Biking down the Rhône Valley

03/07/2003

Cycling for the environment -- the river Rhône

In the framework of the International Year of Freshwater, the group Cycl'eauRhône is making a bicycling trip from the Rhône Glacier in Switzerland down the length of the Rhône river past Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) all the way to the Mediterranean. Some 20 cyclists "animés d'un esprit sportif et écologique" are making the trip, 28 June to 6 July, in 8 stages of about 100km each, and at the end of each stage there are local activities and displays featuring their environmental message. During the stopover in Vevey, Switzerland, on Lake Geneva, on 29 June, they displayed the Ramsar poster exhibit, and again the next day in Geneva in front of the Bains des Pâquis and at Seyssel. Their Web site can be seen at http://www.cycleaurhone.ch/.

Ramsar Regional Assistant for Europe, Estelle Gironnet, joined the group at a village near the Ramsar Bureau in Gland on Monday, 30 June, and valiantly cycled with them for 33 kilometres to the staging post in Geneva. Despite incredible heat, the group reached the Bain des Pâquis (a popular public bathing area on Lake Geneva) ahead of schedule.

Left: Rider and cycling gear. Right: Mayor of Geneva, Christian Ferrazino, welcoming the arrivals.

Estelle Gironnet, representing the Ramsar Bureau

The reception committee, including the Mayor of Geneva, Christian Ferrazino, made an on-the-spot decision to move the street theatre production and exhibition to an underground location out of the hot gale blowing on the quayside.

Once installed in the pedestrian subway area, the troupe set up their show and the Ramsar Exhibit.

The Ramsar poster exhibit and Descente du Rhône poster

Gilles Godinat presenting the show

Street theatre: "Water fun" (left), "No More Water"

Troupe taking a bow

After the show the party moved back to the Bain des Pâquis and a magnificent reception laid on by the City of Geneva in honour of the Descent of the Rhône initiative.

Mayor Christian Ferrazino, Gilles Godinat

Estelle's poster

-- reported by Valerie Higgins, Ramsar.

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