A Sunday Drive

With the exception of a visit to Evian, we’d never spent much time on the French side of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva).  Everyone had told us that there wasn’t much there.  Last Sunday, we took a drive up that side of the lake.  It’s true, there aren’t any really large towns.  There were a few places we would like to visit again.
carte tour du lac leman a velo seminaire seminaires evian les bains
We started out in Hermance, the last town on the Swiss side of the border.  It is a cute, old town.  On a Sunday morning, it was very quiet.  They have a beach and a playground that could be very child-friendly in the summer.
Next, we went to Yvoire.  It was our favorite stop.  We walked around it’s historic walled town checked out the lakefront.  We will probably take a ferry there for a late afternoon meal, stroll around the town and take a boat back around sunset.
Yvoire was surprisingly busy.  It’s very steep and built into the hillside.  As a result, it’s a bit more difficult to navigate.  The beaches on the east side of town are rocky.  We stopped and picked up tons of beach glass.
Evian can be quickly seen in an hour or two.  We continued all the way to the Swiss border at Saint Gingolph.  During the drive, it became clear why the French side of the lake is so sparsely populated in comparison to the Swiss side.  It is bordered by steep mountains.  There is very little land that is suitable for building.
We need to clean our windshield, but you get the idea.
We joked that Switzerland (which needs as much farmland as it can get its hands on to feed its citizens) took all the farmable, buildable land around the lake and said to France “you can keep the mountains, we have enough of those.”

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself in Evian


We live on a lake, surrounded by France.  There is a dividing line down the center of the lake separating the French and Swiss parts.* One of the French towns on the lake is Evian. Yep,that’s right, like the water. I went there with Hokie (and some other fine folks who haven’t yet declared their names for this blog).

Nice views from the boat to Evian
It’s cute
Proof we really are in France
The mean streets of Evian

Evian is small, cute, but small.  People had told us that there wasn’t much there, but we wanted to try to go to France by boat and thought what the heck. It has a small shopping district where souvenirs are cheaper than in Switzerland. The Evian “experience”** is located there. It was a bit “bare bones” and could use some marketing help with the exhibits. I suggest an Evian fountain. If you are there, stop in anyway. It’s free.

The Evian “experience”

We walked along the street, stopped for crêpes and checked our watches. The next boat didn’t leave for over another hour. What to do? I had 5 Euros on me, so we went to the Casino.

The Casino
When you play penny slots, it is amazing how long 5 Euro can last. We took turns picking machines and enjoyed ourselves. It was entertaining to see the smokers confined in little plexiglass cages to do their smoking. Sorry, I couldn’t take any pictures inside.
The Casino up close

I had a bottle of wine in my purse (don’t judge) because people picnicked on the boat ride over. You can see it below. Unfortunately, I was also carrying a bottle of Evian, in Evian. This was a big no-no. I couldn’t enter the casino with my bottle of Evian and had to check it!
My purse as I took it in 
The bottle of Evian I checked with the receipt for checking it.

The funniest part is that they serve free Evian everywhere in the casino!

Chillaxin in the park

*This line in the lake between France and Switzerland is figural not literal. Please do not go looking to take a picture of it.  You will look like an idiot.

**Evian also has a spa.