Spring in Switzerland, where we arrived from France with a car rented at Baden-Baden airport, was in full swing.
Lake Geneva is the English name of the lake, which we mostly use. In French, the lake is called Lac Léman, but in order not to make life boring, the lake also has a German name – Genfersee. The lake is one of the largest in Europe, about 60% of which belongs to Switzerland, the remaining 40% to France.
I was surprised to learn that one of France’s largest rivers, the Rhône, which begins high in the Alps, flows into Lake Geneva at its eastern end and flows out of it near Geneva to continue its journey to the Mediterranean.
In order to maintain a constant water level in the lake, a dam (Seujet Dam) was completed in 1985. The dam provides that the area around the lake is protected against floods and fish paths have been created around it so that they can reach the lake upstream.
Spring in Switzerland – Montreux
One of the most important activities in this region, of course, is tourism. The most popular (most beautiful, most expensive, most…) resort on Lake Geneva is Montreux, located on a small round peninsula and well protected from north and east winds.
The city has a huge number of villas and castles that have been converted into high-end hotels, restaurants, shops and everything else you need for a fantastic and careless holiday. The level of service is, of course, also the highest. But in winter, Lake Geneva becomes one of the most beautiful regions in the world, complemented by great opportunities for active recreation in the nearby mountains. And in addition to all this, there is a great Swiss cuisine, where you can find many dishes from the surrounding countries, especially France, and the impeccable style of serving them.
Spring in Switzerland is distinguished by the fact that everything blooms there – flowers that are well-known to us and also some completely unseen. And this flowering, especially in mountainous areas, will continue for several months! Like an endless spring.
One evening, walking along the shore of the lake in Montreux, we noticed very interesting flowers – a stalk like a poppy, but a flower like a rose.
To the north of Lake Geneva is another lake of sufficient size – Lac de Neuchâtel, named after the largest city next to it (or vice versa – a city named after a lake). Either way, Neuchâtel must translate as the new castle I suppose. This is a very beautiful city with a little over 30 thousand inhabitants.
The city and its surroundings have a very interesting infrastructure: about 50% of the whole area is covered by forests, 18% by houses, 10% by roads and other transport infrastructure, while about 4% by parks and greenery, about 2% by orchards and only a little more than 2% of the territory is occupied by industrial facilities. As a result, the air is super fresh and the surroundings are uniquely beautiful.
Neuchâtel is famous for its watchmaking, but recently the city has also become known as a microtechnology centre, with the latest medical technology and biotechnology, as well as Swiss precision measuring devices and other high-tech products from there are known around the world. The city is also home to famous new technology research institutes. What can probably cause inconvenience – in the city everything is mostly in French.
It should be noted that Neuchâtel is worth a visit, as there are 32 historical heritage sites of national importance, including churches, houses, museums, etc.
Spring in Switzerland was really beautiful and after several days at Lake Geneva, we went east of Switzerland to see how the famous Swiss chocolate and Emmental cheese are made.
Before returning to Germany, we planned to visit friends near the of Lucerne in Switzerland, so we spent the night at a hotel in Lucerne and took the opportunity to see this city on the shore of a lake – we had never been there before.
Classically, parts of Lucerne are connected by a pedestrian bridge over the river. A water tower has been built on one side of the bridge, it is called a chapel bridge. In addition, it is the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, with a length of 204 metres and it is very popular tourist attraction. The good news – unlike for many other tourist attractions, there is no charge for using this bridge.
Lucerne is the largest city in central Switzerland, with a population of almost 80,000, but together with the surrounding suburbs, located in three different cantons, the population reaches 250,000.
While we were in Lucerne, it rained most of the time, but it was interesting to walk around the old town, on many bridges and visiting shops. The city has very convenient public transport and its residents are happy to explain visitors how to get to the right place. Overall impression – a very nice and beautiful place.
My next story from this trip is about visiting chocolate and cheese factories.