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Monthly Archive: November 2018

11/2 Just forget the dryers and give us a drying rack!

If you’ve read my blogs, you know that one of my pet peeves is European dryers! I KNOW electricity is expensive in Europe but that’s no excuse for the totally inefficient dryers that are used around here. We have used everything from industrial dryers at laundromats (hot air + no vents = hot wet clothes) to the washer/dryer combination machines (Just hot wet clothes after 3 hours!) to stand alone home dryers.  Forget it!  It’s way more efficient to just get out the drying racks and hang the clothes on them!  I guess wanting soft, fluffy towels is a first world problem.

The latest dryer fiasco was in Munich at the Aloft Hotel.  We like this chain; this one is super convenient and it has free washing and drying of clothes for guests – 2 washing machines and 2 dryers.  The washing machine works fine although this one again has a 2-hour wash cycle on it for who knows why?? We opted for the 15 minutes cycle.

The two dryers, though, are another issue!  These are two Siemens machines with about 13 different cycle selections (nicely translated on a sign into English).  The problem??? NONE of the cycles get HOT and the machine is not vented in any way. I tried about 6 different cycles, including “towels” and “cotton” and “warm”.  “Warm” did get warmer than cold but not by much.  “Towels” had a running time of 1 hour and 34 minutes but was always COLD.  After 45 minutes of drying, I gave up and have clothes hanging all over the room.

Germany is very ecologically minded. My suggestion for their dryers – manufacture them to produce HOT air, vent the machines and everything will dry in 20 minutes and, actually, be dry!  I need to compare the energy use of my dryer at home that I use for 20 minutes and have dry clothes with the energy use of the dryer I just used for 45 minutes and still have wet clothes! It’s my new research project.

11/2/2018 Les Chats de Geneve

You can meet the most interesting people while traveling! We met Ben and Belinda, the cat parents, last year in Rwanda when we spent a day trekking with the Golden Monkeys. They (B and B, not the monkeys) are Australians, living and working in Geneva. They have been to some amazing places! When they travel, they need someone to take care of their cats. Since we were already in Europe, we volunteered.  (All of you with pets understand the problem.) That’s the story of how we came to spend 2 weeks in Geneva, Switzerland with Dunning and Kruger, two sister cats.  You can do some Googling and figure out who the cats are named for.

Cat jumping on the wall

Kruger was enamored with chasing and jumping for light reflections on the walls. She’s pretty good at jumping!

Cat in coat tree.

Kruger can jump into the coat tree, too, and hang out above.

Cat in a basket

Dunning’s favorite place in the house is the basket by the couches.

Cats staring

We watched American college football on Saturday and tried to teach the cats the rules. The games were projected onto the wall from a projector connected to the laptop.

Geneva is a beautiful city although without much to do for tourists.  We had a nice time just being “locals”, visiting the markets in Carouge and at PlainPalais.  With the UN and numerous other NGO’s, it’s a very international city.  I’m pretty sure we heard dozens of languages other than French and we noticed that if a group needed a common language, it was always English spoken with lots of different accents.

Fall leaves and the river

The Fall colors were out. This was along the river path we took one day over in Carouge.

cheeses on the table

Cheese from the Carouge Saturday market. We can never get too many cheeses to try.

The apartment was in the center of the city, close to grocery stores, bakeries, an easy walk to the Old City and to the lake.  We used an “old-fashioned” elevator every day to get the 7th floor. It’s a wooden elevators with a cage that goes up through the middle of the building. Think of old spy movies you might have seen.

Mark joined a local gym and worked out every day, stopping at the local bakery to pick up bread or pain de chocolate (croissant with a strip of chocolate in the the middle) on the way home.  He was friends with the bakery ladies by the time we left.  Susan worked on genealogy and went walking around the area.

One day we had an excursion to Annecy, France, with Jean-Marc. Mark worked for Jean-Marc at HP.  He was kind enough to pick us up and take us over the mountains to see Annecy, a beautiful little city.

Lake Annecy

Lake Annecy and the mountains around. The lake was VERY low from a hot, dry summer.

Castle in river in Annecy

Castle in the middle of the river in Annecy

Another day we had a tour of CERN with Bruce who we met at Ben and Belinda’s. He’s British, a Ph.D. physicist with a specialty in particle physics and lasers.  He gave a fun tour of his laser lab where researchers wait for 2-3 YEARS for some “beam time”.  Bruce and Ben are climbers. We promised we’d find them a climber among our friends if they come to Colorado!

Web developement sign

This plaque is in a CERN hall commemorating where Tim Berners-Lee developed the idea for the WWW.  A copy of the paper is in the Museum at CERN with the comment “Vague, but exciting” on the top. This blog wouldn’t be possible without him.

The weather was great for 2 weeks until the last day when  the temperature dropped, and rain came pouring down!  Mark finally had to put the shorts back in the suitcase and drag out his jeans. Oh, no!

Halloween decorations

Halloween has a small representation in Geneva. This candy display was next to the Christmas candy already for sale before the end on October. Some shop windows displayed Halloween decorations.

Christmas tree decorated in store window

End of October Christmas decorations in the shopping street. This one was in a big department store.