Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Five Days in Geneva-7/23-7/27

A little miscalculation in when the trip was supposed to start ended up in our favor. We arrived several days earlier than necessary. We got a jump start and put the bike together right away leaving us time for a quick ride on Friday leaving Saturday to check out Geneva which we missed on our last visit here three years ago.

The bridge over the Rhone with the Jet d'Eau in the background

We be-lined it for Geneva the next day via the airport (free hotel shuttle) then a $6 train ride to the center of town. Geneva let us down.... It was Saturday and absolutely dead. There were nothing but watch stores and banks. After a quick lunch we "abandoned" and headed back to the hotel to rest up for our first ride the next day.

At this point the weather was working in our favor; blue skies, views of Mt. Blanc, and warm temps in the high 80's. Just about perfect.

View from the hotel of snow capped Mt. Blanc

After the disappointing day in Geneva we knew it was time to ride. We reviewed the map and chose to ride north up Lake Geneva past the beautiful port Nyon and climb to Aubonne and make our way back to Ferney Volitare through the mountains. This turned out to be one heck of a ride with beautiful rolling pastures and yes plenty of climbing about 4,000 feet worth! What the heck were we thinking. This was two days before the "official" start of the ride and we were already busting our buns. I guess it's the damn French countryside...lures you in.

Just when we thought we had our fill of Geneva, Glenn, tour leader and owner took all the recent arrivals out for a warm up ride the day before our start on Tuesday. We headed back up the western shore of lake Geneva and cut inland through some beautiful vineyards. Maria and I opted for a nice lunch in Divonne while the others rode back. A little carpaccio and seafood salad. We would need the extra nourishment for the days to come!

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