Another perspective to Lac Leman! From Switzerlands' own titanic to a eurobus taking a swim...
Updated: Jul 12
Lac Leman, also known as Lake Geneva being Europe's biggest lake has a lot more to it, than meets the eye! Aside from its stunning views it has a surprisingly rich history as well as much to learn about its culture. Even a few stories over time about what's inside the lake reveal some important moments for the Romandie.
Lac Leman Top Facts:
∞ The lake connects Switzerland and France.
∞ Deepest point of the lake, 350meters.
∞ In different areas of the lake, there are groups of people cleaning out the lake.
∞ Zebra mussels keep the lake clean, they have anti-bacterial components, however they might be a threat to the other existential life in the lake.
∞ There are forests of algae everywhere in the lake about 20 meters from the shore.
∞ In 1862 Switzerland had its own mini Titanic, which sunk at the shores of la Tour de Peilz. Today it is the most explored Shipwreck in the lake.
∞ A little anecdote to remember about a small mis-happening in Vevey. Once a bus, forgot to pull the hand break at the market place next to the lake, and the bus drove into the lake!
Cleaning of the lake
In many areas around the lakes, groups of people clean up the lake from time to time.
The pictures below are taken near the "Vevey" area.
Here, they fished out mainly shopping caddie and bicycles! Truly impressive!
There's a lot of "cleaning the lake" going on in Switzerland, as the pollution from glass, plastic bottles, cigarette buds and all sorts of items are still being thrown into the lake.
Anti-bacterial cleaning mussels
As you can see these little mussels on the items, ensure cleaning of bacteria’s' which will ultimately pollute the lake. Go selfless acts of nature!
These mussels were introduced to the lake in the 1990s to get the lake cleaner and have by now, 2018, spread all around the lake. As they feed of the algae which is one of the main sources of food for other species in the lake, this is causing some questions regarding the survival of other life in the lake.
Despite that, on a positive note, it looks like these mussles created art on caddies!
Algae forests in the lake
Almost everywhere around the lake, once you swim about 20 meters into the lake, you (your feet) will very quickly come across the algae forests. They are extremely beautiful when looking from above and fascinating to watch. However, when swimming through them, it does get freaky! For those interested, there are a lot of legends regarding these algae forests...
Diving in the Lake
You would be surprised how much diving goes on in this lake! Some areas are quite dark, making visibility somewhat less easy, and some other areas allow incredible light exposing secrets within the lake, sunken boats, ships and much more.
Different schools in CH, you can take a dive with:
The Hirondelle Shipwreck, the Swiss Titanic
The famous "Hirondelle" was the first steamship to be completely constructed in Switzerland. In 1862 it hit against the shore of La Becque and short time after sunk just at the shore of "La Tour de Peilz-La Becque". Lying 60 meters under the water at the shore it is still today, one of the most interesting ship wrecks to explore diving in the Lake.
source pics: ©coll. Daniel Mazza, mazzasubphoto.ch
Clicking on the link below, you can read two original reports from the 19th century of the incidence (in french) ∞Hirondelle, original reports
The day a Euro-Bus went for a Swim
Over 6 years ago, this is one of the events that will still make people laugh today. "The bus driver forgot to pull the hand-break"... <3
Source pics: © KEYSTONE/Jean-Christophe Bott
The swiss newspaper, 24heures, made a great report including videos showing the bus under the lake. Check out the ∞ Bus under lake, Video.
I hope you enjoyed these little historical and cultural facts about Europe’s biggest lake, Lac Leman in the Romandie, Switzerland. Looking forward to more discoveries about the lake in the near future!