07/04/2011

Slow Up without flying

023.JPGA day at the Slow Up of the Vallée de Joux on Sunday July 3 proved that you don't have to fly somewhere to find peace, quiet and contentment!


This July 3 Slow Up day was the second of four to be held in French-speaking Switzerland: the Jura last Sunday, Gruyère next Sunday and the Fêtes de Genève on 7 August. I checked my bicycle, pumped up the tyres and then took it on the train to Le Pont, a very pleasant trip via Le Day (where a TGV train passed through while we were all waiting for the connection from Le Day to Le Pont). From Le Pont I gently cycled around the Lac de Joux: a pleasant 23 kilometres, though with one solid climb.

What was most encouraging was to be one of thousands of people, of all ages, using different means of locomotion to do this circuit. Also, at every village there was a carnival atmosphere: animation, music, food and drink available. Under a blue sky, with absolutely no sight or sound of any aircraft all day (apart from a glider in a field!), this was a reminder of how we should all be able to enjoy Summer days.

For me, however, the highlight of the day came after the circuit, when I took the steam train trip from Le Pont to Le Sentier. It is perhaps not too surprising, given the affection of the British for steam engines, that the other two men who joined me on the footplate just behind the engine were of English-speaking origins (one Wales, one South Africa). The first steam engine was built 210 years ago by a Cornishman, Richard Trevithick, and the first passenger railway line, between Stockton and Darlington, was constructed by George Stephenson in 1825.

After that, things could only go downhill, figuratively and literally! On the train back to Le Day a group of adolescent boys were competing to see who could talk the loudest and include the most vulgarities (how different from all the children of families doing the Slow Up!). Then, in a last gentle cycle ride from Coppet to Versoix, on the lake road,029.JPG a large Mercedes, registered in France, completely blocked the cycle lane: I took a photograph and later sent it to the Vaud Police department.

The final annoyance was at the lakeside at Port Choiseul, where I went to finish the day with a light meal and a view of the lake. I had forgotten that the bise wind was blowing, and thus that I, like everyone else, would have to listen to the noise of a seemingly endless sequence of take-offs of jet aircraft.

From the sublime to the ridiculous!

12:00 Posted in Special days and notable incidents | Permalink | Comments (2) | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

Comments

Mike mon ami, pourquoi n'as-tu envoyé que la photo de la voiture française ewt pas des autres ...
un relent anglais contre les grenouilles ???

Posted by: carlos | 07/05/2011

Carlos,

Parce que ce fut la seule voiture sur mon chemin de retour qui m'a obligé à m'arrêter pour aller sur la route principale. Bien sûr, il y en avait d'autres qui bloquaient partiellement la voie réservée aux deux-roues!

Posted by: Mike Gerard | 07/05/2011

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