Nature Festival in Morges on Friday, Sat and Sun for both Adults and Children

Now into its 12th year, the Salamandre (Salamander) Festival is a three day festival and that attracts thousands of nature lovers and visitors of all ages from French speaking Switzerland.
The festival’s aim is to increase public awareness about the fantastic diversity and fragility of the natural world.  Over the three days, there will be a diverse programme of events: exhibitions, films, workshops for children and storytelling.

Photo festival

Photo above – courtesy Festival Salamandre

The festival takes place in the Beausobre building in Morges (accessible by both car and public transport) and will be open on Friday and Saturday from 10:00 -19:00 and Sunday from 10:0 -18:00 . More info here

This year’s theme is  “Forests” and aims to show only to show the beauty and diversity of forests but to underline the difficult balance between man and nature.


Photo above  – C. Nelson-Pollard

Other key features are of this year’s programme are discovery labs  & workshops for children, interactive games and crafts galore to learn more about the secret life of the forest  There will be an art gallery with almost thirty Swiss and French artists displaying their work: Watercolours, sketches, oil paintings, sculpture and photography.Films on the big screen.

Local organisations from museums to local charities and national parks will be at this festival along with artisans and local produce.




Useful Swiss Consumer Programme – From Scams to Dried mushrooms, Toothbrushes and Tea.

If you are interested in consumer issues and want to know more about the products you buy here in French speaking Switzerland, it’s worth taking a look at the weekly television programme called ABE (A Bon Entendeur) presented by Manuelle Pernod and broadcast on Tuesday evenings on RTS1 at 20:10

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A regular look at the products we buy

This consumer progamme takes a regular look at many of the products we all buy in the main Swiss supermarkets and shops. It compares brands, analyses the content of many food products and draws conclusions for the consumer. Even if you only understand a basic amount of French, these programmes are well produced, can be easily understood and the conclusions are illustrated in graph form or with clear photos. 

Housing, Transport, Insurance etc

The programme also looks at other consumer issues such as housing, transport, insurance etc.  The website of the programme has useful links to consumer associations and  links to consumer rights groups.

The products featured over the last few weeks have been on a variety of items such as electric toothbrushes (their conclusion – buying the most expensive product in the shop isn’t necessarily the best!)  Scroll to around 4 minutes on the programme here to see the result on this particular test.

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Pesticides in Mushrooms and Herbal Teas

Another programme broadcast on February 18th featured the packets of dried mushrooms that can be found for sale in recognised retail outlets. It explained which packets of mushrooms contain pesticides and other chemicals, and which brand of mushrooms was rated the best all round. 

For lovers of herbal tea  another programme revealed the content of some well recognised tea brand names, the results can be seen on this clip here 

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Scam targeting local businesses

This week’s programme revealed a scam that involved small businesses being approached (one of them in Versoix) to take out and pay up front for advertising in a magazine that simply didn’t exist.

The programme has been on air for many years and there’s lots of archive material to be found on their site.  There is even an ABE app!



Music, Cinema, Rugby: what’s on in Nyon next week


Looking for something to do next week? Here are a few things going on in the area over the next ten days.


Both Cinéma Capitole in Nyon and Cinéma Rex in Aubonne offer special English speaking screenings. The next English films you can go and see in these two cinemas are:

Cinema Rex, Aubonne:

Gravity – 3D Monday 28th October, 20:30 part of the English Movie program

With Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Dr. Ryan Stone is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine space-walk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone, tethered to nothing but each other and spiralling out into the blackness…

You can watch the trailer here.

Cinéma Capitole, Nyon


Monday 21st October, 20:30

With Naomi Watts

A film about cult icon Lady Diana.

Watch the trailer

Blue Jasmine

Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, 18:00

With Cate Blanchett

The latest Woody Allen film

 Watch the trailer


From Schubert’s Lieder in Gland on the 24th to metal and pop rock this weekend at the Usine à Gaz with the 6th edition of Nyon’s On Fire, but also Fado in Bonmont abbey and the traditional Thursday night Jazz apéro under the Chateau in Nyon, the music offer in the area will please everyone’s tastes.

Thursday 24th October, 17:00, Théâtre de Grand Champ, Gland: Schubert’s Lieder performed by the Atelier à Coeur Joie.

Friday 25th, Saturday 26th, Usine à Gaz, Nyon: For the sixth year running Heimathome, an association which promotes alternative music from the area, is organising Nyon’s On Fire at the Usine à Gaz. After the success of the last few years, and a 100% Swiss headline, they have decided to tackle larger game this year. Friday night will be aimed at metal and hardcore lovers, whilst Saturday night will see the venue resonate with the electro-pop tunes of We Have Band, as well as other rock and electro bands. This will be We Have Band’s third time in Nyon, after a gig at Paléo Festival and another one in the Usine A Gaz. You can check out an interview Living In Nyon did with the band last time they came here.

More info and line-up on the festival’s website

Sunday 27th October, 17:00, Abbaye de Bonmont: Katia Guerriero will play Fado (traditional Portuguese music) in this 12th century Cistercian abbey with wonderful acoustics. Tickets cost 40.- for adults, 30.- for students and pensioners, and 20.- for children (8-15 yrs). Book on

Thursday 31st October, 18:00, Chateau de Nyon: Provinyon’s traditional jazz apéros. Come and enjoy a nice Swiss apéro with local wine whilst listening to the Geneva Boogie Woogie Trio. Entrance costs 5.-, please book on



The Swiss rugby championship will be held in Colovray on Sunday the 27th of October. Entrance is free.

The ecological association “Sol à Tous” regularly organises walks in the area to clean up the nature and pick up rubbish. Their next expedition will be in Duiller on Saturday the 26th. The rendezvous is fixed at 14:30 at the “Duillier, centre communal” bus stop. (You can take the n°820 bus to St-George in Nyon which leaves at 14:21).

A new cookery school, “Les Papilles à la fete”, has opened in Nyon, and classes are available in English! Check out the website for more information, or read a more detailed account in English on

Launch of walk from Geneva to to Salamanca on Sunday carrying environmental message

On Sunday 2nd June  it’s the launch of the Trail to Salamanca – an initiative developed to carry the messages for the 10th World Wilderness Congress – WILD10 - in Salamanca, Spain, 4-10 October 2013. The launch  at 11:00 will be hosted by Musée d’Histoire des Sciences  128 rue de Lausanne, in Geneva. An official ceremony will be held with a list of different speakers from Geneva, Spain, Germany, South Africa and the United States explaining the background of WILD10 and how it links up with the Museum and the Geneva Region.

Wild 10

Photo above courtesy – Wild 10 

Following the ceremony, Geoff Dalglish - a well-known journalist and long-distance hiker from South Africa will start his 2,500 km walk from Geneva to Salamanca across mountains, through valleys, along rivers and across plains in France and northern Spain. During this walk, Geoff Dalglish will report back from the work of different organizations along the route with examples of how making Europe a wilder place has already started to happen and how this benefits both nature and people.

Have fun and discover local fauna and flora on the 25th of May! Get to know your neighbours on the 31st of May!

 Nature Celebrated in Nyon

As part of the Nature festival, which will take place throughout Switzerland from the 24th to the 26th of May, the town of Nyon is organising a day of festivities around nature in the town. A photo contest called “Unusual nature in Nyon” will also take place.

The area behind the station (where the “Roulotte” is) will be invaded by the local fauna and flora on Saturday 25th of May, from 10:00 to 17:00. Different recreational and educational workshops will be pffered to the public, in collaboration with Equiterre , an association which promotes sustainable development.


Learn how to grow vegetables on your balcony!

Passionate guides will show you how to grow a vegetable patch on your balcony, build a shelter for local animals (which might do them some good with the terrible weather we’ve been having lately…), or help develop the biodiversity in the town.

An urban safari will take you on a tour of Nyon’s hidden nature, local bee-keepers will be giving honey tastings, alongside several other activities. Musical interludes will punctuate the day. Don’t miss the Musical Salad at 11:00! Come and collectively prepare and enjoy a salad made from unsold products recuperated from supermarkets.

There will be games, exhibitions and more. You can find the whole programme here.

Most of the workshops and the urban safaris require booking. You can do this on the Equiterre website  and on the fête de la nature website, and on the day depending on availability.



Get to know your neighbours on the 31st of May!

The Fête des Voisins, which has become a classic all over Switzerland since it started a few years ago, is the best occasion to get to know your neighbours, have a nice time with the ones you already know, and make life in your neighbourhood livelier and more fun! This is also a great way to improve your French as practice makes perfect. So why not organise a party, a barbecue or a drink in your neighbourhood? You can find more information, including the forms to fill in to get free t-shirts, balloons and flyers to host a great event on the Nyon website.

“La fête des voisins- Immeubles en fête” started in Paris in 2000, and has since then spread all across Europe. Each year, several million people take part in this event. This year, 35 Swiss towns and villages will be celebrating friendly relationships between neighbours.

Here is a translation of the 10 tips for a great party, which you can find on the Nyon website

1: Get the poster/invitation leaflets for your neighbours

2: Put the poster up in the entrance if you live in a block of flats or slip the leaflets in your neighbours’ letterboxes if you live in houses.

3: Get together with some other neighbours to organise the day!

Don’t prepare everything on your own, but get involved with others. This is the best way to get the most people to come to the party. Preparing it together is already part of the event!

4: Find the right location.

Host the party in a public location (alley, courtyard, garden…), as this will be less intimidating for people who don’t know many of the neighbours. If you have any questions regarding security or anything else, don’t hesitate to call the town administration: (Nyon : 022 363 82 82 – Prangins : 022 994 31 27).

5: Get installed

Think about what you might need (tables, chairs) to install food and drinks and so people can sit down if they want to

6: Food and Drinks!

Try and get everyone to bring something for the party- but have things to drink and a few snacks.

7: Don’t forget kids and the elderly

Kids are always ready for some fun, don’t leave them out when you organise the event!

Older people aren’t usually used to these kind of events, and might not dare come. Try and encourage them to participate.

8: Decorate the party with tablecloths, balloons, posters… for a fun and friendly event

9: Most important of all: get to know each other!

On the day of the Fête des voisins, don’t stay on your own or with the people you already know: go and meet the other neighbours. Be the first to make contact, present yourself to others. Remember, the idea is to get to know your neighbours! Dont miss out on the occasion to get to discover other cultures, social origins or age groups!

10: This is only the start!

This event is a state of mind, a different way of seeing the town and the community, which can spread! Conviviality can produce common projects, better relationships, which can help to reduce isolation, anonymity and indifference, and make your neighbourhood a better place to live in.