Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Walking, walking, always walking

I've adapted my training to be focussed on lots of low intensity exercise, to improve my base endurance level.  With that in mind I was walking home from work today, a glorious spring day here in Geneva.  Now, when I first worked through my revised training plan I thought the walking would be boring compared to running or cycling to work (my normal modes of commuting)  however, I proved myself wrong today as walking opens your eyes to many things...

Setting off from my office in just shorts and a T-shirt (it was that warm) I dropped down through the Bois de Batie to the Arve - nothing unusual there, this is my normal route, but then I thought I'd go back a more interesting way so I turned onto a path that followed the river.  Suddenly I wasn't in a bussling city anymore, but walking in trees with two canoeists keeping pace alongside me in the strong current of the mighty Arve.  The idyll was broken a bit further up as I turned away from the river through university buildings and an area of pretty cafes and bars.  Contrast again, as I crossed Plainpalais, complete with waltzers and bumper cars from a visiting fair. I'd had enough of cars and streets so I cut through Parc Des Bastions next, amazed by the hoards of people basking in the sunshine and playing chess with the oversized chess sets.  As I turned up into the old town, it was like night and day, no more hoards of people, instead pretty narrow shaded cobbled streets lined with posh art galleries and antique shops.  I seemed somehow out of place amongst all this refinery and splendour.  Past the canons, and round the mighty cathedral strangely devoid of tourists, I then came across a beautiful set of steps leading down under some old buildings to the street below.  I had to take them!  With the beauty of the old town behind me, I was back once again in the hussle and bussle of the real world.  I smiled at the nose to tail traffic of commuters eager to get home as I crossed to the lake shore.  I was even glad not to be one of the bikes weaving between them today.

The direct route home along the lakeshore would not be novel and I was having too much fun to go the direct route so I cut through another park, this time Parc des Eaux-Vives - there were fewer people about and as I passed through the rose garden (not yet in flower) I seemed to be in peace and quite once more.  Not for long, as I came out on Route de Frontenex.  The traffic was so slow here that I was outpacing it walking!  Still, I was out of the town now and soon glimpsing the millionaires mansions through the trees as I walked into Vandoeuvres.  Along the perimeter of the stunningly expensive Golf course, to finally be out into the fields and looking across to Mount Blanc, standing large and proud in the clear spring air.  As I looped around through the vines one last gift was instore before dropping down to my house - a panoramic view of Lake Geneva with the sun setting over the Jura in the backgound.  A perfect end to two hours of bliss.

How was your commute today?

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