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Energized

I’ve been doing nothing and it feels great.

We’ve been spoiling the children and really just hanging out. We did take a daytrip to Switzerland for Mother’s Day and our 5 year anniversary. It’s a little over a two hour drive to Lucerne. We wanted to see the Kapellbrücke (chapel bridge) which is Europe’s oldest wooden bridge. It was built in 1333 and is one of Switzerland’s main tourist attractions.

Lucerne is beautiful. There is much to see and do there. We had a wonderful and relaxing day walking around the city. We did get stuck in the rain for the last part of the visit around Lucerne but it was just part of the fun.

We didn’t spend alot of money on food. We bought bread and ham to eat on the way. In Lucerne, we ate a yummy bratwurst with mustard and a hard bread roll. It just goes to show you that it’s not money that makes a trip. It’s discovery and adventure.

Switzerland is just charming and modern in one beautiful package. My husband and I have fallen in love with Switzerland. We are thinking of looking for jobs in Switzerland (the French speaking part) while still living in France. With my banking background I think I could find a job in Switzerland once my French is stronger. Switzerland pays about the double of what you can earn in France. It’s a thought.

It’s our dream to live in France near the Switzerland border. We would have France and Switzerland with Italy only a few hours away. It just can’t get much better than that!

I have put a few of the pictures from the roadtrip below or you can just click here to see a slide show or simply click on any of the images below to go to From my French window’s Flickr.

Lacerne Switzerland

Lacerne SwitzerlandLacerne Switzerland

Lacerne Switzerland

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Meredith May 15, 2006, 8:08 pm

    Your photos are wonderful, as usual, and it sounds like you guys travel like we do,. We usually buy a baguette and some ham for sandwiches when we are out and about, then enjoy the visit du jour.
    BTW we have friends who do exactly as you mentioned. They live in France, but work in Switzerland and profit from the good salaries over there.

  • Pumpkin May 15, 2006, 9:47 pm

    I have come to love a good baguette with ham, a little butter and the cornichon (small pickles) inside.

  • Wendy May 15, 2006, 10:06 pm

    You will lose your CAF benefits if you work in Switzerland though. Just a thought.

    I have a friend who is working in banking there – it’s not as well paid as you’d think, from what she says. But still, I can understand the attraction,it is beautiful. Although the Swiss are not easy people.

    Sorry – that’s all a bit negative…dunno why..:-)

  • Pumpkin May 15, 2006, 10:36 pm

    Wendy, I’ll have to look into that. I told my husband that we need to look at all the sides and see if we pay taxes in France or Switzerland and what that would mean not to mention retirement. I didn’t think we would lose our CAF if we still lived in France. It’s a little over 400 Euro a month with three children and at least one under three. So, we would need to weigh out how much we made together and the cost of daycare. Daycare is always the big thing.

    I would just like to be able to save a little and buy a small house with a yard for my kids. We don’t really need much. As long as we can make enough to do that then I would be happy.

    Not worried about diffulcult Swiss…Americans are also diffulcult when it comes to banking and money. Every single day I was yelled at by one customer or another. After a while I learned that it is just part of the job and Ididn’t let it get to me.

  • carra May 15, 2006, 11:06 pm

    I think the idea is brilliant (about working in Switzerland and living in France). Anyway i hope you will find a way to work and save the money for the house. Beautiful photos, great to hear you enjoyed the day!

  • Paul May 16, 2006, 7:10 am

    Just out of interest – did you know that the Kapellbrucke in Luzern was totally burnt down recently but has now been rebuilt to the “old” standards. I used to live in Luzern and it really is a beautiful town.

  • Sara May 16, 2006, 8:59 am

    Hi, I’m an American (married to an Austrian) and we live in France and work in Switzerland. (phew, that was a long introduction!) I found your blog from your article in the mulitcultural magazine (about your daughter, it was so sweet).

    Aside from the pain of dealing with 2 governments to get everthing set up for work permits (in my case its even more of a pain, becuase even though being married to an Austrian should, by EU law, give me the same rights as being married to a French, it of course doesn’t work that way in practice), we LOVE working the setup.

    As far as taxes go, you will pay taxes in Switzerland (as a forigener they take them directly from your paycheck), and then the Swiss and French have an agreement to give part of the money to the French. We both make about 50% more than we would in France, and the rents, while more expensive than somewhere in the middle of France, are not as high as in Switzerland, so on the whole I think we win out as far as money goes.

    One other thing to keep in mind, if you both work in Switzerland you will need to purchase your own health insurance. We have some through AGF that is specifically for frontaliers, something like 100 euros per month for me and 80 for my husband.

    If you would like any more info about becoming a frontalier (where are the nice places to live, other things to think about), let me know, i would be happy to email with you about it!

  • Pumpkin May 16, 2006, 10:34 am

    Paul, I had read that it was burned but I didn’t realize that it was totally burned down. If it was totally burned then that makes me sad because it is so beautiful and is such a huge historical presence in the city. Luzern seems like a wonderful city to live in with lots to keep you busy. It isn’t as big as Strasbourg but the center had the feeling of Strasbourg. It seemed as busy full of shops and cafés. There were many art galleries. I really enjoyed the visit. If we had been able to afford it we would have stayed for the night and explored the city for one more day.

    Sara, Thank you so much for the info that you gave me. Thank you for offering your knowledge and I am sure I will be asking more questions soon. My husband has just started applying to these jobs and I will start closer to the end of summer. My oldest daughter still lives in American with her father the majority of the year but in summer and Christmas she lives in France with us. So, I want to have at least one last summer with me not working. From what I hear most people benefit from this arrangement of working in Switzerland and living in France.

  • buzzgirl May 16, 2006, 5:05 pm

    Welcome back – you’ve been missed. Sounds like you had a great Mother’s Day.

  • Pumpkin May 16, 2006, 9:11 pm

    Thank you, Buzzgirl. We did. We have been pretty lazy the whole week. Just taking it easy and enjoying the kids. :)

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