In Europe many of us have been enjoying a four-day weekend for Easter. As my birthday this year fell on Maundy Thursday, I decided to extend it to five (fantastic) days.
We’d previously planned to meet up with some old friends from Singapore who are visiting Italy, but we a) wanted to stay around to support our eldest son who’s busy revising for his baccalauréat exams and b) didn’t want to have to worry about Covid-related restrictions that are still in place in Italy. So we ended up staying in Switzerland.
During the day of my birthday itself, we headed as a family across to Lausanne: assuming he passes his exams, our son is going to EPFL to study Life Sciences Engineering next year, and we thought we’d scout out a few accommodation options.
First, though, we had to have lunch. Our son took us to his favourite ramen restaurant for my birthday lunch. It didn’t disappoint.
After lunch we wandered around the city centre, checking out the EJMA (l’Ecole de Jazz et Musique Actuelle), as our kids are all musical and interested by such things. We then hopped on the M1 metro line out to EPFL.
On the EPFL campus we stopped for a coffee at the Architecture building – with a friend who works nearby – before hopping back on the metro to visit some of the halls of residence.
It’s still too soon to reserve anything for the next academic year – or even visit inside – but we did enjoy just wandering around. This particular hall reminded me hugely of the place I stayed during my studies in Paris, way back when.
Back home after a fun day out, I stopped in very quickly at my local (and most favourite anywhere) brewery, I had the lovely surprise of a nice set of beer glasses.
Soon after this I headed into the centre of Neuchatel where – as the brewery was closing for the long weekend – I met up with friends for a few drinks. I received what looked like a book…
… but it contained a very fun surprise.
It was really nice to catch up with old friends after so long. We’d managed to meet up all together just once during the pandemic – for a coffee, down by the lake – and this was the first time we’d seen each other in anything approaching “normal” circumstances for two years. It felt so good.
During the Easter weekend we spent quite a lot of time in the garden, getting things in order. I enjoyed lighting our new fireball – that I had received as a gift from my family – a number of times, although now that my daughter has pointed out that it looks like a forest fire, it’s a little hard not to see it that way.
(Luckily we’re now able to make a joke about it, moving beyond the horror.)
To wrap up the weekend we went for a long bike-ride around St Peter’s Island, which is actually a peninsula going into Lake Biel.
On the way back we stopped off for some fried fish delicacies in Erlach.
A great way to wrap up a lovely long weekend!