Contrary to conventional wisdom, it only occasionally snows in Geneva

When I tell my American friends about life in Geneva, many assume the entire country is snowbound for much of the year. People think “Switzerland” in winter and they imagine the Alps, skiing, and powdered hot chocolate.

The truth is that snow in Geneva is a rarity. In fact, due to the tempering effects of Lake Léman, and surrounding mountains (the French Alps and the Jura Mountains) Geneva is pleasant almost year round.  And the city is not perched high in the mountains, its altitude is a mere 1,225 feet.  Its not a long trip in virtually any direction to get up into the mountains where there is plenty of snow, but you won’t find much in the city.

But on occasion, it does snow. And we just experienced our first “major” snowfall. I use the term loosely because my friends and family in Minnesota would scoff at the idea that a 4-inch snowfall approaches what they would regard as “major”.

Anyway, here’s a short video of what it looks like in Geneva right now. Time to retrieve the cross country skis from storage!

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