Birthday Weekend in Geneva & Lausanne

March 16th was a great day.  Besides it being my birthday, Bobby and I completed 6 months of intensive Italian language courses at Europass and we set off to Switzerland to celebrate.  After a brief stop at the army base (Camp Darby) in Livorno to pick up some much-needed supplies (cereal, baking supplies, etc.), we made our way up the west coast of Italy.  It was a beautiful drive.  As we reached Torino (Turin for you native English speakers), we made a quick pit stop to get some gas, but that’s when things took a turn for the worse…. [Read More]

Journey through the Alps: DAY 3 – Vals, Switzerland

Peter Zumthor's Swiss baths at Val

Our whole reason for making a large detour into Switzerland was to go to the Swiss thermal baths in Vals, Switzerland.  Designed by Peter Zumthor, the thermal bath spa (or therme) is a modern architectural masterpiece.  At University of Texas, I studied architecture and countless professors referenced this building when speaking about blending architecture with its natural surroundings.  The thermal baths were built layer-by-layer with local Valser Quarzite slabs and were buried into the mountainside as to create a grass roof terrace…. [Read More]

Journey through the Alps: DAY 2 – Innsbruck, Austria & Chur, Switzerland


After a day in Salzburg, we made our way across Austria and into Switzerland.  Our destination was Chur, a small Swiss town located in the Alps.  It seems like an unlikely destination, but we decided to stay there because the following day, we wanted to go to the Swiss baths in Val (about an hour away.)  Hence, Chur.  We had a rather leisurely journey, stopping in Innsbruck, Austria on the way…. [Read More]