An Unbelievable View from Our Neighborhood Mountain, Le Salève

Le Salève, and on a clear day we catch a glimpse of the Alps

Le Salève, and on a clear day we catch a glimpse of the Alps

Another of the blog posts I am planning will be a description of the coolest things we can see from our apartment. One of the things that will be included on that list is the view we have of our closest mountain, Le Salève. (Yes, it’s partially obstructed, but we are one of the fortunate city dwellers that has any view of the mountains at all.) Here is the view from our 3rd floor back balcony of Le Salève that we enjoy over coffee or some other beverage, usually depending on the time of day.

The mountain is a mere 6 or 7 kilometers from our place, and can be reached by the #8 bus in about 20 minutes. Last weekend, we decided to head over to ride the tram (locally, its known as the “téléphérique”) up the 3,000 ft. climb from base to summit. I suspected that the view from up there might be pretty good…

We got off the bus and headed for the tram base station. Here’s a photo of the mountain from close up. Notice the striations in the side of the mountain. There is some active mining operations going on there, which contributes some to the visual effect, but most of it is geology.

Le Salève, up close from the base

Le Salève, up close from the base

The term “tram” to me suggests a ski resort style cable car that transports people a substantial vertical elevation, but over a long distance. The Le Salève tram departs like clockwork every 12 minutes. There are two of them, one going up, one coming down. The cost is roughly the equivalent of about $10 each for the round tri. But here’s the thing: the trip takes all of about 2 minutes, so it more appropriately might be compared to a large outdoor elevator. Only you can see out it, so for folks with a fear of heights I would recommend just keeping your eyes closed on the way up. And down. Here’s a photo of the tram I took from the top on its way up.

The tram on its final approach to thentop

The tram on its final approach to the top.

After deboarding with a group of about 15 others, the three of us were up for a little walk before really soaking in the view. It wasn’t going anywhere. So we found a trailhead that indicated a 15 minute walk up a steep trail to an observation area with a view off the back of the mountain to the Swiss/French Alps. The day was a little overcast, so we knew we would be denied that view on this day, but we decided the hike itself was reason enough to do it. In the photo below, the Alps are out there, just behind the clouds.

View southeast toward France from atop La Salève

View southeast toward France from atop La Salève

Okay, time for this blog post’s grand finale. Don’t miss the video.

Geneva, from 3000 feet.

Geneva, from 3000 feet.

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