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FRENCH SWITZERLAND Evian


Story by Brooke Carbo Photos by Breanna Thackerson


T e lush and lovely Évian-les-Baines sits on the French shores


of Lake Geneva directly across from Lausanne. Its eclectic shops, fanciful cafés and breezy attitude make Evian a relaxing aſt ernoon excursion, but Old World experiences abound as well. T e trip from Montreux is as pleasant and eff ortless as the


town itself: A 20-minute train ride to Lausanne, a fi ve-minute commute to the Ouchy metro station, a brief stroll to the CGN dock leads to spacious lake steamers that make the half-hour voyage to Evian 12 times a day. Upon arriving in France, many will be content to spend their


day browsing the cobblestoned shopping district, popping into one of the many coff ee shops or crêpe stands while storekeepers


Left: Evian Casino. Top: The point of emergence of Cachat Spring, where visitors can bottle their own Evian water.


close for lunch. Explorers and will


sightseers


prefer to stop at the tourist offi ce for a map of the town’s historical walking tour. T e easy stroll loops past 14 points of interest, the most notable being the point of emergence of Cachat Spring, where visitors stand in line with locals to bottle their own Evian water. At tour’s end, visitors are deposited back at the CGN dock.


Nearby diversions include the Evian Casino and the town’s much- lauded lakeside promenade, but both will disappoint those who have spent any time in Montreux’s legendary Casino Barrièreon or along its more posh and pretty promenade. If the day is still young, consider venturing outside the city limits


and take a solar-powered boat to Le Pré Curieux Water Gardens. T e award-winning park is open May to September and is said to challenge Evian’s reputation as the garden town of Lake Geneva. But no matter the itinerary, the peaceful return across Lake Geneva in the late aſt ernoon sun might be the highlight of the day.


Chamonix at


At the base of Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s tallest mountain just over 15,000 feet, Chamonix


is a premier spot for


alpine travel and only a two-hour train ride from Montreux, Switzerland. T e Chamonix valley is centrally


located in the Aiguilles Rouge range and


shares the famous summit


of Mont Blanc with Italy. While Chamonix is well known for hosting the 1924 Winter Olympic Games, the decidedly French alpine village off ers visitors almost every outdoor activity imaginable. T e skiing and climbing options alone are worth the trip from the neighboring villages along Lake Geneva, or Lac Lèman. Arrival into Chamonix, either


from the east or west, is an adventure within itself. T e one-hour train ride between Montreux and Vallorcine allows riders a glimpse at the French


Story by Brandee Easter and Kailey Bissell Photos by Kim Bissell and Emma Bissell


Alps and aff ords views only obtainable via train. Once the train passes through Argentière, the famous domed peak, Mont Blanc, and the other mountains in the 12,000-foot range come into view. Once reaching Chamonix, the best thing to do is promptly leave the


touristy town on a gondola up to the Aiguille de Midi. T e top station has several terraces where visitors can take in views of the Swiss, Italian and French Alps on a clear day. A slightly more aff ordable and equally impressive view comes aſt er taking the two-liſt ride to T e Brèvent. Other options for viewing Mont Blanc and the famous French Alps


include the Mer de Glace cog railway via the famous Little Red Train, which transports passengers between Chamonix and Montenvers. T e Montenver overlooks the legendary Mer de Glace glacier that separates the French Alps from the Italian Alps. Because of its location at the base of the Alps, Chamonix is a haven for winter sports of all kinds.


Left: A silhouette of the statue of


Dr. Gabriel Michel Poccard is in the Chamonix city center.


Right: City view of Chamonix and Mont Blanc.


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