With more than 20 centimetres of snow fallen in Geneva since Sunday evening, I decided on Tuesday that I would make use of my lunch break to run along the lakeside to Bains des Pâquis and take a few photos of the end part of Lake Léman, called La Rade. I had not dared to venture out on Monday as it was still snowing heavily and I had forgotten my Yaktrax as well as my camera. However, by Tuesday the snow had been cleared again to create pathways so that I did not even put on my Yaktrax traction soles. Having not forgotten my camera this time, I was thus able to take a few shots which I am happy to show below.
Please feel free to click on any of the photos of Geneva’s snow-covered lakeside presented below to enlarge them.
My office is less than ten minutes away from the lakeside. However, I usually tend to run towards the hill in the distant background of this picture (as opposed to crossing Pont du Mont-Blanc and running along quai du Mont-Blanc) as there tends to be less traffic (the bridge is one of the busiest stretches of road in Switzerland). Strangely, I did not feel the pollution as strongly as I had feared I would — could it be related to the snow in some way or the other (less traffic as people might have been less inclined to go out for lunch, fume particles being less diffused in the air for some reason, etc)?
Some boats along quai Gustave Ador.
The now decommissioned CGN (Compagnie générale de navigation) boat Genève, which is anchored near Jardin Anglais, and the pier covered in snow.
Apparently, I was not the only other runner out there — in fact, I came across four other runners during my 45 minutes of being out in the cold. Jardin Anglais is named after the English, who used to come in great numbers to Geneva as part of the Grand Tour in the nineteenth century. However, Geneva’s ‘special relationship’ with the English and other inhabitants of the British Isles goes further back in time, to at least the 16th century (Reformation).
Closer to the bridge, near the CGN’s débarcadère (landing platform) of Mont-Blanc, I found it hard to resist taking more shots of the area.
Less than a metre or so from the vantage point where the previous photo was shot, I was able to get a good view of La Rade, the name given to the end of the lake in Geneva. Note that the Jet d’Eau is not switched off nowadays in winter. Until a couple of years ago, we would have to wait until the start of the Geneva Motor Fair (in March) to see this distinctive white foam spout into the air again.
Having crossed Pont du Mont-Blanc, not far from the spot where the Empress Sissi was murdered in 1898 I took this picture of Monument Brunswick, which is modelled after the mausoleum of a patrician family in Verona (northern Italy).
A little further along quai du Mont Blanc, I decided to venture to débarcadère des Pâquis to get a good shot of the Jet d’Eau. The yellow boat on the right is called a mouette (seagull) and it is possible to cross La Rade on one of several such small boats throughout the year.
Looking to my right, this was the shot I got: the cathedral almost totally blotted out by the many commercial/office buildings that line up at the end of the lake.
I continued along quai du Mont Blanc until I reached the Bains des Pâquis, which marks the beginning of quai Wilson. This very spot always makes me feel a little nostalgic as it brings back memories of my student days when I used to live in the area and when I would go running along quai Wilson or go to the Bains in summer.
The Bains des Pâquis looking towards Cologny.
The Bains des Pâquis looking towards the Jet d’Eau.
While I was running back along Jardin Anglais I found it hard to refrain from taking this shot of the Jet d’Eau …
… and proof that I am crazy enough to go running along the lake when it is cold* and there is much snow around 😉
Now it is high time to get ready for my Thursday run at Sauvabelin.
* PS a year ago, it was far colder and there was ice almost everywhere: Geneva lakeside… icy wonderland, part 3… (I strongly invite you to click on this entry posted on my wife’s blog because I am sure you will like at least some of the photos displayed there)
Some articles in the local press on this recent, heavy snowfall in Geneva and elsewhere in Switzerland:
- Il n’avait pas autant neigé depuis plus de 20 ans (Tribune de Genève, 12 February)
- Des rues entières ont tardé à être déneigées (Tribune de Genève, 13 February)
Other entries on running in winter, this time near Lausanne
- Some of the greatest pleasures in life are free – snow, water and ice (25 Jan 2015)
- Just short of 10km of running in the snow
- One of my worst runs ever
- Running when there is snow at Parc Sauvabelin
- Mauvernay on a Sunday afternoon in winter
- Me faire super plaisir, courir de Vennes à Mauvernay lorsqu’il y a suffisamment de la neige
- First snow in Lausanne, call of duty (29 Oct 2012)