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Wanders of the World

Where's the Sun

FRANCE | Thursday, 25 October 2007 | Views [535] | Comments [2]

Patti: We are now in the French Riviera. They get 300 days of sunshine per year bit since arrving yesterday, we haven't hit one of those days. It is actually raining right now, but the weather is warm. We took 3 days to drive here from Paris, which was longer than expected but well worth it. Once we hit the Alps, we were amazed. The first night we ended up sleeping in our new rented vehicle ( a Hyundai Tuscon) which has lots ofspace for our bikes and us. We arrived at at campground at 7:08 pm and the recpetion clsed at 7:00. Oh, well; this is not new for us to sleep in a vehicle once in a while. The first half of the second day was spent in bumper to bumper traffic in who knows what city in France so by mid-afternoon we hadn't gone too far but we felt like we needed to get out of the car so we found a nice campground in the forest. We came upon an adventure park nearby so we put our newly acquired tighrope walking skills to use. It got to below zero over night but we were able to stay warm. We had decided that we wanted to try our best at avoiding the major highways so we could get a better sense of the countryside. Well, yesterday we were really off the beaten path. We were entering into the depths of the French Alps and somehow chose a single lane road (that accomodated 2 way traffic) that literally climbed to the top of a mountain. There were sharp switchbacks and a significant dropoff into the vallies. The views were spectacular and Amy managed to keep her underwear clean (ha, ha). Once we got over that mountain, we came upon a quaint little French Village. There seemed to be an old fortress in the middle of town and it was still being used today as many shops and appartments were contained within it. From here we had 2 options to get to Nice. One was to continue south in the river valley we were already in and the other was to travel down a river valley two mountains over. Of course we chose the valley two mountains over, and were glad we did. The road was a little wider and a good portion of it was completely resurfaced. It may have even been a brand new road as it wasn't on any of the maps we had. I took a number pictures to try to capture what we saw. It was different than anything else Amy and I have ever driven. It wasn't driving a pass through the mounntains but it was actually driving up the mountains. It was a very cool experience. The valley we drove south in was also beautiful within a purplish/red gorge. It's hard to describe how impressed we were. The drive was a little unnerving at times but Amy did great and it was well-worth the additional time it ook us to get to Nice. 

Tags: Mountains

Comments

1

Hey, if you guys are already in Nice and heading for Italy, you should go Cinque Terre on the Italian coast. It's the "five lands" which ar 5 fishing villages that are connected only by a railroad and hiking trails inside a protected park area. I think there is a road that does take you near to each one but you can't take a vehicle into the actual village. They are all small and walkable and I think the whole trail is only 11 km or so but parts are pretty steep - not for bikes. You could do from one end to the other (they say approx. 5 hours, we did different sections each day and repeated some several times) with stops for "refreshments" and then take the train back or whatever. We spent five days there and loved it. We stayed at Manarola - the quietest village in a B and B, not sure if there's camping. Also can rent kayaks for pretty cheap at two of the villages. We took the train from there to Genoa(Genava) to fly home via Levant, I think. We loved it - think you guys would too. As if you need more must do's to add to your growing list and shrinking timeline. Whatever you do, enjoy! Love, Cori

  cori Oct 26, 2007 12:40 AM

2

Hi Patti and Amy! Sounds like you're having a great time! I'm at work right now wasting time and reading your journal entries. So much more interesting than work, ha ha! Anyway, I'm think about you and sending happy thoughts your way! Stay safe and have fun!

  Miguel Oct 26, 2007 2:48 AM

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