Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yvoire -- The Perfect Sunday Retreat

Now that nice weather has returned to Geneva, the early days of spring suddenly don't seem so far off any more.

I know it's been a while since I promised you guys a little review on our day trip to Yvoire. Well, thanks a lot for your patience, you're simply the best! ;) I'm so sorry it took me so long.... If you've been following my wedding related, posts, I guess you know why. But still, it doesn't help the fact that I'M LAAATE. -.-' I'll try to make up for it, I promise! And I'll find a way to upload more photos as well.

Till then I'll use all my narrative talent! ;) (Not that I have much in that area LOL.)

So a foggy Sunday morning we took a ferry to Yvoire (France). We were hoping the fog would clear up, which it soon did as we left the city's harbor. (I guess it's a specialty of Geneva weather...) The sun started to peek through the clouds but it was still crispy and very windy on the Lake. We boarded the ship at the Eaux-Vives station, but you have to be careful because it doesn't always stop there. So check on their website (it's always changing but very easy to find, the service is also part of the unireso network, so carry your cards, etc.) and don't rely on locals, like the guy at the ice cream stand. =D

As it was Navigation Day, the boat was a really old one with a funny and impressive locomotive engine and "more flags than seats" (according to my future hubby's commentary). Still, it was huge fun, I love boats and planes and all kinds of vehicles made to conquer the elements, so I enjoyed the 100 minute ride a lot. You can also board in Nyon for a much shorter journey but it's practically the same price and you have to walk through the aforementioned ville, so for me it was an easy decision. ;)

Yvoire is a lot like Annecy, which we visited a while ago. There are a number of differences, mainly that wile the latter is surrounded by a modern city, the latter is next to a natural reserve (sort of) and some nice Mediterranean suburbs. Yvoire's also a lakeside town, with lots of medieval sights and inviting little restos. After strolling the enchanting streets for a while, we headed for the Jardin des 5 Senses (Garden of the...).

Amazing. I loved the whole idea of the five separate gardens: one with spice plants; another with vegetables; the third with colorful flowers and a fourth full of weird shaped velvety growth, with a bird cage and fountain in the middle of all this for charming background noises. The fifth garden is the Meditation Garden, where all the five senses are united and birds bathe in the water of the fountain, spraying drops sparkling in the sun. It was all so magical.

Then we decided to look for the Domaine (départementale) de Rovorée - La Châtaignière, a "nice little wilderness" (as Lady Catherine de Bourgh would say) just outside of town. Well, almost just outside. According to the town's website and the maps, we expected it to be very close indeed, but it took a good 10 minutes to get there, fortunately it wasn't so hot, as one has to walk on the bike track along the motorway. But I liked this half park half natural reserve a lot. We played a game of Celtis (The Card Game), had a little rest, and headed back to town.

Then we had a crepe each at the local creperie, which was nothing special. I liked mine with ice cream and in the shape of a mountain peak (though the maple syrop made it just a touch too sweet), however, my BF's was not such a hit with sad blackberries and too much kirsch. OK, I'm not a huge fan of criticism, and I'm not really fond of crepes in general either, so on the whole it was nice and gave my blood sugar level the kick it needed after all the walking and playing. =)

The way back was much more comfortable on board one of the regular ferries, and we enjoyed lounging on the sunny deck and taking pics of the lakeside passing by.

It was a really nice late spring-early summer Sunday trip, one I'd recommend to all who have a couple of days in Geneva, and want to explore its neighborhood. The town has a really nice atmosphere and there are many opportunities to relax and have some fresh air. It does give some rosy cheeks to the Genevois banker. ;)

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