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Pamela Hunziker and Marie-Claire (Lorem) recently published a children's book that is worth knowing about. They were inspired by the Swiss culture they were surrounded by every day as they worked together at the Château de Prangins. Marie-Claire has also written short stories for the Château de Chillon. This is the first book they have collaborated on.
 
Pamela goes on to tell knowitall, "In all there will be 5 volumes. We are waiting to see if this one sells before starting volume 2! There is a lot of research to do as we must be accurate which is fascinating but time consuming."
 
She explained that the biggest obstacle was starting this project just before COVID. They finally finished it 4 years later. "It wasn’t easy finding a publisher because everyone wrote a book during that time… But we did and we are very pleased with Jets d'Encre Editions."
 
What is the storyline?
Pimprenelle and Léo are two adorable young Saint Bernard dogs born in Martigny, Switzerland. They will soon be nine months old, and the time has come for them to acquire the qualities worthy of a Saint Bernard. Being one of Switzerland's emblems has to be earned!
 

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If you are reading this article and are living in Switzerland, France, or anywhere for that matter, you will know how much the bank fees are for transferring money from one person to another. I'm not talking about transfers within the same country (we all use Twint now at any rate).

But my example is concrete. I live in Geneva and my son lives in San Diego. I asked my son if I could Twint him (equivalent for him is Venmo) but we quickly both realized that those services are only aimed at payments within the same country and currency. TWINT was founded in September 2016 as Switzerland's payment app.

When he needed money transferred to his US bank account, I was using bank-to-bank transfers, often swallowing up huge fees and long transfer times. I was so delighted when I used Wise.com (previously TransferWise.com) and saw how fast and inexpensive it was.

Kitchen BODEGA43 1

We recently heard about BODEGA43 and realized how important constant temperatures for preserving bottles of wine is to connoisseurs. We caught up with Roger Kolenbrander, co-owner of BODEGA43. He tells knowitall about his product.

Why did you start? What has been the inspiration?
Out of love and passion for wine. I have been in the wine business for 25 years, always missing a wine cellar at home. The idea came up, after leaving the wine business, when we could take over a very small Dutch company for wine coolers.

We started to design our own wine coolers under the name BODEGA43. It started for fun and to finally have a good wine cellar for private use. At that time it was not meant to be set up as a big international company like it is now, but due to already existing international experience in another job, soon after starting in The Netherlands, we decided to expand to Germany. After that followed Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Israel and now most of the European countries, like Switzerland with weinkuehlschrankshop.ch.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?
Initially the production. We were growing so fast that for the first few years, we could not produce the quantity we were selling. Now the biggest challenge is to handle the technical part of all the websites we manage.

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Christmas stamps
Every year, Swiss Post’s Christmas special stamps prove highly popular and Swiss Post's 2023 whimsical series including snow flakes will not disappoint.

If you take a closer look at a snowflake, you will find a unique star to admire. Snow crystals form in cold clouds, where water droplets join together with particles of dust to form a hexagon – a star. The designer dreamt up this ideal Christmas decoration on a winter walk in the forest: “I was watching how the snow crystals covered the fir trees, and I imagined deer, mice and rabbits running around, happily collecting snow crystals to decorate their own Christmas trees.” To balance out the coldness of the season, the Vaudois artist also chose warm and cosy elements for each of the five designs. A concept that won the vote of Swiss Post staff throughout Switzerland.

A set of 4 cards with 4 stamps of CHF 1.10/each is also available to purchase.

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Ariel Pierre Haemmerlé with the newly published 2nd edition

Back in 2021 we wrote an article about Ariel Pierre Haemmerlé at this link, the tour guide with a big personality. Last year, we wrote the article at this link about his 5th book: Genève, les dates les plus importantes de son histoire. Can you believe he sold out of all his copies in 3 weeks? He has updated the book and the new, second edtiion is now out in time for the perfect Christmas present.

We met up with him to get our hands on a copy. The new edition has more dates, more details, and has enough information about Geneva to make you appreciate the history of this city even more. Ariel Pierre told us, "I don't think it will ever cover all the dates. I wanted to just keep it to the most important ones; once the first edition was out, I realized that I should have put other important events in the Geneva history. Now I have added them, and the 2ed edition is out, I think: oh, I could have added this or that... my mind is swimming with possibilities. But I am very happy with the result."

Do you know what these dates represent?

  • 121 AC
  • 1478
  • 1754
  • 1818
  • 2023

If none of them ring a bell, read to bottom for the answers. 

Organized very simply by dates, with a brief explanation of what each date means to Geneva, you will learn many, many fundamental milestones in this city's evolution.

The book will be available to purchase from all bookshops this week. This might be the Christmas present you might have been looking for!

This tour guide knows how to catch your attention and keep it. If you are interested in inviting him to an event to talk about Geneva, please contact him. He will not disappoint your audience.