Tag Archives: Geneva

Foulées Automnales de Meyrin 10KM Race

2 Jan

Autumn was packed full of activities. We started off with the Berlin Marathon, followed by a weekend of hiking in and around Kandersteg, then there was the Lausanne Marathon where I ran the 10KM, followed by another weekend of hiking in Emmental and another 10KM race at the end of November.

The Foulées Automnales de Meyrin is a little local fun run around Meyrin – Meyrin is our neighbouring commune and a short hop, skip and jump from our apartment. Just over 100 women participated in the race while almost 300 men dominated the course. It was a beautifully clear day and we were due to set off at 13h30. I wasn’t feeling up to running though, after a girl’s night out the night before, and knowing all the hills that were part of the course did not help to ease my thoughts of wanting to hitch a tram ride back to the apartment. I didn’t really prepare for this race either; I did maybe 3 or 4 short runs in the 4 weeks leading up to this race… so yeah, not ideal.

It was a nice course (apart from all the hills), touring around Meyrin and finishing at the stadium (official name but by no means a “stadium”). My legs held up their part of the bargain but I had a stitch for the most part of the race so again not ideal conditions. Must have been the wraps I had for lunch just before the race.. normally I don’t eat before a midday run. I finished in 51m13s and could not have been happier to have finished!

Note to self : It pays to have a good sleep and proper practiced nutrition before a race 🙂

Coming up next.. The final run for 2013 and Christmas in Australia

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Autumn in Geneva + An Autumn Recipe

11 Nov

Has it really been 11 days since I last posted something on this blog of mine? Really??

The weeks are just flying by and before we know it December will be upon us and that means Christmas, winter and snow and cold and before I get carried away I should probably get on with the fact that we’re loving Autumn! So what have we been up to?

We went to our little farm down the road to pick up some pumpkins and chestnuts…

We went for a little stroll in Meyrin…

Then we had a few little dinner parties at our place and thus begins the cooking tales of the past few weeks.

Even before I started planning the menu for this particular dinner party I knew I wanted to have an “Autumn” sort of theme.

Switzerland is so very unlike Australia when it comes to food shopping. Australia is such a large country with space and varying climates to grow just about anything all year round and you can therefore buy most fruits and vegetable from the supermarket all year round. Switzerland on the other hand is a tiny country which imports a lot of its fruit and vegetables and as a result only stocks those that are currently in season.

My husband and I have discussed this often and agree that eating according to the seasons is much more exciting. It’s Autumn now and we’re excited about the new Apple varieties coming in, pears, pumpkins, root vegetables… Oh what fun!

Anyway, back to my little autumn dinner. The menu I finally settled on consisted of a Polenta toast starter with Olive Tapenade and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, followed by a Mustard and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts wrapped in Proscuitto and a Pear and Almond Tart for dessert. I have made this tart three times now and it never fails to impress and never fails to taste 100% delicious!! So I’m going to share this recipe with you.

Pear and Almond Tart

Courtesy of Donna Hay
  • 90g butter, softened
  • ½ cup (90g) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (120g) almond meal
  • ¼ cup (40g) plain flour (or gluten-free flour for a gluten-free dessert)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder (or gluten-free powder for a gluten-free dessert)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
  • ½ cup (90g) brown sugar, extra
  • raw sugar, for sprinkling
  • double (thick) cream, to serve

Running in Geneva

13 Sep

Just a few pics from my run along the lake last night. Love running in my “current” hometown.

Jeûne Genevois Tarte aux Pruneaux (“Plum Tart”)

6 Sep

Yesterday we celebrated Geneva’s very own public holiday, Jeûne Genevois or Geneva Fast.

The website of the Republic and Canton of Geneva says the Jeûne Genevois holiday began in 1567 in remembrance of the repression against Protestants in Lyon, France. This patriotic as well as religious significance of fasting in Geneva lasted during the first half of the nineteenth century when a federal Fasting was established in 1832. The Protestants of Geneva were offended at the time of this ecumenical decision and decided to establish a Geneva Fasting. The Act of January 8, 1966 declared holiday on the day of fasting Geneva, celebrated on the Thursday following the first Sunday in September. It has gradually lost its religious significance and certainly most Genevans do not fast on this day. But was it ever really a day of fasting?

Enter the Tarte aux Pruneaux or Plum Tart in English. Historically, pies were a frugal meal so in order to allow women and servants to participate in the fasting and praying of the day, the pies were prepared and cooked the day before and was the only snack of the day. Nowadays, these pies are often the dessert for a festive meal. Why plums, you ask? They’re in season of course! In every supermarket, bakery and patisserie in Geneva you can buy a plum tart to celebrate this occasion or you can buy the ingredients and make one yourself, like me.

Eating fruit and vegetables according to the seasons has become a way of life in Geneva simply because we cannot buy everything all year round like you can in Australia. Plums are plentiful this time of year, obviously, but the introduction of these yummy fruits prompt the decline in freshness and availability of other summer fruits and berries. Not to worry, because plums are a very good source of vitamin C. They are also a good source of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, and dietary fiber. Basically, they’re good for you.

I scoured a few recipes for inspiration (like this one from Eye Candy Popper) but eventually went with my own version because I didn’t want to any added sugar. Never having made one before, I was rather chuffed with how it turned out. I leave you and your forks to this pleasant pastry.

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Marathon Training Week 15 : My thoughts on my training so far

2 Sep

4 weeks to go…

I’m sorry, what? 4 weeks to go. Yes I heard you the first time, I just don’t believe you. How can there be only 4 weeks until the Berlin Marathon? I’m not ready yet and I’m pretty sure I won’t be anywhere near where I had expected myself to be when I registered for this marathon 10 months ago.

I was coming off a high after completing my first half-marathon in Amsterdam in October 2012. There were advertisements and leaflets everywhere promoting the 2013 Berlin Marathon. I had sworn never to run a marathon, what lunacy! I don’t know what compelled me to do such a crazy thing, but on the 25th of October 2012, just days after the half-marathon, I, and 40,000 other mad people, pre-registered for the 2013 Berlin Marathon. What was I thinking?! A few months later I signed up for the Geneva half-marathon in May 2013 thinking this would be a good race and good warm up to my full marathon training. Good thinking 99! I was planning for a 1h45m half-marathon and a sub-4 hour marathon. That’s when disaster struck and my training took a nose dive. Shin splints. The reason for my withdrawal from the Geneva half marathon, the reason for my significantly adjusted training plan and time goal, and the reason for this weeks sucky performance.

There is simply no other word to describe this past week of training, sucky. Ok there’s probably plenty of other more appropriate words and I’m sure my husband will gladly show me a list of them when I get home tonight, but let’s just go with sucky shall we.

My Plan:

Untitled

What Actually Happened:

If you one of my regular readers you will know what a fantastic long run I had last week and how deserving I was of a slower week of training. As with most training plans I’ve seen, every 3-4 weeks is a “rest” week, and my plan is no different. I’ve been increasing the distance of my long runs significantly over the past 3 weeks so I was looking forward to a relatively easy 21KM run this week – plus a trip to Budapest but more on that later this week 🙂

Unfortunately my shins were sore on Sunday and Monday following my long run on Saturday and the 6KM of sprints on Monday certainly did not help. I skipped my spin class and struggled through 11KM on Wednesday. Probably a bit too much because on Friday I lasted on 6KM. It was an early morning run on Friday and fortunately my husband was up early as well preparing for his run because as soon as I got home I just cried. My ever supporting and faithful husband was there to pick up my soggy mess from the floor.

Now that I think about it, I’ve had one good long run in August. Just one. Damn these shin splints, damn my crazy idea to run a marathon and damn my determination to be at the start line in 4 weeks.

On a side note, here’s a little pic from my run on Wednesday night. Not such a bad place to be running, even if every step is painful.

Sunset Run in Geneva

Sunset Run in Geneva

Where is your favourite place to run?

Summer in Geneva

29 Aug

This week could definitely be classified as Autumn weather. Cold nights and frosty mornings leading to mildly sunny days. But before I let the pining for summer begin, here’s the best of Geneva in Summer and what we’ve been up to (other than running, shock!).

Fêtes de Genève

Every July/August, Geneva comes to life for 10 days. With over 150 free concerts, a Miss Geneva contest, 5 kilometers of fair rides, water sport competitions, and more than 150 food and drink stands, the festival draws to a close with an hour long Grand Fireworks display. The Holy Cow burgers and fries were my best food experience at the festival this year. I kid you not, these fireworks are the most incredible I have ever seen and I don’t plan on missing one while we’re here.

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A Short Tour of Western Switzerland

16 Jul

I know this post is a little late in the making but here we are! Last month we had the grand privilege of hosting and entertaining my sister and her family for a few days during their jaunt around Europe.

I had been planning their visit for months; where to go, what to see, how to entertain the kids, etc, but unfortunately the weather was less than accommodating to our plans. Nevertheless, with the hubby playing tour guide and the double pram in hand, we were seen at the following spots:

1. Lac Leman (Lake Geneva)

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

The Lake of Geneva is the largest inland lake in Europe and Geneva is at the very end of it. It is an absolutely beautiful location for an afternoon stroll in the sunshine with crystal clear water, the Alps and the Jura towering in the background and a million sail boats lining the shore. Oh, and not to forget the Jet d’Eau – the most famous landmark of Geneva (stats here for those interested)! In the Summer months, the shores of the lake are filled with people soaking up with sun and swimming in the lake. The most popular spot for swimming and sun lounging is the Bains des Paquis. Historically, the Bains des Paquis was the towns public baths however now you can not only enjoy swimming in an enclosed area but also a massage, hammam and super cheap, super yummy food at the “buvette” (plate of the day is around chf16!). From mid-July onwards there are music festivals (La Fête de la Musique and  Musiques en été) and outdoor movie theatres (CinéTransat and Orange Cinema), and of course the biggest event of the Geneva calendar the Fêtes de Genève (I will post about this one later in August). So if  you are visiting Geneva in the summertime then you will certainly not be lacking in things to see and do.

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l’Escalade – Part Two – Historical Parade

6 Jan

The Story

RoyaumeOn the night of December 11, 1602, Duke Charles Emmanuel of Savoy attacked Geneva by surprise after walking from La Roche and Haute-Savoie. There were more than two thousand men on foot and horseback and they arrived in Plainpalais, just outside the old city walls. Awoken from their slumber, the citizens of Geneva, the militia and the city guards seized their weapons to fight the enemy. No doubt there was a fierce battle that followed, but the story ends with the Frenchmen running back to their camp before sunrise.

The most famous symbol remembered from this invasion, and indeed the only part of the story we heard until attending this years celebrations,  was the pot of soup (“Marmite”) which Madame Cheynel, also known as the Mother Kingdom, tossed over the old city wall onto the head of an assailant below. Common folklore says that this was the reason for the victory over the French.

The Celebrations

DSC03819DSC03809This year was the 410th anniversary of the Escalade and celebrations commenced on Friday 7th December and ending on Sunday 9th December. The Escalade hisorical society (The Compagnie de 1602), along with over a thousand volunteers, recreates life as it was at the end of the 17th century in the old town of Geneva and around the cathedral. Festival activities to be enjoyed and explored included tours of the Old Town Hall, street defence manoeuvres and battle presentations, exhibitions of body armour and arsenal, access to secret walkways in the old town wall fortifications, and of course food stalls selling mulled wine and soup.

This was a totally new and exciting experience for us. Australia is such a young country (comparatively) that we have no wars or battles fought in the 17th century to commemorate or grand victories to celebrate, and so to join in the revelry of our adopted home town was really special.

DSC03888DSC03874The celebrations were brought to a close on Sunday evening, with a historical procession through the streets of Geneva. At five different locations along the route, the procession stops and a herald invites Genevans and visitors to recall that memorable night during which the city’s population won a lasting peace and to join in the singing of the traditional victory song.

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l’Escalade – Part One – Course de l’Escalade

3 Dec

The History

On the night of December 11, 1602, Duke Charles Emmanuel of Savoy attacked Geneva by surprise after walking from La Roche and Haute-Savoie. There were more than two thousand men on foot and horseback and they arrived in Plainpalais, just outside the old city walls. Awoken from their slumber, the citizens of Geneva, the militia and the city guards seized their weapons to fight the enemy.

In a number of places the fighting was fierce and many a heroic act was performed. As the cannon roared, the Savoyard army, driven back, was forced to flee. In the morning, the Genevans, who had lost eighteen of their fellow citizens, gathered in the churches to give thanks to God for having saved them from such grave danger.

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