Annecy, France – My European Car Trip #3

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This story continues from here: Best of Switzerland

Before going forward to our next destination, France, I looked the map and my Pinterest Places To Go board and pointed to some of France’s most beautiful cities. As France is filled with amazing places, small and charming villages, and unique things to do and see, we had to choose a road that connects Switzerland and the Italian Riviera, that passes some important destinations and that is easy to handle and fun on the way. As you can imagine, or might know, a long driving trip is not fun if you only see the highway on both sides.

So I had to make a choice and cut some places from the list, add others and so on. And it became:

[bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-pushpin”]  Annecy  [bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-share-alt”]  Grenoble  [bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-share-alt”]  Saint Tropez  [bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-share-alt”]  Cannes  [bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-share-alt”]  Nice  [bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-share-alt”]  Eze  [bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-share-alt”]  Monaco [bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-flag”]

After leaving Zurich, made some amazing stops in Switzerland’s Marche Restaurant & Gas Stations and finally got to Annecy after 4 hours. We only stayed a few hours there and headed to Grenoble, where we got very late and went directly to sleep, so we can rest for our next day’s trip to South of France.

To be honest, I’ve never even heard about Grenoble, but since it was on our way down, we chose to stop after a few hours spent in Annecy.

All right, now the important facts. But first, the pictures:

Marche in switzerland. eats on the highway on swiss roads. european car trip on the way to annecy

EATS ON THE SWISS ROADS –  MEET Marché: THE NICEST ROAD STOP IN EUROPE

Mountain view in annecy, france. people sitting at the beach

PICNIC IN ANNECY WITH A FABULOUS VIEW OVER THE MOUNTAINS

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the old town in annecy france vuew over the mountains

THE OLD TOWN

Château d'Annecy in the Old Town - surrounded by the water channel, charming and unique local shops, delicious small restaurants, bakeries and coffeeshops

CHATEAU D’ANNECY IN THE OLD TOWN – SURROUNDED BY THE WATER CHANNEL, CHARMING AND UNIQUE LOCAL SHOPS, DELICIOUS SMALL RESTAURANTS, BAKERIES AND COFFEE SHOPS

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EVERY WINDOW IS HIDING A FRENCH STORY – THE THING I LIKE MOST IN ITALY AND FRANCE ARE THE WINDOWS. SMALL, CHARMING, OLD FASHIONED, AND OF COURSE, FLOWERS AT EVERY ONE OF THEM

Le Picket Restaurant in Annecy France

ONE OF THE COZY RESTAURANTS WHERE WE CHOSE TO SIT, ENJOY THE VIEW AND EAT GOOD FOOD

Cheese fondue in Le Picket restaurant annecy

REAL CHEESE FONDUE IN LE PICKET- YUMM!

Castel Annecy

Château d’Annecy in the Old Town

 

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Such a romantic landscape, perfect place to take a break

Annecy – France’s Little Venice

I saw it on Pinterest, I followed the hashtag on Instagram, I added it on my travel wishlist in a moment.

Annecy is a small alpine town in southeastern France, very well-known for its old center, home of Chateau d’Annecy, once home to the counts of Geneva. Hmm, you know those medieval movies such as Robin Hood, First Knights and lovely Game of Thrones? The castle in the old town is even more charming than that, due to its position – surrounded by water, french restaurants, coffee shops and pâtisseries (french for bakery). The sidewalk around the water is something of a magnificent beauty.

This fairytale town needs more time to be explored. As a highlight, I would recommend you eat in one of the small restaurants in the old town, located near the waterside or the Chateau, and definitely try their cheese fondue! It’s absolutely fantastic! Even though it was summertime and I would die of warm, I had to simply enjoy this course as I am a huge fan of cheese bites.

Ah and don’t skip the walk inside the old town. You’ll find really interesting shops for bargains and cool concept stores.

If you’ve ever been to Annecy, let me know in the comments what else you’d add. I might make a short visit again soon to explore it more.

Until the next adventure in My European Car Trip

Don’t forget to spread the love 🙂

     Be lovely,

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Top 5 Most Original Outfits at the Oscars 2016

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Last week I listed 8 mind-blowing dresses for the wedding season and while I was writing, I remembered that the Oscars are coming with the many wonderful and less attractive outfits on the red carpet.

Have you been watching it last night? I, as usual, followed the feed of the biggest entertainment and fashion magazines, and followed up on the videos that seemed to be funny, legendary or just touching, from the event. One such moment was, obviously, the Oscar prize handing to Leonardo di Caprio and his acceptance speech.

But let’s go to the fashion corner. What outfits have you noticed that almost made you cry like a baby in front of the screen?

My top 5 favorite celebritiy outfits, but that I also find original, creative and inspirational:

Kerry Washington

kerry washington oscars 2016

KERRY WASHINGTON IN ATELIER VERSACE

Cate Blanchett

cate blanchett oscars 2016 armani prive

CATE BLANCHETT IN ARMANI PRIVÉ

Gwen Stefani

gwen stefani oscars dress

GWEN STEFANI

Kate Hudson

kate hudson oscars dress

KATE HUDSON IN MARIA LUCIA HOHAN

Lady Gaga

LADY GAGA IN BRANDON MAXWELL

LADY GAGA IN BRANDON MAXWELL

 

What other outfits you loved at the Oscars and the party around? If only we could have them all in our dressing… Oh well, we can keep dreaming 🙂

Do well,

L

 

Photos: Getty Images

8 Stunning Dresses For Weddings & Cocktails

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In March starts a whole serie of weddings for me, some in Stockholm, some around… While I was looking around the internet for wedding outfits, I found a few models of dresses that basically left me day-dreaming! Some are little bit over-priced, some are worthy, but you’ll absolutely love them!

So if you’re in need of a dress for a fancy event as a wedding, party, cocktail, reception, here you have some inspiration, so you know what to look for:

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OSCAR DE LA RENTA

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wediing dress - ISSA black gown dress for wedding

ISSA

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wedding dresses - haute hippie elegant dress

HAUTE HIPPIE

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mlh wedding outfits party dresses

MARIA LUCIA HOHAN

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tom ford party dresses

TOM FORD

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party dresses jason wu black dress

JASON WU

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mlh party dresses and wedding outfits

MARIA LUCIA HOHAN

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party dresses oscar de la renta red gown

OSCAR DE LA RENTA

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If you liked my selection, spread the love with your friends in social media.

Love, L

3 Creative Fashion Businesses Every Woman Can Do

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Lately I am more and more interested in creative business concepts. For the last 2 years I’ve had douzens of business ideas I wanted to do, but an idea always remains an idea if nobody has time to and interest in doing it. I always believed that in order to start a trip like that, you must have a big interest in the industry you’re going to work in, a slightly entrepreneurial feeling or push, and much, much patience. But with such a saturated market, there is one more ingredient I believe one should have: Creativity.

So if you’re into fashion, here are 3 small business ideas you can develop furthermore to adapt them to where you’re from:

1. Fashion Trucks

Like food trucks, fashion trucks are businesses on 4 wheels that you can carry all over the town. Except the fashion products that you’re going to sell, you’ll need a really interesting and original concept. The more creative and new, the better.

While I was digging into cool stores, I discovered Le Fashion Truck (in the image above), a pink mobile boutique in Los Angeles. The founders, Stacey and Jeanine, started their own fashion business after meeting at an arts and crafts market in L.A. where the two of them were exibiting. Le Fashion Truck is one of the first businesses in L.A. of its kind, and it has become a very successful one, getting a ton of press attention and being featured in places as Business Insider and Cosmopolitan.

The two creative entrepreneurs are hosting a webinar on February 21, teaching how to start your own fashion truck. Here you can learn the basics of such a start-up, tips & tricks and you’ll be able to ask Stacey and Jeanine whatever questions you’d like, related to the fashion truck business.

le fashion truck webinar or how to start a fashion truck business. fashion businesses

2. Personal Items Pop-Up Stores

You know those fashion bloggers that sell their clothes online or in pop-up boutiques? Why not organize your own pop-up concept store together with your friends and colleagues? Give it a creative name that fits your personalities, maybe. Resell your nice and well-taken care clothes and accessories in pop-up stores at fairs, malls or street sales. You can even have it online on a free shopping platform like Shopify, Tictail or Etsy. And if it grows, there are plenty of opportunities to develop it into an original vintage shop.

If you’re interested in such a business, another tip would be to turn outdated clothes into new, refreshed ones, like shortening a dress, add some prints on T-shirts.

3. Made By You – Online Shop

Handcraft Is Back

You have a sewing machine at home? Find out through YouTube tutorials how to use it to make clothes or maybe even to create custom pet clothing?

You’re a graphic designer and have some cool ideas for shirts, caps or even dresses? Print it out!

You create bracelets or other jewelry as a hobby? Time to make it a business.

Take your hobbies to the next level. They say a business becomes successful if you put love in it. Imagine if it’s born by love?

There are douzens of creative fashion businesses a girl can do, no matter if you are in the beginning of your career, an experienced entrepreneur or a full time worker in a company. Get inspiration from what you desire to work with, what are your passions, what are your knowledges. Sometimes is best to build a business that doesn’t exist, a new concept, sometimes you can improve an existing one, update it and sell it as a new business area. In either way, you’ll find obstacles, hard times and pressure, so if you don’t have passion into it, you’ll find it hard to continue and won’t enjoy the ride.

Hope this inspires you and if you have any more ideas, write them here in comments and pay it forward.

Love, L

Photo Credit: Le Fashion Truck

 

 

Is Buying Local Fashion, A Luxury?

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This morning I listened to an interview on the radio station, encouraging buying local products from obviously, local companies. It makes sense. You contribute to your country’s economy instead of a big corporation with offshore headquarters and the prices should be cheaper, considering that there are no import taxes, transportation costs, etc. Even in the fashion industry.

Except it’s not!

It is not cheaper to wear local designers, neither in Romania, my motherland, or in Sweden, where I live. Let’s say local brands are manufacturing their products locally as well. Unlike the big fashion brands that produce in Asian countries.

In Sweden, I could basically understand. The taxes are higher, the workforce is really expensive, and most probably the materials are really qualitative. In some cases, not, though!

Now, I haven’t investigated why do local brands cost so much, but I do know, something is not right when a simple pencil cotton dress costs over 600 Euros on an unknown designer. Or when a simple long dress made of polystyrene, advertised as “handmade” costs over 1000 Euros. Because the specific brand/designer has a nice logo, website and well-positioned friends.

On the positive side, there are many talented local designers who actually deserve the fame and price tag of Dior, Chanel and other high-end fashion houses. I know them, admire them and wear them. I imagine the reason their prices are almost as those luxury brands is because they manufacture in their homelands and keep the quality standards high up. Better craft, materials and communication with the fabrics.

But maybe I’m wrong. I would like to hear the story behind local designers, new and old ones.

I’m sure about one thing:

Wearing, eating, travelling locally, should be a normality and not a luxury.

If you have any more information about this subject, insights or you just want to let me know your opinion, write a comment and let’s have a chat. I’m really curious about what others think about this.

In the meantime, take a look at this video behind the scenes in Elie Saab’s headquarters, in Beirut. Look at  how many artists and artisans, and how much work it takes for a dress so beautiful to be made. That should give us some ideas about how much fashion in our countries should be worth.

How is it in your country? Do you wear local designers?

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What I wish I knew before travelling to Mykonos – Tips & Tricks

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This gallery contains 12 photos.

Long time ago, I decided to make a few late posts about my summer adventure travelling to Mykonos, to help you plan …

Continue reading

Hot Trends in 2016 – Oversized Earrings, Pink Explosion & more

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The first month of the year is soon finished already! Last year I wrote an article about what trends were coming in 2015. This year I couldn’t see big changes in the collections of the design houses, but I did observed some incredibly hot trends in 2016 in both interior and fashion design! Here are just a few of them:

[bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-ok”] …the star colours of the year are…

Already since December we know the colour of the year it’s not ONE colour this time, but 2! Rose Quartz & Serenity are the colours of the year. Mostly joined together. Probably because of: pink & blue = men & woman – gender equality. To me, both colours are favourites since years, and I saw the trend in fashion coming already since 2014, when the spring collections in NYFW were including so much dusty rose and sky blue.

But  I must say I’m really happy that rose makes a classy comeback . Pink is not only a favourite colour of mine, but also the colour that makes me happy no matter how sad or hard my day is. It’s the colour of hope, of challenge, the colour of smiles and candy, the colour that defeats the preconceptions.

balance between the colours on the year 2016

 

[bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-ok”] Minimalist style and smart usage of space in house decorating

I would say very much Scandinavian style all the way. But careful, just because it’s minimalist, it doesn’t mean it’s “black and white”. The experts say gold, cooper and silver objects are to be found in all ways this year. So, not a new trend, but becoming a more stable one. Go ahead, buy yourself some of those shiny gold candle holders 🙂

less is more minimalist style desk. hot trends in 2016

 

[bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-ok”] Ceramics, canvas and wall posters

2016 trends in wall posters

 

[bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-ok”] Shades of pink, red “meat” and peach in home decor too

hot trends in 2016

[bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-ok”] Long, oversized earrings 

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Photo source: Vogue.com

 

[bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-ok”] Off the shoulders outfits

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What can be more feminine than a woman’s neck and shoulder? I always adored dresses and blouses that with off the shoulders sleeves, even though, it’s not an easy to wear trend. It seems so pretty, romantic, 60’s kind of beauty!

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hot trends in 2016

Photo source: Vogue.com

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That’s it for now! These are the few hot trends in 2016 that inspired me!

Let 2016 inspire you in ways you wouldn’t imagine, and don’t forget: follow the trend, but always add your own imagination and creativity to them! And tell me, what do you like in 2016’s trends?

Love,

L

Spend the Holidays in Scandinavia

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Just a few days left until New Year. Cards are done, food is planned, tickets are bought, hotels are reserved, invites are sent, dresses are bought. But not everybody had made up a plan already, I have friends that wrote me asking if they can come visit during the New Year, cause they woke up too late to book a vacation. So did we this year. And 2 and 3 years ago 🙂

For those of you who haven’t planned where to spend the night between the years, or you are searching for a little inspiration, let me give you 4 ideas in the magical Scandinavia. It’s not too late to book a flight!

Copenhagen

This stunning Danish city is perfect to visit during the holidays! The town is alive, lights are simply amazing, and there are plenty activities to do. Tips: Walk around the city center, all the way to Illum shopping center. Visit the Christmas Market there and take a coffee at Cafe Europa -it’s worth staying in line for. Eat at Restaurant Ford in the evening – book table on the terrace.

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Oslo

Oslo is beautiful mostly in the summers, but a few years ago I was suprised to have such a nice time during the New Year spent there. We chose to spend the night in Radisson Blu’s 34th-level SkyBar, and it was amazing! We got to dance, mingle and count down to the new year while watching the fireworks from the so high-up windows. Tips: Walk around Tjuvholmen to admire this beautiful adition to the town with fabulous architecture. Eat in Olivia Tjuvholmen. Oslo has plenty of activities and sports, you’ll have plenty museums to visit, winter sports and the amazing Artesia Spa Majorstuen for a relaxing day after ski. The only thing that might be a little hard on you, is the wind. Oslo is very windy during the winter, and much more colder than usual.

Is also good for you to know that, at least when I was there, the town was VERY empty, many places and restaurants were closed during the New Year weekend, which made our stay a bit sour. But if you have your days organised and you don’t mind a quiet vacation, than go for it.


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Gothenburg

Gothenburg is the third largest town in Sweden, and just because of that it doesn’t mean it’s not competing with Stockholm. I personally adore this town. 3 words: Class, Vintage, Art. During the holidays, the town is beautifully decorated and lightened, and plenty of activities are taking place. One to mention is the re-opening of Liseberg, Gothenburg’s amusement park, that runs until late autumn, but re-opens especially for the holidays with many seasonal spectacles, shows and activities. It’s the Disneyland of Sweden, and I can promise you’ll feel as in fairytales while there.

Check here: http://liseberg.com/en/home/Amusement-Park/Christmas-areas/

Photo credits: Göran Assnerimagebank.sweden.se

Liseberg – Photo credits: Göran Assnerimagebank.sweden.se

 

Stockholm

My absolutely favorite town, the capital and heart of Scandinavia, where dozens of activities are organised during the season. From markets, plays, restaurants, to fireworks and the warm spirit of winter holidays, Stockholm is a great choice for those who want a bit of everything. The city is alive and sparkling and there are many choices of places where to celebrate the New Year.

Photo credits: Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se

Stockholm – Photo credits: Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se

Or if you are in the mood for the real Scandinavian feeling, go for the north of Sweden or Norway. I haven’t been there yet, but it’s on my wishlist!

No matter what you choose, you’ll be having a great time in Scandinavia. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get some snow for the holidays!

I’m gonna spend mine home this year, and I couldn’t be more happy!

Count on me if you need any tips!

Happy Holidays and see you next year! 🙂

 

December’s Favorites

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I could say December’s Favorites, or I could say: The products I am obsessed with right now!

We all have some products we’ve fell in love with, or a pair of jeans among others, that we don’t undress anymore. Well, a new year is coming soon and I was thinking to list my favorite products in 2015. And that’s how I noticed I got some fixations this year. For example, I almost haven’t used any other perfume ever since I got the Tom Ford Velvet Orchid fragrance. It’s a strong one, so it best works it’s magic on the evenings, but…oh well..who cares? I wear it anytime!

Then it’s the black turtleneck blouse which I bought from 5 different brands. It’s so classic, stylish and easy to wear with anything, and I always feel creative when wearing it. Basically, it’s my new little black dress for daytimes.

Last but not least, my Diesel ankle boots with metal hooks. I got so attached to them, that I ordered a new pair after the first one I bought just broke! I felt like giving them a second chance, because they’re so comfortable for daytime casual walks and beautiful at the same time.

You can find all the products in the image on my Polyvore.

Name three products you got obsessed with this month, or this year.

Love,

Lorellay signature

 

 

 

My European Car Trip #2 – Best of Switzerland

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Have you ever been in a place that has everything? Like, literally everything! And all very close to each other? Beautiful mountain views, with the sea just across the corner, classic charming streets but also futuristic endless tunnels, historical architecture, incredible food and cultures, and the people…oh the people, beautiful, classy and so relaxed! Ladies, meet Switzerland! I made a video to make sure you get to see as much as possible, in case you ever plan to visit the country, but don’t skip the pictures below, either!

Since I was here for a few days on our #cartrip, we had the chance to explore much, and our dear friends that live there were really great hosts, but not everyone has friends in Switzerland to carry them around, so I will make a list with what we did, and what could you do, if you’d like, on your trip there.

I have a gallery with amazing photos to share from Switzerland & Co. I also have a few recommendations that I cannot leave behind, because I’m sure you will appreciate it if you ever visit any of the places!

Visit the Rhine Fall in Schaffhausen!

It’s a must, and do not hesitate to take the boat over there and make a tour. I skipped that and I still regret it…

Gotthard Tunnel

The tunnel is located under the Alps mountains, but if you have a little bit extra time, go for the mountain drive! You’ll see amazing places, make stops and just enjoy!  This is one of them:

best of switzerland

Lugano

Just a 2 hours drive from Zurich is Lugano city which is such a lovely town to get an ice cream in, take a boat tour or just walk along the beautiful promenade. Lugano has many parks and lakesides, you can just google around and find many of them, or just ask the locals, they’ll guide you through.

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Monte San Salvatore

Once you get to Lugano, don’t hesitate to visit this place. It’s basically the top of Lugano, from where you can see the aquatic border between Switzerland and Italy. You can climb the mountain, or of course, you can choose the 10-minutes ride with the red funicular, which for me was an incredible experience, because I got to see how high up we got second by second, while watching the beautiful views around. Once you get up, you have a restaurant over there, but don’t settle for it, since you’ll want to go even more up stair by stair (a few hundreds of them, damn!), where you’ll find a small church. A few more stairs here (YES, take your COMFORTABLE shoes) and you’ll really be on the top of Lugano, where you’ll experience the most incredible views! Breathless panorama! I promise you, you won’t regret it!

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Ticino

It’s an amazing little town or maybe village, I haven’t memorised that part, very close to Lugano, or maybe part of it, where you can get a nice swim in this beautiful place almost everywhere, but a very, very special place, which is like a hidden gem for locals, is Valle Verzasca. You’ll see that the pictures don’t serve it’s real beauty, when you get there. A great, great plus is Rustici della Verzasca (I don’t even really know what it is!) – it offers accommodation in really cozy rooms, with breathless views and an incredible restaurant/oysteria. Ticino is more Italian than Swiss, so you should expect the whole La Dolce Vita experience, because, my friends, it has never been more real! Here’s a few of my pictures, which I believe are better than any of the ones I found online:

valle verzasca best in switzerland my european car trip

Valle Verzasca

Valle verzasca best in switzerland my european car trip

Valle Verzasca mountain view

Rustici della Verzasca restaurant and accommodation

Rustici della Verzasca restaurant and accommodation

 

rustici della verzasca in ticino, switzerland

best of switzerland valle verzasca rooms

View from the rooms in Rustici della Verzasca

James Bond 007 GoldenEye Bungee Jump

Extremely high, incredibly beautiful – pay it a visit, and if you don’t dare jumping, just go see it, enjoy the fabulous views from the 220 meters high dam and watch others jumping, it’s really, really worthy!

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Lucerne

A beautiful town very close to Zurich – I only got to visit it in the evening, so I haven’t gotten the opportunity to take many pictures, but visit their official site and see this national treasure.

And of course, the center of Zurich, which is absolutely fabulous, and there I have 2 tips that I am not sure you’ll find by yourself: Sprungli – best macarons ever!!! and Salvator Dali gallery. 

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I definitely decided I want to live here someday, for three main special reasons:

  1. Its location in Europe is so perfect, so convenient, you can practically take breakfast in France, dinner in Italy, and be back home by night in Switzerland just so you can wake up in the morning and close a deal in Germany 🙂
  2. Because of the numerous jazz festivals they host in places as Lugano, on the seaside, which I find extremelly romantic and perfect food for the soul.
  3. The weather! The Swiss have it all, compared to us in Scandinavia! It can be cold, or warm, or very warm, or just right, but never so dramatic weather changes as in Sweden…

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A ONE DAY TRIP: Take a day tour from Zurich to Lugano, drive over the mountain instead of the tunnel, so you can experience the wonderful views, visit Lugano’s lakeside park and take a gelatto at La Gelateria di Lugano, then drive to Ticino, see Valle Verzasca and take two jumps: one in the beautiful blue water from the bridge in the Valley, and one from the world famous James Bond Verzasca dam. 

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Have you ever visited any of this places or have any more tips for my next visit? Let me know in the comments!

Until next article in…..France!

Love,

L