Wintertime in Switzerland means cross country skiing in the Jura Mountains!

Winter weather in Geneva can be a little depressing. With the alps to the south and the Jura mountain range to the north sandwiching Lake Geneva and the city, it’s not uncommon to go two or three weeks without seeing the sun as a thick, impenetrable fog settles in over the city.

Clouds over Geneva

It’s beautiful… at 4,000 feet!

So what can one to do to escape the dreariness? Throw some skis into the “boot” (that’s what they call car trunks over here) and head up into the mountains! Continue reading

We head into the Jura Mountains for our first cross country skiing outing!

Next time you’re driving on Route 1 along the north shore of Lake Geneva from Geneva to Lausanne, take a moment to look away from the lake and Alps out the passenger side – I know it’s hard – and look out the driver’s side window. Those are the Jura Mountains.  The Jura Mountains are best known for two reasons.  First, the Jurassic geological period takes its name from the Jura Mountains because limestone strata from the period (about 200 million years ago to 150 million years ago, give or take a couple million years) were first identified there. Second, the Jura Mountains offer some of the best cross-country skiing on the planet. Andrew Brenner, writing for the New York Times Travel section in 2014 described the area like this:

Imagine all the cross country ski trails in New England crammed into an area slightly smaller than New Hampshire. Now raise the base elevation to a plateau of 3,500 feet. Then bulldoze a 10-foot wide perfectly groomed boulevard of a cross country ski trail… and you’ve got something on par with the Nordic haven that is the Jura.>/em> Continue reading