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LIMMAT RIVER, SWITZERLAND


My husband has been bugging me to go to the river with him. Limmat river stretches all throughout the city and connects to the Zürichsee (lake). Just recently, he discovered a path from our place that leads directly to the Limmat. He found a spot near the river bend where we can set-up a mat and have a picnic.

I finally accepted his invitation the other day and I was sure glad I did! It was something I’ve never done before. I always go to the beach in the Philippines but I’ve never really gone swimming in a flowing river. 

It’s so cool to see all of these people on their rubber boats and some were even just hanging on to their waterproof backpacks. They were allowing the current to take them to the other end. It’s so nice to see how they amuse themselves while taking the cruise. Some have portable radio speakers, others have food and beer, and I even saw a guy with a water gun. 

This is why they say Zurich is one of the top 3 best cities to live in the world. Yes, the cost of living is very high but the people are also paid very well here and they get to enjoy nature at its finest. Things also actually do work here. There’s a river and it’s clean enough to swim in. Everything just works! People need not complain about the traffic, or the bus coming late (because it rarely does), or bumpy roads (Swiss Engineering!). They just need to worry about their personal lives because every service offered by the government is fast and efficient. My dream for the Philippines is to be as clean and efficient as Switzerland. Hopefully in my lifetime! 

Anyway, here are our snaps from that day. Hashtag No Filter!

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 
Bis bald!

dcw

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FEUSISBERG, SWITZERLAND


Berg means mountain in German. I am taking Deutsch language classes at Alemania Deutschschule. Everyday, I learn something new. Just like how everyday, I discover something new in this country.

For our half a year as a married couple, we decided to go up the mountains and stay at this hotel spa called Panorama in Feusisberg. 

Both my husband and I didn’t know what to expect as we were on the way because we haven’t been in this part of Switzerland before.

We took a train at the HB towards Chur and a bus that took us right in front of the hotel.

Imagine our delight when we saw this view from the hotel:

 

I will let our pictures do the talking. It was such an amazing and pleasurable experience. It made me appreciate this new country that God put me in. He really is the greatest architect. No man could have ever designed a sight like this! I am in complete awe of God’s wonderful work! 

  
    
    
    
    
    
   
   
    
    
    
    
    
    
        
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

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KONSTANZ, GERMANY


Last weekend, we went on a double date road trip with the Chans. B & K are also newlyweds. K is also half-Swiss, half-Filipino like my husband is. B also had to migrate to Switzerland like me. 

We decided to go to Konstanz to shop and make a side trip to Singen for their KFC! :)

The first time I was in Konstanz was also on a double date with another newlywed couple. I, therefore, conclude that Konstanz is our go-to place for double dates. You have everything there: a walkable city center, a decent-sized mall, the lake, good food, and cheap shopping. And since we crossed the border, we can avail of tax rebates for our purchases.

The highlight of our trip was our degustation at Kentucky Fried Chicken. We were surprised to be given a container of gravy just like in the Philippines! Finger lickin’ good! Obviously, there’s no KFC in Zurich. We are fastfood-deprived over here. We only have McDonald’s and Burger King. No Pizza Hut, no Popeye’s, no Shake Shack. Oh well, it’s bad but it’s also a good thing because we get more of the healthier options. :)

We were just there for a day. On the first weekend of August, we are going with another couple to Cinque Terre in Italy! Can’t wait! Thank God for summer!

d.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   

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SINGEN, GERMANY


The Swiss are really blessed people! The topography of their country is marvelous. There are mountains, lakes, and rivers all around. The government provides well for the people. Education is free. Mass Transportation Services are outstanding. Rules are followed and there is order in everything that they do. My favorite perk though is that Switzerland is right smack in the center of Italy, France, and Germany!  I’ve said this many times but what I love about Europe, and now living in Switzerland, is that I can just hop on a train and be at another country in less than an hour! That’s exactly what I did yesterday. I went to the Zürich bahnhof and bought 3 tickets to Singen, Germany at 10:45am. At 11:05, I was inside the cross-country train with B and C headed towards Germany. At 12nn, I was already having a pretzel with butter and chives at Singen. As the Swiss say: “Mega Cool!” Some people even have their meals at different countries in a day. Breakfast in Switzerland, Lunch in Germany, Dinner in Italy. I love it!!! And it’s not the feeling of luxe that I am really after. It’s really just that switch in dynamics, culture, food, and language that I enjoy so much. I like going to city centers and observing the people’s way of life. I reflect on how it’s the same and yet so different from all the towns I’ve been to. I like taking it all in and making mental notes of how else I can spend my day.  I thank God everyday for this opportunity to see the world in different perspectives. Some people just stay in one place and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you can find joy in the life that you have, that’s enough for me. But I always encourage my friends to get out some more. To explore this huge world that God has designed so beautifully. It doesn’t have to be grand vacations. It can just be a simple backpacking trip. It doesn’t even have to be from one country to another. Even just island-hopping in the Philippines can already broaden your perspective. Try even just once a year to go somewhere you haven’t been. Believe me, it’s worth more than that bag you are saving for or even that shiny jewelry you have been eyeing. Yesterday, I had two items on my to-do list: Visit Singen’s city center and shop for cheap items.  It was not even a grand vacation but I already got a feel of how the people in that town near the German-Swiss border operate. The people are warm, contrary to how some Germans are perceived. They enjoy their bratwurst sandwiches in the morning. They enjoy their coffee al fresco even if it’s a little bit gloomy outside. The town is starting to welcome the bigger international brands. Mango has just opened right across H&M. They have a number of “wastelands” or shopping stores with all of the basic thingamajigs for the home.   I didn’t have much time to create a long video but this 20-seconder is already a good teaser.                       Invest in experience. That’s something that will never depreciate. Love, dcw

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WEDDING FILM


HERE IT IS!!! :) :) :) I edited the hours worth of wedding film given by our video supplier Photogenics (I loooove them!) into a 15-minuter.

This is a very simple edit of what transpired on the 12th day of January 2015 in Anvaya Cove, Philippines. No special camera or editing tricks. Just a simple rundown of the highlights of our wedding (shirtless men and funny speeches included! hahahaha!)

I’m sharing this with those who have supported us since Day 1.

I edited out this line from my long vows but this is really the gist of our love story: “When you think God is giving you a difficult time and making you wait, He is really just seasoning you for bigger and better things to come.” Our love story was 4-5 years in the making. But it was well worth the wait.

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PALMAS-RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL


Before my wedding, I got in touch with my then soon-to-be father-in-law. I gave him a surprise overseas call from the Philippines to Brazil where he is now based. I introduced myself (he knows of me but we haven’t really spoken until that time). I asked if he could send a photo of himself and a letter for his son which I planned on giving on the day of our wedding.

From his first “Hallo!”, I immediately felt like he had the same cheerful vibe as my husband’s. After that call, he immediately referred to me over SMS as his “daughter-in-law” which made my heart melt.

He was not able to attend our wedding because he is already 72 years old. He thinks he is too old to endure a long haul flight. But my husband promised to visit him in Brazil right after our wedding. He wanted me to come but I opted for them to meet first. I didn’t want to rob them off that father and son bonding time by tagging along. They were, after all, going to meet again after 20 long years!!!

And so my husband flew to Palmas, Brazil to meet his “Papi”.

As soon as they met, my husband gave me a call. He sounded like a kid thrilled to have just met Santa Claus! He was so happy! I was actually teary-eyed for him!

My husband spent almost a week with his dad. And then he flew to Rio to see the Christ the Redeemer shrine. His bff Cy who’s a flight steward met-up with him in Rio.

When my husband returned to Zurich, he was a renewed man. We spent his first day back just talking about his grand time with his dad. He can’t stop raving about how his dad was a former-Formula 3 car racer and was friends with Formula 1’s Peter Sauber. (His dad actually won a Swiss Championship!) Together, we watched the video clips he took from his trip. And I promised to edit them and make a travel video for him.

This video is a story of men. There is nothing sad about it but while I was editing, I felt very emotional. My heart was overflowing with joy for my husband. I am so glad he made an effort to reconnect with his dad.

I can see that my future kid/s will have a cool großvater (grandfather) in Papi Kurt!

Spread the love,

dcw

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MALMÖ, SWEDEN


From Helsingborg, we took the train to Malmö which is also a city of Sweden.

We had one agenda: to shop!

I love my new hometown Zürich but everything here is expensive! That’s why when I go out of Switzerland, I take advantage of the cheaper shopping alternatives. For perspective, one tube of MAC lipstick costs around 25USD in Zurich versus 16USD almost anywhere else in the world! 😂

I set aside half a day for shopping at the biggest mall in Scandinavia: The Emporia.

It’s a gold building just a walk from the Malmö train station. It has a U-shaped rooftop that makes the building look like it could be a setting of a sci-fi movie. 

For half a day, I bought trenchcoats, shoes, and other essentials. Of course, I spent the longest time in H&M because I was, after all, in Sweden!

We took a 30-minute underwater train ride from Malmö to Copenhagen. We capped the day eating churros at Nyhavn.

   
               

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HELSINGBORG, SWEDEN


From Helsingor, Denmark where the “Hamlet” castle is, we cruised to historic Helsingborg, Sweden which is a scenic coastal city.  The structures in Helsinborg are old-style and stone-built. Churches and medieval ruins can be found all over the place. The most visited is the Kärnan tower which is the only thing that was left of the 600 year old medieval fortress that was bombed in the city center. I enjoyed walking Kullagatan, the main shopping street and the first pedestrian shopping street in Sweden.                                                   

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COPENHAGEN, DENMARK


As a kid, when asked what my favorte country is, I’d always answer Denmark even if I haven’t even been there. I figured it’s the one closest to my name. :) “Denise will make a mark. Denmark!”

I once had a suitor whose name is Mark and he kept on saying that if we become a couple, we will own a country and rule the world: Den + Mark = Denmark! (Toinks!)
Well, I married a Mike. And we are now conquering the world, one country at a time! Close enough. 😉 He also spent for my recent “me-time” trip to Denmark and that’s even better! 😂

I specifically went to Copenhagen and stayed at my husband’s cousin’s place at Alholm. R&L, newlyweds, hosted me for a few days. L toured me around the usual spots. Her mother-in-law accompanied me to Field’s (mall) and this huge grocery store (Bilka) to buy stuff to bring home. R cooked for us.

My favorite place is the Walking Street where all the lifestyle stores are.

I saw the round tower, several castles, and parliament houses.

What’s nice about Copenhagen is that all the tourist spots are close to one another. You don’t even have to take the metro to go from one place to the next.

It’s also a very flat city. No hills or mountains at all! Buildings are also not very high which makes you see the entire glory of the sky especially at night.

The highlight of my trip is seeing The Little Mermaid. My favorite snack that I’ve tried in Copenhagen are the soft taquitos sold at 7-11. I also loved the churros dipped in milk with Oreos. The Danish pastries were also to die for!

I loved the fact that they are very eco-friendly and they planned their city well. Most of the Danish use bikes which they can park inside the trains. They recycle. They have blind trails all over the city. They get their electricity from biofuel. It’s no wonder Copenhagen is one of the world’s best cities to live in!


                                                                                    

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WELCOME TO SCANDINAVIA


Oh, Scandinavia.

You now occupy a space in my heart.

As a creative person, I know for a fact that it is very hard to edit your own art. It’s quite difficult for a creative output to have that wow factor and yet still be so simple. I think this is what the Danish and the Swedish people do best. They produce creative yet simple stuff that are very marketable in today’s world.

As much as I fell in love with the history of Denmark and Sweden (Vikings and all), I was also mesmerized by the quality of work they have produced in the design department (Interior design pieces, etc.). I was not able to take photos and videos of the showrooms I’ve seen because I wanted to take everything in. I just want to write about it here so that I will remember how fascinated I was with the things that I saw when I went to Scandinavia. I created the usual travel video though that features the tourist spots. I also have a few photos to share.

This will definitely not be the last time I’m going there! I am now checking out New Scandinavian Designers’ websites for our flat that is begging for some redecorating. ;)

Until my next trip, dcw