Preparation for the trip

Trip Start Sep 04, 2011
Trip End Sep 30, 2011

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KC's Rock
What I did
preparation for the French experience

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

September is the best month to visit France. We have lovely memories from our 2009 trip. Glorious times with sunny days and warm evenings. The gorges of  the Dordogne were splendid and the rivers low. Rocamadour a fairy tale village built into the rocks making you wonder how did they ever build it . Conservation programmes that preserve whole towns like Sarlat and Carcassonne, the French really have got it right. A proud nation and rightly so.
Now the children have gone back to school and the holiday makers have mostly left we are ready to go and enjoy once more the mellow sun of Autumn, chestnuts and walnut groves, hill top villages and of course vineyards.
We are looking forward this time to exploring the eastern region. On our last tour of Europe we came into France via the Mont Blanc tunnel. On our way down to Frejus we came through Les Gorges Du Verdun and were staggered by the beauty of the gorge. France's own Grand Canyon.  So this trip is a return visit to explore it more.
Maps out. The ferry is booked, the route is planned. An overnight stop at Dover for an early crossing the next day. An overnight stop somewhere near Rheims on our way to Lake Annecy and the Alps is our first destination. My reading tells me Annecy is a picturesque town and we look forward to exploring the lanes and canal side. Hopefully we'll be able to take our canoe out on the lake although I gather there are many boat tours of the lake worth taking where it will be easy to explore the lakeside villages of Menthon St. Bernard and   Talloires on the east side of the lake and Duingt on the west side.
We have planned for two days here before moving on down to the Gorges du Verdon where we will spend a week. Twenty one kilometres long, the gorge is as dramatic as the Grand Canyon with the River Verdon flowing through it. Last time we were here we enjoyed watching people bobbing down the river on rubber rings, we think we may have a go at that ourselves. it was busy last time we were here but then it was July, height of the season, we are hoping this trip will be timed to haved missed the tourist crowds. Lots of guided walks but we'll leave the rock climbing to the experts with drops of up to 800m down to the base we intend to be very careful on these paths. 
Our next week will be exploring the Savoie and Dauphine areas around Grenoble. Surrounded by mountains and with the Drac and Isere rivers there's lots to explore here, I might even purchase a pair of gloves while I'm here as the city was apparently founded on the glove making industry. There's also a worthy steam train trip we must take and sample the liqueurs of Chartreuse. Will a week be enough time I wonder.
Our last week will be around Lake Bourget near Aix les Bains where we hope to sample the thermal waters. The lake is the largest natural lake in France so we are hoping to do lots of canoeing this week, lets hope we can get a lakeside pitch.
Excitement mounts as we pack the campervan ready for this French experience. France always surprises us with its hidden beauty.
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