Granted UNESCO world heritage status in July 2016, Villa “Le Lac” in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland celebrates its 100 year anniversary in 2023. A number of celebrations are planned until October. The Villa, on the outskirts of Vevey, is open to the public during the following hours: 1st April – 25th June, Saturday […]
Is the US slouching towards a Weimar scenario?
Remember Germany’s 1930’s Weimar Republic and the diminutive, firebrand populist who eventually seized power? Although he sees no problem in quoting Mussolini and at least initially hesitated at denouncing the Ku Klux Klan, Donald Trump is not exactly comparable to Hitler, at least not quite yet, but then neither was Hitler at the beginning. The […]
Is Lausanne beating Geneva?
A Tale of Two Cities “Lausanne is the capital of Suisse Romande and Geneva is Geneva,” a canny observer recently remarked. The distinction is important. Geneva may be wealthier and have a greater international reputation, but Lausanne, Switzerland’s fourth largest city population-wise, often seems more dynamic. The two cities have chosen very different strategies. Geneva […]
Stepping over the line
In 1979, I happened to run across Georges Bernier, the creator of the bitingly satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The motto was “Bête et Méchant,” which translates roughly as “stupid and nasty.” It had started in 1969 as Hara Kiri, but had only lasted a year before it was closed on orders from Charles de Gaulle, […]
The Snowden effect: Switzerland’s cyber security business
Could NSA leaker Edward Snowden find refuge in Switzerland? It is a notion that has been seriously discussed in Swiss political circles recently. Snowden does not qualify for political asylum, as he is not under immediate threat in Russia. But he could be granted legal immunity and invited to testify as a material witness if […]
A bit of Fribourg in Vaud – The Domaine des Faverges
In an ironic twist of fate, the largest of the roughly 200 vineyards in Lavaux belongs to the neighbouring canton of Fribourg. The Domaine des Faverges, originally cultivated by Catholic monks, found itself isolated in Protestant Vaud when, during the 1847 Sonderbund War, Fribourg and several other Catholic cantons briefly resisted incorporation into the Swiss […]
Lake Geneva: The ultimate quick tour around the lake
SPRING-SUMMER-AUTUMN It is easy to look at Lake Geneva (Lacus Lemannus in Roman times) as little more than a pleasant extension of Geneva or Lausanne. Taken as a whole, however, the lake constitutes a feast in itself, an elegant, amazingly diverse buffet of possibilities with jewel-like villages, stunning vistas, proud and complex heritages and cultural […]