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A new organization catering to people who want to make the most of our beautiful countryside, including the Jura and Alps, has just been launched in the Lake Geneva region.

Set up by local entrepreneur, Yvette Evers, Fraiche Air invites the public to embark on small group adventures with her, by exploring local hiking trails, and discovering a range of outdoor activities such as snowshoeing and canoeing.

To make the most of what Fraiche Air has to offer, clients are advised to take advantage of an annual membership package, which provides exclusive benefits to subscribers. Depending on the level of involvement, two packages are offered, providing access to a range of different activities, information and discounts: click here to see the full range of benefits on offer.

A sustainability consultant specializing in tourism, Yvette told knowitall.ch that the idea for setting up Fraiche Air came to her when she moved to Switzerland from the Netherlands in 2009, and realized that there was very little information about local hiking in English. After setting up her own monthly hiking group to try out new routes in the region, she decided to make the group official this September: with over 150 members, it was time to create Fraiche Air and offer an expanded range of products and services to meet the growing demands of her customers!

saleve1If you’re a keen walker and enjoy hiking on the Salève, then you’ve probably noticed the build up of waste, left on the mountain during last year’s hiking season.

Not only is it very unsightly, but much of it can harm animals living on the mountain as they step on pieces of broken glass, or try to eat plastic bags left lying around on the ground.

Christophe HUMBLOT, a member of the Association Sangha sur Salève, is keen to clear up the paths before the new hiking season starts in earnest. To get things moving, he’s decided, with the Association, to arrange a special half-day walk, called “For a Clean Salève”. 

saleve2Taking place on Saturday 28th May, participants are invited to meet at 9am at the lower station of the Salève cable car (téléphérique), where they will be given a briefing about the morning walk.  The cable car will be offered free of charge to all those taking part in the event.

Once at the top, hikers will walk along the Saleve, collecting waste as they go.  Rubbish will be stored in waste bags that can be left on the side of the road, to be collected later by a separate vehicle.  At noon, a minibus will collect all the participants and take them to the Town Hall of Monnetier-Mornex, where they can enjoy a light meal, and congratulate themselves on a job well done!

treasure chestIf you like walking but find that your children are less keen than you to head up the mountains, then you might like to introduce them to a new game called “Geocaching”.

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played by all kinds of adventure seekers, both young and old.  The idea behind the game is that small containers, called geocaches, are hidden in literally thousands of locations throughout the world, by “geocachers”.  Geocachers will post their location online, using a GPS device to identify the exact reference, helping treasure hunters to find their “booty” in the shortest possible time.

Once found, geocaching etiquette demands that if you take one of the many small items located in the geocache box, then you replace it with something of your own.  Hence the treasure is constantly updated to avoid disappointment for future treasure hunters.

Those of you with GPS devices will find the task of treasure hunting relatively easy compared to more traditional hunters who prefer to use maps and ordnance survey coordinates to pinpoint the treasure.  You can browse the list of geocaches hidden in your area and choose to hunt one that suits the level of walkers in your group.  Some hikes are considerably more difficult than others so be sure to choose the right one for you.

Once you’ve completed a couple of treasure hunts yourself, you may then decide to hide your own geocache and post its location online.  Anyone can hide a geocache, providing you follow the basic rules.

Discover the countryside and make some new friends
If you fancy a stroll in the countryside, and don’t mind crowds, then you might like to join in the Geneva SlowUp Festival, which is taking place this year on Sunday, August 8th.  More than 25,000 people are expected to cover the 29 km course, which will cover many of the picturesque villages near to Geneva.
There are very few rules – there are no age limits and you can join the course wherever you like, for as long as you like.  The emphasis is on a relaxed atmosphere with families and friends all joining in and making new acquaintances on the way. You can use any means of transportation, provided it is not motorized – so if you don’t want to go on foot, you can take your bike, skateboard, rollerblades, soapbox cart or even horse!.
The start is planned for 10am on Quai Gustave-Ador, with a return scheduled for about 4pm.  The course is relatively easy and provides a wonderful opportunity to see some of Geneva’s most beautiful surrounding villages, Click here for a link to the route map: http://www.fetes-de-geneve.ch/pdf/2010/Plan-slowUp.pdf
A wide variety of tempting refreshments will also be provided along the course.  Visit the website for further details: http://www.fetes-de-geneve.ch/?rubrique=0000000132

SlowUp courseIf you fancy a stroll in the countryside, and don’t mind crowds, then you might like to join in the Geneva slowUp Festival, which is taking place this year on Sunday, August 8th.  

More than 25,000 people are expected to cover the 29 km course, which will cover many of the picturesque villages near to Geneva.  

There are very few rules – there are no age limits and you can join the course wherever you like, for as long as you like.  The emphasis is on a relaxed atmosphere with families and friends all joining in and making new acquaintances on the way. You can use any means of transportation, provided it is not motorized – so if you don’t want to go on foot, you can take your bike, skateboard, rollerblades, soapbox cart or even horse!.

The start is planned for 10am on Quai Gustave-Ador, with a return scheduled for about 4pm.  The course is relatively easy and provides a wonderful opportunity to see some of Geneva’s most beautiful surrounding villages, Click here for a link to the route map: http://www.fetes-de-geneve.ch/pdf/2010/Plan-slowUp.pdf

A wide variety of tempting refreshments will also be provided along the course.  Visit these websites for further details:

http://www.fetes-de-geneve.ch/?rubrique=0000000132
http://www.slowup-ge.ch/ 

BolderkidsIf you’re planning on heading up to the mountains this Summer, but are wondering how you might best protect your younger children against the elements, then you might like to take a look at a new range of products recently launched by local company, BolderKids.

Launched in March of last year, and headed up by local entrepreneur, Michelle Guiliano, BolderKids is offering a small range of products, which use Swiss materials and have been specially designed for the 0-4 year old range.