Wednesday 23rd November 2022
We slept last night in France and today we will go back in to Switzerland and then more than likely we will sleep in France again. The small distances required for travel to more than halve the cost is worth the miniscule effort.
Firstly, we will have a walk around the town of Evian les Bains on the banks of Lake Geneva. This is where the Evian mineral water comes from. We walked through the main street which had some lovely buildings and many driftwood sculptures which are on display from the beginning of December for a few weeks. It was interesting to listen to a new language again. We then walked to the Cachat Source in town and like all tourists filled our water bottle with spring water, drank from the continuous stream of water and watched the locals fill their supply of water into portable water bottles. One man had about a dozen 1.5 litre bottles he filled and carried home, we assume. It is said to have healing properties and assists with kidney ailments. I need to bottle it and bring it home for you Mum. We then walked through done to the lakefront and continued a lovely walk back to the car. The buildings were again lovely, there were many more sculptures and we even passed an outdoor olympic pool with diving platforms into the lake. It was then time to sample a pastry again justy because we are in France. A scrumptious plain croissant. It was as expected delicious. It makes the ones from anywhere else left wanting.
We then drove for about an hour through the city of Geneva. Back in Switzerland again. They are all set up for the Christmas markets and we are hoping to do a night walk tonight, weather permitting. We have now gone to CERN which is the location of the Large Hadron Collider e. David is very excited and hopes to do a guided tour. They only take 14 people and you can’t book, you just turn up and register and if you are lucky you get to go. Well he came back from the reception with a big smile on his face. He has registered for the next tour in 30mins. Yay!. Before his tour we had a look at the “Universe of Particles” exhibition. This was enough for me and I left David to enjoy his afternoon of brain exhaustion.
CERN prompted conversation with us this morning that always ends the same way. It starts out with David explaining in the most basic level and terms about atoms, elements, protons, electrons and neutrons. After a while it gets too difficult for me and I always end up with the same response – that it interferes with my belief in God and because it is so scientific and a bit beyond the average persons understanding I struggle with it. I always end up asking “Why people need to know all the detail about, Where do we come from? Where are we going? What are we?”, instead of just enjoying life and what it has to offer. I just simplify it, and when I wonder those questions I just answer myself with “Wasn’t God incredible to create such an amazing world.” For David it doesn’t cut it and we laugh about our differences. It also makes me feel quite naive and to put it bluntly “Stupid”. Oh well, I also feel a little sad that it is just too difficult and wonder how many people are on my level and how many are on David’s, but there are more that are also way beyond his level of understanding. Anyway. He is on his tour and I will let you know how it goes later with my 2nd instalment of today when I have internet reception.
“The Cachat spring – formerly known as the Saint Catherine Fountain – is the most famous of the many natural sources in Evian. Built in 1903, at the same time as the pump room opposite, the spring runs all year at a constant temperature of 11.6C. This mineral water spring is why Evian is known all over the world. It is named after Gabriel Cachat, owner of the garden in which it flowed at the end of the 18th century. The therapeutic qualities of the water were discovered by Count Jean-Charles de Laizer, an aristocrat from Auvergne. Fleeing the French Revolution, he stayed in Evian from June 1790 to September 1792 at Gabriel Cachat’s home and drank the water every day. His kidney stones, having made him suffer for years, disappeared rapidly. Analyzed as early as 1807, this water was recommended as a cure for kidney and bladder diseases and became increasingly popular as table water from the 1860s onwards. The Cachat Spring belongs to the Evian mineral water company.”
“Jet d’Eau, literally meaning ‘water jet’, is the huge Fountain on the Geneva Lake, in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. Jet d’Eau is one of the tallest fountain in the world. Originally, in 1886 they built the fountain to control and release the excess pressure of a hydraulic plant at La Coulouvrenière. Shortly it became remarkable symbol of the city and so it was amplified and relocated to the center of the Lake. The Fountain presence gives the power to the place, every time you look on its majesty you are reminded that you are in the powerful and well organized country. Soon after being finished, the fountain became the symbol of strength, ambition and vitality of Geneva and Switzerland. Its strong engines pump 500 liters of water per second to the height of 140 metres.”
“Universe of Particles, CERN.
Everything in the Universe is made of particles. Where do they come from? What is the origin of the laws of Nature? At CERN, the Large Hadron Collider – the most powerful accelerator ever built – provides a unique tool for scientists from more than 100 nations around the world. Collisions produce new particles that are studied using giant detectors, to give us more insight into the mysteries of the Universe. Find out more about the fascinating world of the smallest and the largest dimensions.”
I had a quiet afternoon reading in the car whilst David really enjoyed his tour of the CERN facility – a definite science nerds experience. He visited the Synchrocyclotron – CERN’s first accelerator which was operated between 1957 and 1990. He also went to the ATLAS Visitor Centre and he watched a couple of videos, one proving the existence of the Higgs Boson. If you need any more detail you will have to ask David about it.
We had intended to walk around Geneva tonight but the weather had other plans for us. We are having a quiet night in, out of the rain.