lampu dia kat sini. So aku teruih snap. (Untuk rekod, aku memang tak minat beg LV!).

Friday, November 12, 2010


Autumn this year is fantastic. Lots of sunshine with occasional rain which is really great for outdoor sports. Last year, I remember that it was raining all the time. Wet and cold.

Autumn is hands down my favourite season of the year. The picturesque golden and yellow leaves, especially when the sun is shining bright is simply breathtakingly beautiful. Forest floors covered with fallen leaves makes it more interesting to admire at.

It is the time however for the people here to bring out their winter clothing,.I have to say the colours are quite dull since usually  the main choice is dark. Dark blue, dark green, dark grey and black. But I have seen quite a  few ladies here wearing red hot RED outer wear and jackets and obviously it stands out in a crowd of dull clothes. Thats the way to do it to attract attention. For shoes, boots, worn knee length with skirts are popular among the women. Really nice to look at.

Daylight is also getting shorter. The sun now sets at 5.00 pm and by 8.30 pm, it feels like midnight. The nights are long and cold. And theres the Daylight Saving Time which means adjusting the clock backward 1 hour. I am still confuse about this thing even though I have experience it many times. Luckily, now almost every electrical appliances with a digital clock adjust itself automatically while I am asleep when its time to do that.

Autumn means that drivers flock to their mechanics and their favourite autoshop to change their vehicle summer tires to the winter ones. Motorcyclists brings our their full face helmet, even those who do not own a big bike since its very cold and the intention is obviously to keep their heads warm. Leg blankets to cover their exposed knees are attached to the motorcycles to keep the wind away. Gloves are a must for those who still ride their bikes at this time..

It is a common practice for shops here to sell their summer stuff at a very low price to get rid of the things they could not sell during the summer time since people just wont buy it at normal price. This is the time to buy summer cloths if `the waiting' to wear it for next year's summer is not an issue.On the other hand, winter jackets and clothing prices is so damn expensive. For instance a good, warm winter jacket can cost around CHF 250.00 - CHF 350.00. Imagine, like me, I have to spend quite a lot for all five person in my family. And that does not include shoe wares, sweaters, etc. So of course my strategy is to buy those things in off season sales since it cost much, much less that way.

The changing weather also means that its a season of getting those common colds, fever and coughs.Cant escape that since its quite infectious. I was accused of spreading it in my office since I was the one who got it first!  If only I knew from whom I got it from in the first place. :)

I have mentioned in the earlier part of this post, autumn is also great for outdoor activities since its much cooler than those summer months, and as far as that is concern, I sort of admire the people here.

From my observation, Swiss consistently go out to do some outdoor activities, never mind what kind of seasons they are experiencing. In autumn, people are still cycling, jogging and hiking even though its cold. And come winter, apart from all that, they will take up winter sports like skiing, skating and snowboarding. Being active is but a second nature to them. Its no surprise to see people in their 60s and 70s still actively exercising. I met quite a lot of them doing just that in my weekend walk about shooting pics.

As for me, I really enjoyed autumn this year where I got bitten by the hiking bug and have not  miss a weekend of viewing beautiful scenery in places that I will never have gone too if  I drive. Took a lot of awesome pics as well.

Winter is just around the corner, and that means a whole range of new outdoor activities for me to experience. But no sledding this winter, since I have been scarred for life by the broken tail bones incident last year. (I  somehow has developed a phobia of getting my butt on  a sled).

Skiing looks like a fun alternative, but we'll see. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Cameras in Switzerland is damn expensive!

I just checked the price of a Canon 7D (body only) and its CHF 2,039. It would of course be more with additional standard lens kit.

In the online shop B&H, a Canon 7D Canon with EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens Kit cost only about USD 1,799.95. and shipping to Switzerland is USD 145.82, which means, the total cost if buying online is USD 1,945.75. 

Much, much cheaper. 

In addition, I was made to understand there is however an import tax levied,by Swiss custom, but still, the final cost will be much less than buying it in Switzerland.

In other related stuff, Canon 60D is finally out here on the shelves in Geneva and it sells for  CHF 1,122.00 which is about RM 3,570.85. Price check with Canon Malaysia shows that for 60D (body only) the price is RM 3,338.00. Where else in B n H, it sells for USD 999.00 @ RM 3,086.41.

So again, its much cheaper to buy from B n H.

That being said, there is of course the risk factor buying online, which I am sure we are quite well aware off.

Canon 60D review here.