Less than a kilometer away from my house there lies a mountain known by the name of Salève. Those who have been reading my blog will know that I am a little "obssessed" by it and worship it's unusual beauty...
« I thought of pursuing the devil; but it would have been in vain, for another flash discovered him to be hanging among the rocks of the nearly perpendicular ascent of Mont Saleve, a hill that bounds Plainpalais on the south. »The Salève is really an interesting mountain which has many faces. It can look very cheerful, but at the same time it has a gloomy underlying atmosphere. One feels the heavy aura of the place. Sometimes you would think that there are faeries hidden behind trees and other times you can clearly imagine that ghosts or malign souls are sourrounding you. I guess that comes from the fact that it is very old (it dates from the secondary period/ -150 to -125 million year) and has gone through the ages collecting memories within it's stones (matter never forgets).
- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein -
This mountain's name comes from the latin "Salebra" meaning "a place that is difficult to reach". According to popular legend, the giant Gargantua dug out the Lake Léman and placed the rubble in the same location as the Salève. The inhabitants of the region who were made spectators at the event cried aloud "Eh ! mais regarde donc comme ça lève! (Hey, look how it rises up!)".
The Salève saw many events as well as people pass and is loaded with history: dinosaurs, cave-men, Celts, Romans, witches, brown bears, climbers (already since the second half of the 19th century), walkers, murders, deadly hiking accidents (certain paths are very dangerous and the rock front of the mountain is treacherous), etc... Even British novelist Mary Shelley wrote about the Salève in her gothic novel "Frankenstein" (« It was echoed from Saleve, the Juras, and the Alps of Savoy; vivid flashes of lightning dazzled my eyes, illuminating the lake, making it appear like a vast sheet of fire; then for an instant everything seemed of a pitchy darkness, until the eye recovered itself from the preceding flash. », « Who could arrest a creature capable of scaling the overhanging sides of Mont Saleve? »).
No matter what you are looking for, this mountain will not leave you feeling neutral.