Pink Tour 2013

So… I’m back! After over 6 months a year two years on hiatus. Wheeee!

What have I been up to? I’ve never blogged about it specifically, but I’m so excited to share this with the world, or whoever reads this sad little blog. In March 2013, my first client project was the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Pink Tour. My work was mostly office-based for the first few months, but the tour officially kicked off in June. From June 12th until October 31st, 2013, I traveled with a small team of health educators across Ontario on a 50′ retrofitted pink bus… for a total of 17,000+ kilometres. What craziness!! But in the best way possible :)

The inaugural tour in 2012 was hugely successful, so the CBCF decided to organize it one more time in Ontario. The purpose of the tour was to educate women on how to be ‘breast aware’ through interactive learning tools on board the bus. We made stops at events/festivals, community centres, sponsors, workplaces with a large number of women, and much much more. As the program coordinator, my work involved around the logistics related to the tour and managing the girls on board.

The bus in action!

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The Capital of Christmas

This entry is exactly three months too late…. sigh. Actually four, but oh well. In November, I visited Strasbourg, France, or better known as the capital of Christmas, due to their Christmas market festivities as well as its world-famous trees and decorations (Run on sentence much? Oh well). Jacky had visited the city before with his school (not during Christmas though), and from my research, it seemed like a really nice place to travel to. And what better than to make a trip during the most wonderful time of the year?

When I first heard of the city “Strasbourg”, I thought it was in Germany because of.. well, it’s Germanic name. I  was really surprised to learn that it’s actually a French city, but the name makes sense since it’s right on the border of the two countries. Because of the Christmas attractions, the train ride was discounted at about 75 SFr round trip. The train ride takes less than 4 hours one way from Lausanne (with 1-2 transfers), so if you have the energy, you could make it a day trip from a Swiss city.. which is what I did. But I’m a fast traveler (did I already blog about my 20 minute stay in Liechtenstein??), so if you want to feel more.. relaxed.. then stay a few days!

The first thing I noticed was the unique architecture. I found the “structure” quite standard (from my noob observations), but the fact that they have a pinkish undertone was really eye-catching to me

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Lovely Lucerne

Last November, I trained to Lucerne for a day trip.. Well, more like a half day or quarter day trip.

Typically, tourists visiting Switzerland stop by either Lucerne and Interlaken for a picturesque stay in the country. While Lucerne is no doubt breath-taking, I don’t find it all that spectacular compared to lesser visited towns like Vevey, Montreux, Nyon, etc. As a visitor, if you’re arriving from the French-speaking side, I would recommend just sticking to the Lake Geneva region – it is a lot closer (transport in Switzerland isn’t cheap) and is just as beautiful. Albeit gorgeous, Lucerne is quite touristy and doesn’t feel as authentic to me.

Lake Lucerne

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A weekend in Prague

I took my first day of holiday to spend a “long” weekend in Prague. I’ve wanted to go for a long time now, even more so every time a friend tells me about how gorgeous the city is.  The flight was reasonably priced (240Sfr roundtrip), so after thinking for a week or two I decided to go ahead with it. Similar to Dublin, I originally booked a room at a hostel but then decided to stay more comfortably at a hotel instead. I stayed at Vintage Design Hotel Sax, a cute boutique hotel that I highly recommend to anyone wanting to stay at somewhere inexpensive, clean and located conveniently.

Prague is a very walkable city. I lived west of the Vltava River, and it took less than 15 minutes to get to any of the bridges. Charles Bridge is in a class of its own. I spent 30 minutes walking across the bridge, when a normal un-distracted person would probably take 3. The views are stunning!

East of the river

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Basel Herbstmesse 2012

The Basel Herbstmesse is an annual two-and-a-half week festival that also happens to be the largest and oldest amusement fair in Switzerland. This year, it ran from October 27th – November 11th. This celebration of the fall season goes back 500+ years and is an event that the locals, and even people coming from nearby Germany, look forward to every year. It’s suitable for people of all ages, kids especially love it! Since I’m in Switzerland this year, might as well see what it’s like right? So on the first Friday of this month, I took the train to Basel after work and stayed over at Amrutha’s place so we could explore the city for the whole day on Saturday.

The city centre fair is huuuge! I was really impressed. The festival is organized into eight “sections” – Kasernenareal, Messeplatz, Rosentalanlage, Messehalle, Münsterplatz, Petersplatz, Barfüsserplatz, and Claraplatz. All the locations are accessible by tram, but since the festival is PACKED, at times we found exploring by foot a lot more convenient. Anyway, there’s lots to do, buy and soo much to eat!! Honestly if you plan on going, go with an empty stomach cuz there are so many traditional Swiss snacks to try. A bit expensive, but it’s Switzerland..

This was the first section we visited

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