Heitor's log


Hiking in Essertines - Switzerland


Last week we had another walking meeting! This time, we went to the village of Essertines, near Geneva, Switzerland. It’s a very lovely place, with old beautiful buildings, small roads and wineries.

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Essertines belongs to the municipality of Dardagny. 1 861 people live in there1. There are 16 winemakers2. The vast majority of apartments there have 3 rooms1.

We started the hike at about 10 in the morning. The weather was very nice: sunny day, not too hot, not too cold and not humid :) The ladies in blue took the liberty of being the guide:

There are some caves in that region, made in the second half of the 19th century, to extract bitumen3. It is a black, gooey, icky sticky form of petroleum. It’s main use is to make asphalt and to waterproof things4. I never imagined that it would be easy to get some petroleum for myself. But in this region, you can literally stick your fingers in the rock and get that goofy stuff for you 😎

I think someone tried to make a tent there, to rest after a long day of extracting oil. Or maybe the gnomes built that to keep an eye on people? That would explain why there’s no more exploration of bitumen there…

We continued walking through the forest :)

I really like those stairs built there. They are very minimalist, not fancy at all and very, very gracious.

And then there was The Bridge! We stayed a few minutes there, looking at the funny crustaceans in the river.

The path looks very charming looking from The Bridge.

And, suddenly, the forest was gone. The view was dominated by grape vines!

Looking back, we could see the first signs of Autumn. Some trees were not that green anymore. We can spot some yellow leafs and also some almost-red ones.

The grapes also change their colours. The contrast of the red, yellow and green leafs is amazing!

I think I read in a sign in the vineyard they were Cabernet Sauvignon.

We also received the visit of a lonely, enchanting rider.

In the background, the majestic Jura Mountains!

On our way through the village to the car, we found an iron peacock, guarding a flower well.

That was the end of our meeting. A very productive one, if you ask. Everyone was actively involved! No one falling asleep or leaving for a coffee and never returning. Our hike was ~3.6 km long at an average speed of 1.25 m/s5. I burned ~185 kcal6.

Back to the car. Back to CERN. Back to work ⚛