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Old 01.05.2010, 21:16
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How is life in Annemasse?

Hello,

Still exploring (on the web!) areas to live in when we move to Geneva at the end of July. Does anyone live in Annemasse and works in Geneva? I heard not very nice things about Annemasse, but I'm prepared to hear all sides! What is housing like? Areas to avoid? Is the commute to Geneva really that bad (I read that 30.000 people cross this border on a daily basis), especially if you take public transport. Where would you suggest to look for a house for a family of 4, somewhere calm enough but not too far away from a bus stop, so that our 16 year-old can have some independence?

Merci d'avance.
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Old 01.05.2010, 21:36
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

If you are willing to live that far away, you should look at Annecy, which, in my opinion, is one of the most charming towns around. Surely, the commute cannot be more that 30 or 40 minutes and the views around the lake are well worth the drive/train into Geneva.
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Old 01.05.2010, 22:16
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

Annecy is certainly lovely, there is no doubt about that. The difference in commuting time is huge. I am not sure that 30-40 minutes is realistic in the rush hour. Annemasse is practically part of Geneva.
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Old 01.05.2010, 22:21
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

It might take about two hours of tram-train-bus combo one way if commuting from Annecy to Ge for work. It is absolutely stunning, but locked in.
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Old 01.05.2010, 22:32
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

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It might take about two hours of tram-train-bus combo one way if commuting from Annecy to Ge for work. It is absolutely stunning, but locked in.
I was not even going to consider Annecy (children are going to go to school in Geneva). Thanks for your comments everyone. To the forum, can I relaunch the discussion on Annemasse, please? See specifics in original post.
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Old 01.05.2010, 22:37
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

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If you are willing to live that far away, you should look at Annecy, which, in my opinion, is one of the most charming towns around. Surely, the commute cannot be more that 30 or 40 minutes and the views around the lake are well worth the drive/train into Geneva.
Are you the one and only "trailing spouse"? If yes, your blog got my wife and I into fits of laughter! It will be nice to know that there is some humour around Lake Geneva! Remember that for humble Europeans, a 40 minutes commute is massive! Well, at least over here in Britain. That must be the equivalent to a 6 hours' drive in the US!! Just round the corner, really.
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Old 01.05.2010, 22:46
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

You caught me. I am indeed the most famous trailing spouse. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's www.trailingwife.blogspot.com. To your question, all traffic in and around Geneva is horrific, even by US standards, simply because the roads only have, at best, two lanes, and often, one lane, each way. We regularly go to the once-a-month "brocante" faire in Annecy and it takes no more time than traveling through the heart of Geneve and it's close environs due to its' (Annecy's) proximity to the freeway.

If you really want to live over the border in France, try up above Divonne. Short commute, lovely views. Or above St. Cergue, ditto. Or, Yvoire and take the ferry.

Bienvenue et Cheers, Riki
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Old 01.05.2010, 23:29
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

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You caught me. I am indeed the most famous trailing spouse. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's www.trailingwife.blogspot.com. To your question, all traffic in and around Geneva is horrific, even by US standards, simply because the roads only have, at best, two lanes, and often, one lane, each way. We regularly go to the once-a-month "brocante" faire in Annecy and it takes no more time than traveling through the heart of Geneve and it's close environs due to its' (Annecy's) proximity to the freeway.

If you really want to live over the border in France, try up above Divonne. Short commute, lovely views. Or above St. Cergue, ditto. Or, Yvoire and take the ferry.

Bienvenue et Cheers, Riki
I have experienced the traffic jam once on my way from the airport to Evian and it was awful indeed. But working will be in the heart of Geneva (Rive Gauche) and kids will be attending International School, so we're kind of hostages of bad traffic and, from what I've read, bad public transport cross-borders. The ferry idea sounds exciting but surely they must be the tourist boats that take forever? Has Geneva got the equivalent of London's "water buses" for regular commuters (i.e. where you don't have to pay an arm and a leg), hopping along Rive Gauche?
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Old 01.05.2010, 23:36
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

If there is a nice part of Annemasse, I haven't seen it.
It's a good place for grocery shopping, but that's about it.
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Old 01.05.2010, 23:39
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

I don't live in Geneva, I live in Lausanne. There is an express, commuter ferry early in the morning and after work hours once or twice per day between Evian and Lausanne for workers. The ferry website is http://www.cgn.ch/eng

Be sure to pay attention to the summer schedule vs. the winter schedule.
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Old 02.05.2010, 00:01
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

Thank you Riki (and Nickyboy!). And there I was, dreaming that some kind of speed boat would whisk me away from some lovely village right into Parc des Anglais for a couple of bobs...Back to reality!

What is beyond Annemasse, especially along that famous line 1 that is, apparently, one of the very few direct cross-border public transport? Anything worth investigating?

Riki, you suggested Saint-Cergues and that looks like a very good idea. Have you visited Bons en Chablais aswell? I can't quite figure out where the point of entry to Switzerland is. Is it through Annemasse side? In which case, are we back to square one regarding traffic jams and all?

Sorry everyone for being so inquisitive, but it's not the kind of practicalities I can check out from this side of the Channel!
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Old 02.05.2010, 00:17
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

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You caught me. I am indeed the most famous trailing spouse. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's www.trailingwife.blogspot.com. To your question, all traffic in and around Geneva is horrific, even by US standards, simply because the roads only have, at best, two lanes, and often, one lane, each way. We regularly go to the once-a-month "brocante" faire in Annecy and it takes no more time than traveling through the heart of Geneve and it's close environs due to its' (Annecy's) proximity to the freeway.

If you really want to live over the border in France, try up above Divonne. Short commute, lovely views. Or above St. Cergue, ditto. Or, Yvoire and take the ferry.

Bienvenue et Cheers, Riki
I forgot to say: your blog is so enjoyable, have you considered compiling it into a kind of travel book? I know some travel writers who don't make such a compelling reading as yours!
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Old 02.05.2010, 00:39
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

We lived in Thonex which is close to Annemasse and I used to go shopping there sometimes. Honestly, I think it's one of the most depressing towns I've seen. I wouldn't like to live there. My co-worker said he lived there before and that he was really happy to move out. What about Thonon? I had a coworker who lived there.
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Old 02.05.2010, 11:02
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

Taveau, along the Rive Droite side of the lake you have quite a few small, charming villages just outside of the city such as Bellevue, Genthod, Versoix, Coppet, etc. With Rive Droite considered to be the less trendy side of the lake, rent prices are usually a bit more reasonable than Rive Gauche.

Where I live in Genthod, I'm a 10 minute bicycle ride into Geneva, a 5 minute bicycle ride to the countryside where it is mostly horse farms and lots of nature trails. With great access to the main freeway, my wifes commute is typically 15 to 20 minutes and she works on the far side of Geneva. We are close enough to the airport that I don't leave to pick her up from business trips until she has reached passport control. Most of the village is within a very short walk to the train station. We really love living here.

St Cergue would be a bit of a drive. I ski up there quite often during the week when there is no traffic and it takes me about 30 minutes, and I am usually having a bit of fun on the twisty roads while I drive up there.

Edit; Come to think of it, there is an English speaking school in Genthod also. But I checked their website and they teach 4-11 year olds, so that would not help with your 16 year old.

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Old 02.05.2010, 11:14
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

I would advise strongly against living in Annemasse. I live near Nyon and used to go to a dentist there in the belief that it was cheaper than in Switzerland (an impression considerably lessened when a French truck drove into the back of my Polo!). It strikes me as a sort of grey industrial-suburb servicing Geneva. But the twice weekly open-air markets are really great!
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Old 02.05.2010, 11:16
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

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Taveau, along the Rive Droite side of the lake you have quite a few small, charming villages just outside of the city such as Bellevue, Genthod, Versoix, Coppet, etc. With Rive Droite considered to be the less trendy side of the lake, rent prices are usually a bit more reasonable than Rive Gauche.

Where I live in Genthod, I'm a 10 minute bicycle ride into Geneva, a 5 minute bicycle ride to the countryside where it is mostly horse farms and lots of nature trails. With great access to the main freeway, my wifes commute is typically 15 to 20 minutes and she works on the far side of Geneva. We are close enough to the airport that I don't leave to pick her up from business trips until she has reached passport control. Most of the village is within a very short walk to the train station. We really love living here.

St Cergue would be a bit of a drive. I ski up there quite often during the week when there is no traffic and it takes me about 30 minutes, and I am usually having a bit of fun on the twisty roads while I drive up there.
I agree that is the nice way of living out of but working in Ge. The thing is, though, it is still consiberably more expensive than live in Fr (Annemasse rents are way cheaper than even Ste Cergue and other clean and bucolic Swiss sticks or anything close to La Cote). I have a friend who lives in Annemasse and works in Ge, motorbikes it every day so it is really doable for her. But she does not have kids, has a big bike and is flexible. I think it might be a headache for a family to commute from Annemasse, especially if you have one car to share between kids in int. school and a working parent.

Good luck, OP, try contact evianer, I know that that EFer is located somewhere in that area.
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Old 02.05.2010, 11:33
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

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Taveau, along the Rive Droite side of the lake you have quite a few small, charming villages just outside of the city such as Bellevue, Genthod, Versoix, Coppet, etc. With Rive Droite considered to be the less trendy side of the lake, rent prices are usually a bit more reasonable than Rive Gauche.

Where I live in Genthod, I'm a 10 minute bicycle ride into Geneva, a 5 minute bicycle ride to the countryside where it is mostly horse farms and lots of nature trails. With great access to the main freeway, my wifes commute is typically 15 to 20 minutes and she works on the far side of Geneva. We are close enough to the airport that I don't leave to pick her up from business trips until she has reached passport control. Most of the village is within a very short walk to the train station. We really love living here.

St Cergue would be a bit of a drive. I ski up there quite often during the week when there is no traffic and it takes me about 30 minutes, and I am usually having a bit of fun on the twisty roads while I drive up there.

Edit; Come to think of it, there is an English speaking school in Genthod also. But I checked their website and they teach 4-11 year olds, so that would not help with your 16 year old.
ExMilExpat: Many thanks for your reply, an eye opener: I had completely dismissed Rive Droite because I had assumed that it would take too long to get to Geneva Rive Gauche, but now I might explore this new possibility. The main issue we've got is that the children will be attending the International School of Geneva Route de Chene campus, hence ours having narrowed down our search for a place to live to Rive Gauche only (+ Annemasse...). Would you say that it is straightforward to get to the town centre by public transport? I can see the attraction of being so close to nature, however on the map, the villages you mention seem to be on Geneva's flight path: is noise pollution a problem where you live?
So many questions but I really appreciate your help. Thanks!
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Old 02.05.2010, 15:37
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

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Would you say that it is straightforward to get to the town centre by public transport? I can see the attraction of being so close to nature, however on the map, the villages you mention seem to be on Geneva's flight path: is noise pollution a problem where you live?
So many questions but I really appreciate your help. Thanks!
I have not had the chance to use public transport in that area, but here is a link to the SBB website that can tell you travel times between any station or bus stop and even factors in walking times if a route has you switch from bus to tram or train. http://www.sbb.ch/en/

As far as the flight path, After my first week here, I stopped noticing. I once lived in a beach front home on the pacific ocean. The first week of the sound of pounding waves made me want to sleep all of the time. The second week almost drove me mad from the constant noise. And by the third week, I sadly realized I had totally stopped noticing the sound altogether.
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Old 03.05.2010, 01:16
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

Annemasse is disgusting ! Try Pas de l'Echelle or Veyrier or maybe even Collonges-sous-Salève...awesome villages, bus stop, all 3 are 15 min away from downtown Geneva !
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Old 03.05.2010, 13:21
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Re: How is life in Annemasse?

Thank you Sophisticat, that's another 2 names to my field of search, and more in the area we are also keen on. I keep banging on public transport because our son will need to use them for going to / from school, so would you say these 3 villages you mentioned are well served by public transport to Geneva, or do you have to combine car park / public transport / bike?

many thanks for your suggestions!
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