A Sunday walk through Eaux-Vives led F and I to the iconic Jet D’Eau (literally, Water Jet) fountain of Lake Geneva. I would say the Jet is Geneva’s most famous landmark. Although it started off as a safety valve for a hydraulic power network, it has become an aesthetic treasure.
A stone jetty on the left bank of the lake lets you get pretty close to the fountain, and if the direction of the wind is not in your favor, there’s a good possibility that you’ll get soaked. For some reason the fountain was not on when we went but something makes me think the fountain get a day off. Most things don’t open on Sundays in Geneva – I guess the Swiss take their leisure time seriously!
Walking to the point closest to the fountain’s source was ominous to the say the least. Check it out for yourself – curled spikes, a large stop sign, and an absence of handrails:
It was so windy that day that I could feel myself being battered around by the wind. I wasn’t the only one though – some guys on a sailboat crashed into the rocks nearby! I shouldn’t have taken a picture but it’s like walking past a car accident – you just have to look! And sometimes even take a picture (see below).
A small rescue boat came to help but couldn’t do much for them. No one knew how to take down the sail that was steering the boat off its course. In the end it took the rescue boat and two other small boats to pull the three guys away from the rocks and safely back to shore.
F thought out loud, “The Swiss aren’t known for their sailing…” (says the Portuguese man with the maritime legacy).
When we walked back to the shore we realized that we really wanted to go across the lake to Pâquis (another part of town) so what did we do? Jump on the closest ferry boat, undaunted.