Évian-les-Bains: Free Evian For All

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If you ever find yourself in the charming French town of Évian-les-Bains, bring a water bottle: Anyone can walk up to the beautiful Cachet Spring and get their fill of Evian straight from the source (even if your fill is 36 giant bottles, as was the case with one guy we saw, but then everyone waiting for their turn will hate you). The water is cool and refreshing, and I was totally tickled by the novelty of filling and refilling my Klean Kanteen with special spring water (apparently it cures kidney stones, or at least that’s how it became famous). Of course, some people may not be quite as impressed with a water spigot and prefer to skip the trip and grab a bottle of Evian from the supermarket, but for us it was a cool part of a really enjoyable afternoon.

After sleeping in Saturday morning, Gui and I took the 40-minute train ride to Lausanne and then a scenic half-hour boat ride across Lake Geneva to Évian-les-Bains. We were thrilled to find that our Swiss Passes worked for both the train and the boat, even though the latter trip was technically crossing into France, so make sure to bring yours if you have one. We located a creperie upon arrival and sat at table outside enjoying tea, coffee and crepes, along with the gorgeous 76-degree weather. Then we headed over to what is now the Evian museum and store, but used to be the pump room, and learned about the natural processes that fill the spring with “Evian.” I’m a big proponent of reusable water bottles – the disposables are quite the strain on our planet  – so I wasn’t too excited to find out that they produce 7 million bottles of water a day. But it was interesting to learn that almost half of their shipments stay within France and read about the sustainability projects they run. It would be way better if everyone filled their own bottle from the spring though, clearly 🙂

Afterward, we went to the tourist office and picked up a map for a historical walking tour of the town. The architecture is lovely, as is the view across Lake Geneva, and we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of wandering and ice cream before heading back home with one last refill of Evian water. Cheers!

 

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