Rigi – Panoramaweg

On a clear day head to the Arth-Goldau RB train station, exit at the Rigi Wölfertschen-First station (there are bathrooms located at the start of the hike) and head out on the beautifully well-paved, Panoramaweg trail.  Pack plenty of water, sturdy hiking shoes and snacks for the journey and your camera to capture the breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps, the Vierwalderstätter (Lake Luzern) and Zugersee Lake.

2016-05-21-Rigi_40This trail is ideal for families, as the route is stroller friendly and parents will enjoy the incredible views. About 20 minutes into the walk you will see a flower trail that offers commanding views of the lake. Right before this trail, there are two restaurants that serve fresh meals and coffee. If you elect to veer off the Panoramaweg to experience the flowers and the stunning views of Vierwaldstätter do not worry, this route will re-connect you with the original path.

2016-05-21-Rigi_28jpg We elected to turn around about half way throughout the hike and return via Rigi Kulm taking the train down the mountain, hopping on the boat in Vitznau and back on the train in Luzern to make our trip back to Basel.

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This hike is ideal for the following:

Families with strollers

Those who enjoy stunning views

Nature lovers

Active visitors who want to see the best of Switzerland

A full day adventure from the Basel area

2016-05-21-Rigi_37jpg This was a full day trek, but certainly worth the journey. It is also a lovely hike to take active visitors who long to see remarkable views of the Swiss Alps.  Be sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, First Aid Kit and jackets just in case.  For more detailed information on this hike please visit: Wanderland Schweiz.  Oh, and thank you to my sweet friend for the wonderful suggestion!

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The Best of Podcasts

Here is the truth, I am a podcast junkie. At the gym, commuting around the city, or simply completing a mundane task, you will see me with my ear buds popped in and listening away. I love to hear the stories, learn the lesson, discover an aha moment, or simply feel more human after hearing very personal stories. Podcasts are a beautiful way to learn something new, to challenge current beliefs, to change a perspective and that is why I listen.

Here are a few of my current favorites. Listen and enjoy!

Swiss Websites

Death, Sex & Money – I adore the host of this podcast, Anna Sale. She has such a knack for asking hard questions, while being completely human and compassionate. She knows when to push for more, and when to back away; what a remarkable gift!  The podcast covers those topics that are hard to discuss, yet are critical components to every day life. Death, Sex and Money is such an important podcast for so many reasons, and still one of my ultimate favorites!  Death, Sex & Money

TED Radio Hour – What can I say, Guy Raz is endearing. With a quirky, yet charismatic radio voice, he, much like Anna Sale, has a true gift for interviewing and relaying very important information to his audience. By selecting a topic and building on the idea, this podcast pulls from previously recorded TEDTalks, but adds in much more commentary from Guy. This podcast is ideal for those that hope to expand their horizons, learn some interesting facts and make fascinating discoveries.  TED Radio Hour

TEDTalks – Learning never goes out of style, so whenever I get itchy to expand my mind, I will choose a topic for a TEDTalk and have a good listen. From education, to health, to positive inspiration, TEDTalks are inspirational and mind blowing!

Modern Love – Modern Love created by the New York Times, was for years column on, you guessed it, love. Modern Love remains a New York Times column, but is now also a deliciously sweet podcast. Yes, the podcast is devoted exclusively to love, but not necessarily in the conventional way many may think. Stories take readers through trials and tribulations of the heart, weaving us through the most heart wrenching journeys. If you are a romantic at heart, you will devour this podcast. Oh, and each story is read by a famous actor, making the listening that much more enjoyable. Hosted by Meghna Chakrabarti, this is an excellent listen.  Modern Love

Sounds of the Trail – Quite possibly the ultimate way to escape, this podcast follows thru – hikers as they complete hundreds, if not thousands, of miles on the trail. Some hikers are completing the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Coast Trail, the John Muir Trail, for the very first time, while others are returning for more. Each hiker has his or her own journey, unique story and reason for taking weeks, months and/or years out of their normal lives to embark on a true, life-altering journey. Worth a listen, but we warned, you might just want to ditch your 9 – 5 and get out there! Sounds of the Trail

The Minimalists – Hosted by “The Minimalists,” Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, this podcast talks about getting rid of all the stuff so individuals can focus what really matters in life. I commend The Minimalists for encouraging the world to look at their consumption patterns and focusing more on how we spend our time, our money and ultimately, our lives. We need more attention on our buying habits, which Ryan and Joshua do so well.  The Minimalists

The Longest Shortest Time – Is a well-crafted podcast that deals with all things relating to parenthood. From serious conversations on conception, pregnancy and birth, to issues partners face once children enter their lives, this podcast is perfect for new parents. Forget feeling alone as a new or seasoned parent, for this podcast will open your eyes to all we as parents truly endure.  The Longest Shortest Time

Wellness Mama- I have nothing but admiration for this mother of six. Kate, the host of Wellness Mama, is on a mission to raise not only her children, but also the children of the future in a healthy, thoughtful way. With tips on consuming whole foods, getting outside more and natural methods and products for nearly everything, this is a podcast for moms on a mission. Wellness Mama

All podcasts are available for free on iTunes.  Coming in the near future, great podcasts for children.

Some of my favorite episodes in no particular order:

The Longest Shortest Time Episode 79 Terry Gross on Not Having Kids  Terry Gross

Death, Sex & Money October 22, 2014  Ellen Burstyn’s Lessons on Survival Ellen Burstyn

The Minimalists Podcast 017 Health Health

Wellness Mama Podcast Episode 3 The Oral Health Episode Oral Health

Ted Radio Hour Champions Champions

Sounds of the Trail Episode 06 Thur – Hiking Will Ruin Your Life Thru Hiking

New Perspective

I’ve mentioned before that Basel is a fabulous place to call home for so many reasons, but Basel is also a highly transient city, meaning people we have welcomed into our lives come and go all the time. Many of those living the “expat life” reside in a country for just a short time, as work contracts often dictate our location in the world.  Thus we give into the demands of the agreement and flee when time is up.

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Countless friends who have filled our lives with tremendous joy, have left Basel leaving us with lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes. Their absence is a significant loss in our lives.

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I used to carry their departures with me like heavy weights, but today I think of them differently. We now have the privilege of knowing a plethora of incredible people around the world, which now makes travel all the sweeter.

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When we return home to the States, we are greeted by old smiles and familiar hugs. When we visit gorgeous islands we are welcomed with open arms into friend’s homes and for a brief period of time, we catch a rare glimpse of what their new lives entail.

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We feel grateful for those experiences and enjoy our travels all the more when we have the opportunity to visit with those people that at one time used to fill our days.  We also have the good fortune of living in a pretty awesome place that attracts friends and family far and wide. With open arms and open doors we are blessed to be able to continue our friendships either here in Basel, or elsewhere.  So now instead of having our hearts ache over the departure of our friends, we have changed our perspective.  We are learning to embrace whatever time we have with these genuine people who quickly become dear friends and learn that though they have physically departed, our friendships will and do continue.  How lucky are we?

2013-06-19-mlrca_177 A special thanks to our awesome friends in Mallorca for making our recent trip so memorable.

Interview Series – Women in Sports

Most of us are familiar with the FCB Men’s Soccer team, but few of us are aware that FCB also has a women’s team. I had the privilege of meeting one of the former women’s soccer players, Sofia Herzog at our local gym a while ago. Amazed at her ability to juggle professional soccer, university studies focusing on Biotechnology at ETH Zürich and much more, I felt compelled to reach out to Sofia for a multitude of reasons.

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For one, I wanted to shed light on the fact that women are thriving in a traditionally male dominated sport. Women need more recognition in sports and deserve our support. Not to mention, for those of us raising girls, these women serve as role models and ambassadors for women in sports all over the world. Taking our families to a women’s game not only helps support the team, but it also shows our children that women are powerful and just as deserving to be on any field as men.

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Finally, we all need strong, healthy, powerful inspiration in our lives. By profiling young women who are doing their best to be positive role models, we are making a statement that we value their hard work and appreciate their efforts. I for one am grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to know Sofia and wish the FCB Women’s Team all the best in their future endeavors.

More2Explore (M2E): How old is the FCB Frauen Team?

Sofia: The Women’s team was adopted from FC Concordia Basel in 2008. Before that, there was not an existing women’s section in FC Basel.

M2E: How does one become a member of the team? What does the try – out process entail?

Sofia: There is no classical try-out. The classical way to join the team is to go through our junior teams (U15, U17, U19) and the most talented athletes eventually move on to the senior team. Another way to become a team member is the transfer from another team.

In contrast to the male soccer players, most of the female players are more or less playing for free and are only compensated for their education, which is required to be paid.

However, I took a slightly different approach. Until the age of 14, I played with one year of exception, for the boy’s team of Concordia and FC Basel (U14 and U15). For me, this was the best education and training I could have experienced. In my opinion, that is still the best way to play – with boys, as long as your body can keep up with the men.

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M2E: What is the weekly/monthly/yearly commitment to be a member of the team?

Sofia: There is no commitment or mark that we have to achieve, other than performance. In a team, anyone should notice if another member is not giving a 100%. It is our responsibility to make sure we push each other to reach 100%. This is the key to success.

M2E: How does the team fund games, uniforms, travel, etc.? What can the public do to support the FCB Frauen team and women in sports?

Sofia: Luckily we are part of the most successful club in Switzerland and also profit partially from them (infrastructure etc.). However, as a non-profit team, we always fight for the money we obtain from the club, because of course the arguments against us are there.

For the club, it is probably more valuable to invest in a junior player, who perhaps one day can make it to the first team and be sold for a lot of money to an international club. Therefore, it is important to be very correct, very attentive to represent our club the best we can and focus on our performance to make our budget legitimate.

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M2E: When is the FCB Frauen season and where is the home stadium? Where is the schedule posted?

Sofia: The season normally runs from August to the middle of November and then continues in the beginning of February and runs until the middle of May.

We play on the FC Basel Nachwuchs Campus, just next to the Grün 80, which is a very peaceful place and makes it ideal to add a game visit to a Saturday afternoon walk.

You can find our schedule on: http://www.football.ch/de/SFV/Spitzenfussball/Spitzenfussball-Frauen/Statistik-und-Resultate-Spitzenfussball-Frauen/Meisterschaft-Frauen.aspx/ln-21010/s-2016/

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M2E: As an athlete and a student, how do you schedule your time and balance your daily routines?

Sofia: Good question. Sometimes I don’t know. But it’s all about planning. I like to have a structure to my day and then I simply go from one thing to the next. Sometimes this makes living with me not so easy because I have very little flexibility, but passion compensates for a lot.

M2E: As a woman, how has sports played a positive role in your life?   In your opinion, what benefits do women receive when they play a team or individual sport?

Sofia: Sports give me a feeling that nothing else can give me. I couldn’t study without doing sports; I would explode. I’m become very antsy after sitting for more than two hours and sports provide me with some fresh air after an intense day.

I am very inspired by my parents, who do sports every day, so maybe it’s also inherited a little bit.

M2E: How can we encourage young girls and women to participate in sports?

Sofia: For me, playing sports was the key to help me overcome being timid and my anxiety. I started Karate at five – years because I was afraid of being kidnapped:) It helped me a lot, even though I am still not very self-confident. Sports also give you a lot of happy moments, for example, if you do something you never thought you could do. I think it is one of our biggest tasks – to help people move and the sooner the better. If this is done, it becomes part of your DNA.

Thank you Sofia for taking the time to answer my questions.

The Weekend Retreat – Son Bernadinet

Tucked down a dirt road just outside rural Campos, sits the pristine and quiet Casa Rural Son Bernadinet hotel. With crisp white sheets, a spacious room that accommodated our entire family of four and food that literally begged us to linger over each bite, this hotel is not to be missed. The grounds are meticulously groomed, the citrus trees perfume the landscape and the pool invites guests to take a swim – this hotel is classic for couples or for families.

Simple and elegant, quiet and relaxing, Son Bernadinet, is just a 20 minute drive from our favorite beach on the island – Es Trenc. With shallow waters perfect for small children, and colors that continue to take our breath away, we are happy to unroll our beach towels, and spend hours on this stunning span of ocean. The children never complain about the day spent under the Spanish sun for they are far too happy collecting hermit crabs, running in and out of the water and lounging lazily on the white sand beaches. If perfect is described as steady and slow, calm and peaceful with natural beauty surrounding, then we have come to tell you that perfection has been discovered.

 
Son Bernadinet
Carretera Campos – Porreras
07630 Campos
Illes Balears, Spain