Divonne-les-Bains, France, Sept 22, 2013


The issue of clean laundry is starting to concern us, so Stephen did a bit of research, and found that there is a laundry place not too far from the hotel, in France, in the town of Divonne-les-Bains. And one of the travel site reviews said that it was much cheaper there than equivalent places in Switzerland.

The review said that it was behind the Casino. A quick search of Google maps showed several references to Casino, including one that was of category "casino" - and that sounded good. But there were also a couple of Casino Supermarkets. So we were not sure what the review was referring to.

So we drove to Divonne, with the plan of aiming for the gambling-type casino, walking around it in hopes of seeing something that looked like a "lavoir".

We had hoped that there would be lots of parking at the casino, but the entrance to the parking area appeared to be well-guarded. So we drove around in search of another parking lot.

Which we found, right beside a Casino Supermarket. Hmmmm.

We got out, walked back to the gambling casino, and as we were beginning to walk around it, we discovered a Tourist Information place, hosted by someone whose English was about as good as my French. But we eventually landed on the fact that we wanted to be able to wash our clothes. She said that it was behind the Casino Supermarket! Doh!!

We decided to roam about the area before heading back to the car, the supermarket, and the laundromat, mainly because we had observed that this was market day. It appears that every Sunday much of the downtown is blocked off and loaded with stalls containing all sorts of goods: clothing, shoes, fabric (I controlled myself), meats, bakery products, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. I'd estimate that there were easily a hundred stalls. And the streets were just crowded with shoppers.

We did support the local economy to a certain extent.

Then we wandered down to the lake, and walked around it a bit.

Finally, we headed over to the supermarket, found the laundromat, determined that it was a coin-operated self-serve version, bought a few groceries for lunch, and headed back to the hotel. Now we know where to take our laundry - later this week.

Here is a shot from my mapping software, showing our hotel and our track in Divonne. It's about 3 kms as the crow flies from the hotel to Divonne city center. We walked 4.4 kms.


First, some shots of the market.

There were quite a few different vendors with these stacks of chickens in varying states of done-ness.

Piles of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices, all pretty colorful.

Now for some photos of the lake. First, some birds.

Some daisies growing in the rocks below the path around the lake.

A view of the lake.

In case a dog owner hasn't quite got it figured out, a detailed explanation, with pictures.

And finally, in someone's yard. Lost in the cosmos!

Later in the day

We decided to check out a geocache near the hotel. Unsuccessful! So we aimed for one nearby, at a 19th-century bridge, the Pont Grilly, crossing the Versoix River, which forms part of the boundary between France and Switzerland. Finally, we found a cache - the first one on this trip. We might be losing it!

A historical note: The community of Grilly used to maintain the wooden bridge that spanned the Versoix river on the road linking Gex to the port of Coppet. It was replaced in the nineteenth century by a stone bridge with three arches. French customs officials patrolled along the border. They often stopped in the small hut and invited their counterparts in Switzerland to come in to warm themselves and have a drink.

Here is our little trek: 1.3 kms in total. Again, I have the hotel flagged.

The 19th century bridge.

The Versoix River.

The I-was-here shot, standing by a Customs sign. Customs is not an issue here any more. People just walk back and forth without any thought that they are entering a different country.

And off in the distance, thanks to the zoom feature on my camera, Mont Blanc.

Not sure about tomorrow yet.

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