Posts tagged Switzerland
Day 8 - Shiver me limb(ers)

Aching from head to to toe.



Have resolved to spend the entire day in bed complaining.

On a positive note some of my clothing that blew off the balcony was returned - folded neatly outside my door (no knickers).

Didn't even play coffee roulette ... instead, drank several litres of orange juice.

Just got tisked by a German woman for putting the wrong size coffee cup under the machine. I threw her my best best puppy dog "I'm sick face" and she melted into forgiveness.

Our truce was short-lived.

She stole all the crispy bacon so am currently scowling at her.

Saw her return to the buffet later so hid bacon fork.

She used her fingers.


Most of the guests in the hotel are German and most of them are lovely - albeit taciturn and serious. A few Americans arrived this morning ... you can tell the difference. The Germans converse quietly while the Americans insist on everyone in the restaurant hearing "how great the US is now".

There was a loud crash from the kitchen and an Italian family dissolved into hysterics ... I may have to mediate.

The loud ones are going on a ferry ride.

I just glanced out of the window and the lake looks flat calm,

still ...

Day 7 - Bad, bad baquette

So I got slapped about by the flu bug and spent the entire day in bed.


Really bizarre this 5-star hotel has no A/C .

How do you stop all the chocolate from melting into your mouth?

I found some energy for 30 seconds to do some hand washing and beat my knickers against the polished granite walls with fading gusto.

I found a stale baguette under the desk from my shopping trip and nibbled on it to prevent fainting spell. Then I realised I didn’t buy a baguette … mehhh … can’t really get any sicker.

Got sicker.

Up at 2am, 3am and at 4 I was done.

The coffee machine at the breakfast buffet is not fixed to the wall … may slip into my catsuit this evening and stick it in my Kathmandu case, which is so huge I’ve taken to hiding in there whenever housekeeping tries to clean my room. The muffled cries of “leave me be” seem lost on their Teutonic sensibilities.

Have allowed myself one more day to convalesce.



Day 6 - Manly man flu
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I love Ascona but have officially run to fat.

Shall wear large lettuce leaf in my hair tomorrow.

The chocolate aisles in Swiss supermarkets are positively criminal.

Black is slimming: they lied.

Black is slimming: they lied.

The checkout lady hates me. My Italian is awful and she frowns and mutters whenever I speak in English. I copied the lady in front of me and said 'Grazie Millie' and she smiled. Confident we will be best friends by end of trip.

Have come down with galloping influenza/man flu – hard to say.

Managed to climb out of bed and shoot David Paquette’s 3-hour set before coming back to the hotel to groan quietly.

Other sundry washing items have blown off the balcony into the piazza ... don't care. <<cough>>


Day 4 - Meat and eat


Am surrounded by Swiss meat.

Breakfast at hotel: meat and coffee. 

Have never seen so much salami. It’s everywhere … and in everything.


Went to supermarket and returned with several tubes of meat and a jar of pickles… could be pickled herrings – hard to tell.

Have decided not to battle against inevitable.

Am going to be size of house when I leave Switzerland.

Pasta and pizza around every corner – salami and pastries and cheese, oh my.

JazzAscona officially begins today.

Lunch: meat and San Pellegrino.

Busy ferreting about with memory cards and spare batteries.

Dinner: meat and meat.

Hotel right in middle of festival, on the water. It’s uber chic and everything you expect from 5 Star. Balcony overlooking the lake is great … leaving balcony doors open during the night not so good – drunk trumpet player playing outside my window at 3am … he was rather good though. 



Day 3 - Where San Pellegrino flows like water

First full day in Ascona.


Mon Dieu!

It’s like Barbie’s Dreamhouse exploded and splattered everything in chic: all just as it should be and swaddled in glamour. Thank god I packed my red, velvet smoking jacket. I keep expecting Audrey Hepburn to whizz by on a Piaggio.

I shan't be doing any whizzing … this whole driving on the wrong side of the road is just silly … and the roundabouts … mmmmm.

They call it the St. Tropez of Switzerland but that is short-changing this insanely beautiful town, cradled in the bosom of Lake Maggiore in the south. (St. Tropez in August: will check.)

Okay … so it’s 7.30am - at the breakfast buffet right now - and there is an Italian couple kissing and slow dancing by the toast points.

Love it!

The Italian language is infectious. They’re so enthusiastic; so committed to their conversations … I’m getting by with a few basic words and a lot of hand gestures. Who would have thought windmill arms would ever come in so handy.

Cobbled streets and medieval bell towers, platinum bobs, Ferraris, Prada, statement earrings and manicured mini dogs dripping in bling: it’s sensory overload.

There are 58 combinations on the coffee machine in my hotel. Desperate to banish my jetlag I pressed them all at once. It’s like coffee roulette but it always delivers sublime caffeine. 

Am surrounded by calories and can feel fat bits growing daily. Champagne corks pop and San Pellegrino flows like water.

Spent most of the day getting my media passes and exploring the town.

Jet lag kicked in again and knocked the wind out of my sales.

Dinner: Pasta … naturally.

The view from my balcony

The view from my balcony

Day 2 - LA to Amsterdamn-diddily-damn to Milano




Spent 10 hours sandwiched between 2 broken chairs at the back of an ageing 747.



I have not the words.


When I climbed up a ladder and was scared by a giant spider and fell backwards into a tree and broke my arm and then fell out of that tree and broke my leg, 2 ribs and my jaw I experienced less discomfort than I did on the KLM flight from LA to Amsterdam.

True story.

The flight with the same airline on to Milan was by comparison, joyous.


"The horrors of the transatlantic flight were quickly assuaged by the delight of arriving in Italy where style comes as naturally to its people as drawing breath and clutching manbags."


Moxy Malpensa is a midrange, trendy-friendly sleep-stop.

I stopped. I slept. I ate. I left. 

Pleasant. No fuss No worries.

A few hours later by minibus, arrived in Ascona, Switzerland for the Jazz Festival.

It’s a little piece of heaven.

LA, Amsterdam, Milano

Ascona ... pretty ... so, so pretty&nbsp;

Ascona ... pretty ... so, so pretty 

Pre-departure - New Zealand


Just discovered all my knickers have holes in them. 

Apart from Hello Kitty. 

Haven't left house and already a monumental packing malfunction. 

Hopefully, no more panty panic, although historical evidence from previous trips suggests otherwise.

Will avoid suggested Google travel tip of drying knickers in microwave.  

Packing for 2 months of travel is about as fun as blistering haemorrhoids. 



- China: check

- Russia: check

- Mongolia: check

Kilometres: 61,405 (38,157 miles)

Countries: 13

Imminent travel meltdowns: lots

Knickers: O


Suitcase does not fit in David's Porsche.

Sat inside suitcase on way to airport. 

Napier to Auckland - 1 hour flight.