Friday, July 26, 2013

5th wedding anniversary in Geneva

Today we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. We set out to Geneva, to a ceremonial dinner in a restaurant and a walk downtown. We made a short recollection what has happened in the past five years and I have to say, quite a bit. We both hope that the next five years will be even more fruitful.
The day was exceptionally hot, even after the sunset, so our walk was rather lazy. We stopped by an embankment quite often to admire the view on the city and enjoyed the splash of the water under the fountain. Lovely evening.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lac et Pointe d'Arvouin (2021 m)

Today I went to see Lac d'Arvouin and to climb Pointe d'Arvouin (2021 m) towering above the lake. I chose this route because it was a relatively fast one and lakes are always cool. Pointe d'Arvouin (2021 m) is a peak in Cornettes de Bise mountains which make up a natural border between Switzerland and France. The climbing path is on the French side though.
I started already from the hight of ~1600 m and it took 30 minutes on a mostly flat terrain to get to the lake. I admired already nice views and blossoming slopes of the surrounding mountains.

There were quite a few people picnicing by the lake. The mood around was party-like, people laughed and chatted quite loudly (especially by the chalets - mountain huts), dogs swam in the lake, children dipped their toes in a stream, etc. I sat by the lake for a while to gather strengths before climbing higher. It was really hot, so any piece of shadow was appreciated.

Since there was no official trail to Point d'Arvouin, frankly speaking I didn't know exactly which way to chose. I could go right through col de Savalenaz or left through col de Serpentin. I chose the latter and proceeded up a moderately steep slope. When I reached the col I had some nice view both, on the lake valley and on the Cornettes de Bise mountains.

From col de Serpentin I followed a wild trail up the mountains (there were no signs whatsoever that that was a trail, but I could see people walking down that little path from the top, so I hoped it was a good sign). I thought it would be possible to go on the mountain tops to reach Pointe d'Arvouin. The higher up the wilder the footway became. In the end it really looked like a goat trail or something, but it was not really long, so I proceeded up. I was hoping to reach to a better path on the top. Well, vein hopes... Instead, what I found at the top was... a chasm! It was pretty scary, with no protection from falling whatsoever. There was also no trail to the actual Pointe d'Arvouin which was situated just ~100 m away and ~80 m up. So, yet again, although I was very close, I didn't reach the actual top I was aiming for. But the view was nice anyway, so I spent some time in a safe distance from the chasm and looked over and back to French and Swiss side. At this height it was already nice and cool, so I took my time before following the same route to the car.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Medieval town of Yvoire

With the weather pampering us for the past weeks, we do trips every weekend. This time we went to Yvoire, small town at the south shore of Geneva Lake, well-known for  its medieval town and Garden of Five Senses. Having entered inner area encircled by an old wall, we headed straight to the Jardin des Cinq Sens (the garden). We haven't seen it yet so I was pretty curious what will await us inside.
In principle, the garden is design in a labyrinth-like manner with different "garden chambers". There are: alpine garden, undergrowth, maze, meditation place, garden of taste, garden of smell, garden of touch, garden of sight, garden of hearing. The last ones are the most interesting. In garden of taste you can find edible plants, in garden of smell one should rub the leaves of the plants to sense different smells, in garden of touch one will find funny texture plants (like with spikes, silky smooth, sticky etc.), garden of sight is a treat for our eyes, since it's all colored in blue, velvet and rose and the garden of hearing is basically a fountain. All in all, I enjoyed all of them.

After a visit in the garden we did a tour - by the medieval castle, to the lake side and through the quaint village. Surprisingly, there were no so awfully lots of tourists, so we enjoyed strolling down the little lanes covered with flowers.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fête nationale française

Bastille Day (14 July) is widely celebrated in whole France. In fact, every little village has its own concerts, celebrations and of course - fireworks. We went to Ferney Voltaire to be a part of it. At Château de Voltaire celebrations were at its best. At 22.30 (I was surprised by the punctuality) fireworks accompanied by classical music started. That was a real treat. We watched them from the castle's garden hill, they looked stunning.