Monday, May 24, 2010

A Day in Pictures

Did my favorite ride again today (~30miles in Switzerland) heres some pics I took along the way:

A tree, with some cows finding some shade underneath. This area has lots of vineyards (which I have cunningly missed off the pic)

Nice Swiss Village, lots of these on the way...

Another Swiss Village (called Genolier)

This is a water trough in Genolier, every village has at least one. Not seen one that says "eau potable" yet.

Swiss Mountain Railway - sadly you can't see on this pic, but Mont Blanc is\was visible on the other side of the lake

At just over 1000m altitude, this was the summit of the ride - its all downhill from here! The mountains ahead are the Juras

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cycling at Last

Its a random Bank Holiday in France\Switzerland today. So I decided to get the bike out and ride up a big mountain (1500m or so to be exact)
I didn't intend to be out long, but it was 4hrs 40mins in the end. I downloaded a route from here, that started in Versoix but passed close to Divonne-les-Bains, where I intended to pick it up.
I was navigating using a free GPS cycle computer, that you can load kml\gpx files into. There is no background map, so it turned out a bit hit and miss.
The climb started well in a nice forest, but I soon went wrong. The trail criss-crosses the road upto La Barillette, and without a background on the map it was pretty difficult to see where I was going. Half way up a super steep push I figured I had gone the wrong way, and rode back down. The climb was on nice trials to come back down, so I had high hopes. Anyhow, 3-1/2hrs later I had done the climb! I blame the slowness on having to check navigation all the time.
The descent turned out to be on fireroad, it was pretty quick and the wet mable size rocks made it interesting, but nothing to write home about. Some great views of the lake on the way down, not really a lot of time to check them out though.
If I do it again, I reckon its straight up the road, then down the climb.
I am absolutely knackered now, its been a while since I have been on a bike, going to ache tomorrow!
Heres the route:

Monday, May 10, 2010

First Day!

Well the first day is over, got my new pass (with ability to load swiss francs on it for use at the vending machine), access to several systems, and several names I have already forgotten.

Everyone seems pretty cool and very friendly, C'est Bon!

Tired now after first day at work for 2 weeks.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Border Storming!


Had played around with some GPS routes (in Google Earth format, KML) to potentially go for a bike ride into the Juras today.

Sadly, failed getting the routed loaded on my GPSCycle App on my Windows Mobile device (fixed it now though)
Not so bad, as the cloud descended today and the Juras would have been a no go area (fair weather rider that I am!)

Upon rising, I noticed that there were some snowy peaks visible on the south side of the Lake, so decided to drive out and try to get some pics. However, the danger of being so close to the Franco-swiss border, suddenly I crossed another unmanned border post and found myself in Switzerland, sans Passport I might add. So how to get back into France? Hopefully via another unmanned border post. But, the next post on the way back to Divonne, as usual the Swiss side had no one there, but there were Police on the French side "zut alors"! Fortunately, they were otherwise engaged and I got through unharmed.....

Just at the border is the Divonne-les-Bains man-made Lake (never enough Lake around here) and the "Hippodrome", sadly no Hippos to be seen, but it is infact a horse racing track.

Hippodrome, snowy peaks in the background if you look carefully
Divonne-les-Bains Lake, not the biggest Lake around here

There are lots of Birds of Prey around here too, I think some are not just the run of the mill Buzzard either, some of them seem mahooosive.

Bird of Prey

Heres the best pic I got of the mountains. Very Poor, Very Poor indeed. (my pic, the mountains are great)

Well, first day at the office tomorrow, till next time, Au Revoir

oh yeah, one thing, they don't sell bubble bath in France. BOO!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

A day in Pictures....

8/5 Test run to the new company in Switzerland. The border was completely free of guards or anyone. Lunch stop in Geneva, then a drive to a few potential places to live on the south side of the lake.

Interoute Geneva - where I will be working from Monday

Nice House in Messery (South of Lake Geneva)

Lake Geneva Harbour

Jet d'Eau in Lake Geneva - a water jet going upto 140m high from the Lake (consuming a mega-watt of electicity, not Switzerlands greenest attraction)

News\TV Presenters in France are like this

Friday, May 07, 2010

In other news....

The Pleney lift in Morzine opens on 5th June, and the Les Gets lifts open on the 12th June.

Only 4 weeks away - Happy Days!

I'm back in France, this time to Live!

6/5 Arrival in France

Time to restart this blog - much easier to update with content than stupidfacebook....
So, I have moved to France to start a new job in Geneva (which is in Switzerland, fact fans)
Why France, not Switzerland? I hear you cry. Well France is in the EU, so much easier to immigrate to for a fellow EU citizen. Also some tax breaks, and generally cheaper to live in than Switzerland (unless you're Phil Collins or Lewis Hamilton) :)
Ferry from 'ull was uneventful, pretty empty in fact.
Arrived in Zeebrugge at 8:45am, then the big drive starts - 7.5hrs and 750km (466 miles if you prefer)

As usual, the drive through France is booooooring. Miles and miles of arable farmland. You rarely see anything other than the odd farm, and brown sign as you approach a towns exit, giving an inkling of what you might find there (presumably mustard in Dijon, can't remember seeing it though) - some female firefighters rings a bell, some franco-american architecture that kind of thing. You can't ever see any of it unless you leave the autoroute though.

Get a bit more interesting when you leave the autoroute and start climbing the Jura mountains. Proper winding alpine roads, and an altitude upto around 1300m. Pretty wet up there, a small amount of snow still visible, but time spent mostly inside a cloud.

Only slight snag was tomtom attempting to take me through a franco-swiss border high in the Juras. Fortunately the French side stopped me, asked a few questions and then advised not to go via Switzerland to Divonne-les-Bains (where my temporary accomodation is located) but via Gex in France.

I could have been stopped at Swiss customs for 3 hours it seems (having a van full of stuff) - so thank you mr.French customs dude.

Dropping out of the cloud on the Lake Geneva side of the mountains, the fantastic vista of the lake, Geneva town itself lit by sunlight, and the alps proper rising on the south side of the lake greeted me:

Check in to the Apartment went without a hitch - it has a v.small kitchen,
with bobbins 2 ring electric cooker and microwave combi thing.

My apartment, 1st floor, balcony on the right


Large living room (with sofa bed), bedroom with double bed and bathroom with bath (yes!)
All in all good though, and everything fits in from my van which is the
main thing.

Living Room

A Mountain in the Juras, earlier today