Saturday, August 11

Claire and Dave

Claire and Dave in Geneva During July, we had the pleasure of a visit from my lovely sister Claire and boyfriend (now fiancée!) Dave. Here are the gorgeous couple pictured at the UN Beach Club on their last evening in Geneva.

Dave, a passionate follower of the Tour de France (and not a bad cyclist himself) was here to fulfil his childhood dream of seeing the race live. This was his first visit to Europe and he certainly made the most of it. After achieving goal 1 (seeing the Tour) he attacked goal 2: cycling up the Dave and his support team prepare for the Alpe d'Huez climbAlpe d'Huez, famous mountain stage of Tours gone by. This is no small mountain. It has 21 switchbacks, is 13.8 kilometres long and is very, very steep (see the pic). Chasing Lance Armstrong's best time of 37mins 36 secs, he finished in an impressive 1hr 15 mins ish, all without stopping.

With a keen appreciation of cycling himself, Peter wasn't quite up to tackling the Alpe d'Huez, but he did (proudly) manage to cycle up to the Col del la Columbière (800 metre climb) with Dave a couple of days before. They had to stop a few times on that trip.

Peter after riding up the Col de la Colombière (800m!)Although it was Dave's dream, Peter was pretty happy with his experience as a live spectator of the Tour. They had some fantastic clear weather in the mountains and the atmostsphere must have been great.

While the men were out with the Tour, Claire and I enjoyed spending time together back in Geneva, a bit of shopping, a bit of lunch - lovely. It was great to see her over here again and I'm so pleased she got to see Geneva in all its summer glory. A bit of a different scene to when she visited last time during a wintery November.

Claire and Dave also visited Prague, Paris (where they got engaged!!) and Hong Kong on the way home. A very busy 2.5 weeks!

Monday, August 6

Five days in Vienna

I recently went to Vienna for work, accompanied by Peter, our first visit there. I didn't get to see a whole lot of it, having to work and all, but we had a quick squiz at the major sites on Saturday, before heading home.

Peter on the other hand had a bit more time to look around. He even went over the border to check out Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, only 60kms away.

Work aside, the highlights of the visit for me was catching up with a colleague over dinner, seeing the Rathaus on Friday night, and the Belvedere Palace.

Here are a few pics - more on

Belvedere Palace, Vienna
Belvedere Palace, Vienna

Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava, Slovakia

Our Vienna home for five days
The apartment we rented in Vienna

Sunday, August 5

Weekend in Prague

Ah.... Prague in June. What a wonderful weekend - beautiful buildings, bridges, beer, Mozart, and the local speciality: duck. Two days simply wasn't long enough.

View of Prague from down river See a slideshow of the pics.