August in the Alps

Trip Start Jul 13, 2007
Trip End Jul 2008

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of France  ,
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Well here we are in France!  Just to keep us in reality the second leg of our journey began with grief and struggle.  A heinously delayed flight marred by a maniacal 2 year old and several glaring businessmen who wanted to be in any other row than ours brought us to France.  This was punctuated with bad landing in Lyon, where we discovered the airline had lost not just any piece of luggage but the maniacal 2 year old's car seat.  By 10pm it was clear we were stuck in the outskirts of town, and as not a single store or restaurant was open we got a cheap motel, had chocolate bars for dinner and went to bed. 
But a new day came and the car seat turned up and so our journey into the mountains began.  Passing by countless fields of sunflowers and corn we headed high into the Savoie region to find our little abode in the Alps.  It was clear from day one that hiking was to be an essential part of a good day.  With few people about, and endless vistas to explore, we fell upon a daily diet of raw beauty and pristine glory.  To see a canvas of rugged rock skirted by grassy meadows, caressed by clouds, and dusted by snow, while smelling the breeze blended with lavender and clover; to hear the music of cow bells accompanied by rushing waterfalls, one is left wordless and exhilarated.  But just then nature may add a flash of fauna like a chubby little marmot dashing by, or a Purple Emperor butterfly that will brush against you if you stay still long enough and one is spellbound.
Surrounded by such splendor we were inspired to rediscover the simple joys in life.  To slowly waken to morning bells ringing through the valley; or sit and watch a family of bees collecting pollen.  To count all the different kinds of flowers in one meadow; to catch frogs and feel their hearts race against our hands.  To reach a summit and look around at 360 degrees of mountains upon mountains and watch the clouds cross over them.  To sit by a windswept lake and watch a father and son take pride in the catch of the day.   To be still and know that the world is full of wonder.
There were a few man made attractions such as the Zavatta Circus coming to town. What a lovely treat it was to be allowed to enter the grounds before the show and pet the animals.  It was extraordinary to see up close such exotics as camels, and lions and tigers but the truth be told it seemed unfair that we could enjoy the all the wilderness around us and they couldn't.  You can see the sadness in the lion's eye and the sight of him is ultimately bittersweet.  Still, the show was grand with plenty of agile acrobats, kooky clowns, giddy geese and prancing ponies. 
As well we chanced upon an international ski jump event in Courcheval.  Very alpine; very impressive.  While France and Poland vied for the title, Canada was sadly second to last.  Still we cheered them on and enjoyed the show.  Imagine flying through the air at 94 km/hr for 120 metres.  What a rush!
In the final week we took a trip to see the Alps from the Italian side.  The border was only 90 minutes away and the security measures were nothing more than some fence posts and stinging nettles.  From the point of Petit St. Bernard we were able to peek at the great Mont Blanc and enjoy a respite from the heat in the valley below.  There is no end of seemingly untouched spots to enjoy here and we are delighted to have sampled but a few.
As is the case any where on earth what made a good time even better were the friends we shared it with.  Our fondue partners Tanya and Duncan and their two boys Max and Osher were absolutely the icing on this Alpine cake.  Thanks for all le fromage, le chocolat, and les laughs.  See you in Vancouver!
And so as the leaves begin to turn color and summer draws to a close, we bid these Alps Adieu.  In a way we are sad to leave, but we've got to Ramble On....  

Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • Please enter a comment.
  • Please provide your name.
  • Please avoid using symbols in your name.
  • This name is a bit long. Please shorten it, or avoid special characters.
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: