Spring Travels

The trip started off as usual: an annual visit to Doha (Qatar) where I teach a course in medicine, see my prior blog posts. It has become routine. A five star hotel, this time “The Four Seasons”, excellent food including the local fish “hamour”, a visit to the souk to buy curry, fresh from Sri Lanka, and to buy a few gem stones: spinel and hot pink topaz, both quite expensive.

A few days later I was in Lucinges, a small French village just across the border from Geneva Switzerland. There is a great little hotel/restaurant in Lucinges “Le Bonheur dans le Pres”, which translates literally to ‘happiness in the fields’! It is run by Ludyvine & Cyril. The hotel is an old stone farmhouse in the midst of hay fields.   Their food and wines are exquisite. There is just one menu offered with several courses and the matching wine is served freely. Cyril is the chef. He has many years of experience as the cook in a high quality Indian restaurant in Geneva.   I gave him some of the curry from Doha! From Lucinges I visited family & old friends in Geneva and in Neuchatel.

Next was Zurich, where I stayed with my brother and sister. There was a visit to an excellent exhibit of German and French expressionist painters at the Kunsthalle. Also, a walk through the old town and a look at a highly controversial “piece of art”, an old crane on the Limmat river in center town! Finally I hiked up the mountain Rigi with my brother, amidst unexpected snowy and icy conditions. On a nice day the view from Rigi can be exceptional:

roland auf rigi

Roland reaching summit of Rigi (photo courtesy of Zhu Sunny, Shanghai)

Then came a few days with another brother in Edinburgh, Scotland. He had just bought a huge 150 year old house: 19 rooms he estimated, and 14 chimneys. It had never had central heating and each room seemed to have a fireplace! They were undertaking a huge renovation project.  The house was a “manse”, a house occupied by a minister of a Presbyterian church in earlier times.

Old Scottish Manse

Old Scottish Manse

Finally there was a visit to a cousin’s daughter near York: Nicky Milner. She is a professor of archeology and an internationally known specialist on the Mesolithic period (stone age around 9000 BC). She and her colleagues have unearthed an entire settlement along an ancient lake. The place is called Star Carr. I was treated to a visit of this “dig”, quite an experience.

Star Carr Archeological Site

Star Carr Archeological Site

Lastly, there was a visit to a hospital in Oxford where a friend is being treated. As an MD with some knowledge of the specific problem, I was impressed. Top of the line medical treatments and all covered by the British National Health Service.  How civilized.

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5 responses to “Spring Travels

  1. I have definite travel envy. Folks say I move around a lot but compared to you apparently I am a home body. Enjoy!

  2. O the joys of finding treasures. I was looking online at sites that used WordPress for jewlery and photography and I ended up at your blog. I was on a mission at the time but when I started to read your blog posts, I got hooked. Time stopped and I went on some of your adventures with you. Thanks for taking the time to write, it was a treat.
    I love the ring with the raw black diamond. I imagine sipping some exotic something from its cup. A medicinal tincture of some kind perhaps, or water collected from the petals of wild roses on a foggy morning in summer.
    I am trying to find a WP layout I like for my work, haven’t nailed it yet so things are still in flux.

  3. My experience on a best tandoori restaurant in Genève was quite good since I preferred going to a restaurant suggested by my friend. The name of the restaurant was “Chandigarh Tandoori”. The food was so delicious that in my stay of two weeks, I went to “Chandigarh Tandoori”, around 9-10 times! :)

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