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With the recent announcement of my relocation to Lake Geneva, Switzerland, readers and friends alike have asked for some images of the region. Seeing that our 40-foot seafreight container hasn't arrived yet to render me deaf and mute on all personal things audio, it's a welcome excuse to pound the keys and write something - even if it's got nothing whatever to do with hifi.

Our new digs are in Chardonne's terraced vineyards above Vevey and Montreux. Though wine connoisseurs tell us that our regional wines aren't top shelf, don't tell that to the locals. There's caveauxs and degustations all over, many within a minuscule foot walk from our door.

Chardonne has its own castle which one reaches on the way up Mont-Pelerin (1,084 meters). Translated, that's Mount Pilgrim. Besides being home to the 5-star Le Mirador Kempinski hotel, there's also the Tibetan monastery of Rabten Choeling which, yesterday and today, celebrated its 30th anniversary. The founder, Venerable Geshe Rabten Rinpoche, passed away in 1986, his reincarnation was born two years later. This 20-year old tulku is now being groomed by his old monk friend Gonsar Tulku Rinpoche to once again take the reins of the Center for Advanced Tibetan Studies where HH, the Dalai Lama, held his very first seminar for a Western audience a few decades ago. Seeing the new master sit beneath the image of his former self - well, it put many things into perspective. Again.

We attended Saturday's festivities which kicked off with a 1.5-hour purification puja to the White Tara. If you're a meditator, sitting in a room with Tibetan monks chanting century-old invokations gets you an immediate and powerful hit. A very auspicious beginning for my wife and I who had not known about Rabten Choeling when we signed the lease on our house. Better yet, we can reach the monastery sans car, taking the funiculair cable car up the mountain by two exits. By car, it's about 5 steep minutes. And the temple is always open to the public so this first hit won't be the last.