Europe 1997 (Part 5)

August 27

France has neither winter nor summer nor morals.  Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country.  France has usually been governed by prostitutes.  ~  Mark Twain


France has a new president who lives with a woman that he is not married to. Their relationship is described as French.  ~  Conan O’Brien

[Roy with . . . his “French relationship”?]


[The Super at the Evian water source (1789).  Évian is a brand of mineral water coming from several sources near Évian-les-Bains, on the south shore of Lake Geneva.  In popular culture, Évian is portrayed as a luxury and expensive bottled water.  It was named in Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.”  It is popular among Hollywood celebrities (Wikipedia).]


[On the way to meet Carine . . . ]

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[And here’s Carine, the Steiner kids au pair (and, handily, an interpreter for we older kids).  She would be with us for our remaining adventures . . . ]


[Evian gave the name to the famous mineral water, whose story started when some local noble (a baron?) was sick and started to heal only when he started to drink only water from Evian’s springs. Today there is a big palace – the Buvette Cachat, of the finest Art Nouveau style, and IMO the nicest palace in Evian, where all sort of information about the mineral water is on display, and it makes for a nice and interesting visit; moreover, few meters from the Buvette Cachat, just along the road on the back, there are two places where one can get free Evian water form a tap. Locals come there with crates of bottles to fill… so don’t be shy, bring your empty bottles and top them up. The water is really delicious and refreshing (]

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[And then we were off to Yvoire, 17 miles from Evian . . . ]

evian to yvoire

[Yvoire is a small medieval town in the department of Haute-Savoie, in the southeastern French region of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes.  It is located 15 miles northeast of Geneva (Wikipedia).]  This building the Château d’Yvoire . . . ]


[Walt and Eric venture out to the end of the jetty (a jetty is not a small jet . . . ]

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[The Super ventures out into Yvoire . . . ]

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[Yvoire’s position, on the only promontory of Lake Geneva, aroused the interest of the Counts of Savoy, “the gatekeepers of the Alps”.  In the 14th century, Amédée V le Grand rebuilt the castle and surrounded the village with ramparts.  Only the keep remains.  In the well-preserved ramparts, two gates allow passage only for pedestrians.  The old town offers a bend of narrow streets surprising views of the lake crisscrossed by boats (]

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[Remember:  Medieval is the key word in describing Yvoire . . . ]


[Apparently simply known as the church spire of Yvoire . . . ]


[More medievalty . . . ]

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[Apparently simply known as a couple of winos (Roy, with the 1,000-year old winery owner – see further) . . . ]

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[Medieval cave of the Chateau La Tour de Marignan with the cellar beams dating to the 11th century . . . ]


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[Wandering amidst the grapes . . . ]

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[Originally monastic, the winery was sold during the Reformation, when Chablais was occupied by Swiss Calvinists . . . ]

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[Whether they had appropriate liquor licenses is unknown . . . ]

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[Vineyard equipment and direction signs . . . ]

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How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?  ~  Charles de Gaulle  

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[Meanwhile, back in Yvoire . . . ]


[Michelle and Ruthie are quite obviously fashionably French . . . ]

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The next day . . . 

[Well, by gosh and by golly, here we are in Thun, Switzerland . . . ]

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[Thun is a town and a municipality in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.  It is located where the Aare flows out of Lake Thun (Thunersee), 30 kilometres (19 miles) southeast of Bern.  As of December 2018 the municipality has almost about 45,000 inhabitants and around 80,000 live in the agglomeration.  The official language of Thun is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect (Wikipedia).]

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[As you may be able to tell from these final four photos . . . ]


[Thun is one of my most favoritest and prettiest cities on the planet!]

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I wanted to get far away from those who believed in cruelty, so then I went to France, a land of true freedom, democracy, equality and fraternity.  ~  Josephine Baker            [Editor’s note:  When we were in Paris a few years ago, we stayed in a small downtown hotel not far from the Eiffel Tower.  The proprietor was an obvious patron of the arts (well, it was Paris) and had several framed black and white photographs of stars from a bygone era on the lobby/dining room walls.  He asked if I recognized any of them.  A few I did, including Josephine Baker.  He was impressed, but I was hoping for a drink on the house . . . ]

Up Next:  Still in Europe . . .


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