Friday Fun: A Walk in the French/Swiss Countryside

I live in a rural area on the Franco-Swiss border, but the proximity to Geneva makes it a popular place to live, so there are always building works going on. Given the nice weather today (we have not been blessed with much sunshine this summer), I thought I’d take a walk through some traditional local villages. And document it with pictures, before they completely disappear under the weight of new blocks of flats.

Today’s walk started and ended in Grilly, a village bearing the name of a medieval lord de Grailly, who owned approximately a thousand hectares of land straddling the Versoix river (which nowadays forms the border between France and Switzerland) and controlled the trade route between Lake Geneva and the Jura mountains.

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Sunflowers with the Jura mountains in the background

 

If you turn to face the other way, you get this view over the Alps.
If you turn to face the other way, you get this view over the Alps.
Border stone: now marking the border between the cantons of Geneva and Vaud. Formerly marking the border between France and Switzerland (dates from 1808)
Border stone: now marking the border between the cantons of Geneva and Vaud. Formerly marking the border between France and Switzerland (dates from 1808)
Bridge of Grilly over the river Versoix, marking the Swiss-French border. Madame de Stael fled on this path from France to her family property in Coppet in 1792.
Bridge of Grilly over the river Versoix, marking the Swiss-French border. Madame de Stael fled on this path – formerly the trade route between the lake and the mountains – from France to her family property in Coppet in 1792.
Farmhouse in Chavanne des Bois, Switzerland.
Farmhouse in Chavanne des Bois, Switzerland.
Chateau de Chavanne - in fact, a large manor house with adjacent farms. I bought a bag of plums from the farm shop here to eat along the way.
Chateau de Chavanne – in fact, a large manor house with adjacent farms. I bought a bag of plums from the farm shop here to eat along the way.
Opposite this charming old house and garden in Sauverny (France)...
Opposite this charming old house and garden in Sauverny (France)…
...you'll find the inevitable new development.
…you’ll find the inevitable new development.
The path from the mill in Sauverny to the village of Grilly, bordered by oak trees and corn.
The path from the mill in Sauverny to the village of Grilly, bordered by oak trees and corn.
Village houses in Grilly, France.
Village houses in Grilly, France.
A refurbished barn in Grilly. What do you think: very covetable or a modernisation too far?
A refurbished barn in Grilly. What do you think: very covetable or a modernisation too far?

 

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15 thoughts on “Friday Fun: A Walk in the French/Swiss Countryside”

  1. *jealous*

    The country round here is fairly picturesque too (think of the Lake District in miniature), but the development’s a bit further along and almost none of the older houses offer any great charm.

    I’d say the barn conversion has been pretty nattily done. I’d live there like a shot!

  2. Nice pics, Marina Sofia. You have reminded me of the time I lived in Geneva. Although we used to go to Yvoire in Switzerland and Annemasse in France. more often than to the others side of the border.

  3. This made me really nostalgic – I spent some time in Nyon when I was younger, though I haven’t been there for years. Lovely pics x

  4. Yep, I love the barn too! I’m one of these appalling people who prefers new to old when it comes to houses though – my ideal is to be first in after the builders! And to have straight walls and flat floors and proper corners – I think I may be channeling Hercule Poirot…

    Though I’d be willing to live in a chateau if there were enough servants available… 😉

    1. Funnily, enough, that’s what the Greeks are like: after 20 years they prefer to tear down a house and start afresh rather than renovate it. Must be an overabundance of ancient ruins has dulled their senses…

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