Across the Alps from Switzerland

During Christmas in 2011 I went with my mom to Geneve in Switzerland to visit my sister. Then we drove through the Alps to France, to visit the rest of my family in Dijon. It was not the first time I went to Dijon.


Curiosities about the city:

Geneva is a worldwide center for diplomacy due to the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. Geneva is the city that hosts the highest number of international organizations in the world.


This year I traveled for the first time with my mother. We went to Switzerland and France for Christmas. We flew to Geneva, because my sister Zeza no longer lives in France as she moved to Switzerland with her boyfriend.


My mother was in a plane only once, when she went to Madeira (many years ago) and I think she loved to travel this time. Geneva was full of snow when we went there. My nephew Luis had to wake up very early every day just to get the snow out of the car before he goes to work.


I loved the little cottage where my sister lives, it’s super cozy. We visited Lac Lèman, a giant lake with a giant fountain, which is the symbol of the city. Unfortunately they did not have free time to take us for a stroll through the city center.


As we drove to France, heading for Dijon, we passed the French Alps by car and it was magical to see those cottages all lost in the snow. I think it was the first time I ever saw snow for real in my life.




Curiosities about the city:

Beaune is considered the “Capital of Burgundy wines”. The city is surrounded by some of the world’s most famous wine villages, while the facilities and cellars of many producers, large and small, are situated in the historic center of Beaune itself.


This second time around in France, in addition to visiting Dijon again, I went with my brother Hipolito and his wife to visit another French city: Beaune. This city is very old and it has a famous Hospice of 1443.

The Hospice de Beaune or Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is a former charitable almshouse. It was founded by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of Burgundy, as a hospital for the poor. The original hospital building, one of the finest examples of French fifteenth-century architecture, is now a museum.



Beaune is the main center for the “Burgundian tile” polychrome renaissance roofing style of the region. We also visited a church called Collégiale Notre-Dame de Beaune.




Back to Dijon, I visited all my family again.


We also visited the same places where I had been last time: churches, historic center, etc.


We spent Christmas at my sister Lila’s house and the New Year as a family in a rented warehouse.


I think this trip was special for my mother because my father had died a few months before and I think my siblings had a beautiful attitude in not wanting us to be alone in this festive season.



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