Friday, June 30

At the beach

Peter and Fiona - La CiotatFiona is here for her second visit to Geneva. In a quest to see as much of the European dance scene as possible, Peter and she headed down to Marseille for their arts festival. Rather than stay in the big, horrible city that is Marseille, they spent their 5 days camping at La Ciotat, 30 minutes down the coast. Their days were spent in the sun and sea, and their evenings watching dance performances. Not a bad lifestyle!

Crowded beach at La CiotatIt was Fiona's birthday on Saturday, and I caught the train down to meet them. The TGV takes only 3.5 hrs to Marseille, whereas a car takes just over 5. We spent Saturday relaxing by the beach, swimming and wandering around the town. As you can see from the pic, French beaches are a bit different to Australian ones! Once we struggled to find a patch of sand to leave our things, we went into the water. It was lovely (cool, but not cold) and we enjoyed swimming in the sea for the first time since we left Oz.

Lounging around the campNext day I had to be dragged onto the train to go back to Geneva for work, whereas P & F were looking forward to 2 more days in the sun. Not fair!

Camping at La Ciotat was a great holiday for them. Fiona really enjoyed herself and is now completely in love with the European lifestyle.

Saturday, June 17

And then...the World Cup!

Socceroos after their winYes, we were there! In Kaiserslautern to see Australia's first ever World Cup goal and win when they beat Japan 3-1. What a great experience it was! The stadium was packed. We would guess 15 -20,000 Australian supporters; certainly the biggest Aussie crowd we'd been part of for a long time. The view was great and the atmosphere electric. It was quite “goose bumpy” to hear our national anthem sung so far from home and a struggle to hold back the tears.

Crowd at Kaiserslautern Stadium It was thanks to Peter's persistence in applying for the ticket draws that we managed to get seats (105 Euros each). We were closer to the Japanese fan's corner than the Australians, but there was a mix of supporters from both sides. The Japanese are formidible barrackers, all chanting the same song and clapping in time. The Aussies were different – we just yell, and some can’t help themselves, they have to abuse the ref!!!

Aussie SumoWatching the match against Croatia on TV last Thursday has us addicted. I used to be puzzled at how anyone can maintain interest in a game where there is often no score,
but now I completely understand the attraction. It is sooooo exciting! However, I can only imagine being enthusiastic watching Australia play, and maybe Switzerland.

Looking forward to the match against Italy tomorrow! C'mon Aussies!!

Monday, June 5

At the French Open

Peter at the French Open
Originally uploaded by Jess & Peter.
We've just returned from a long weekend near Paris, where we spent Sunday at Roland Garros. Here's a picture of Peter, taken from our seats in the Suzanne Lenglen Stadium.

We stayed at the Marriott resort outside of Paris (near EuroDisney), which was very nice. Thanks to my colleague Gerald for the great deal! On Sunday, we drove the 40mins into the city to see the tennis. Having experienced the Australian Open twice, we were really looking forward to the French Open, and we weren't disappointed. The best match we saw was the first one, between Sharapova and Safina, the latter winning in a surprise upset.