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France 2012

We finally made it to France on Monday 6th August after having crossed our second mountain pass the Col du Petit San Bernard from Aosta in Italy. Aosta was a place I wanted to visit but the Sat Nav managed to get us lost (or I did) and we landed up travelling through a 4.7km tunnel the wrong way just to have to turn around at the other end and come back again. Not only that but we took another wrong turning so missed Aosta all together. As per the previous pass it was raining and cloudy so not the best weather for pictures. We intended to stay in La Plagne for a couple of days before setting off home.


One of the many hilltop forts seen between Italy and France. Little huts at the top of the Petite San Bernard Pass, as you can see the weather was lousy. You pass through some pretty villages along this pass that cater mainly for skiing but seemed to be doing a thriving trade even though it was raining.


A view of the La Plagne complex of villages. There is a motorhome Aire just to the left of the chalets in the middle of the photo. The view of Mount Blanc in the distance from the apartment we stayed in.

We arrived in the rain but the next 2 days were blissful with temperatures of high 30's in the sun and, at a fraction under 2000 mts., you definitely felt the sun. Tuesday was a chill out day looking around the resort and taking various cable cars and chairlifts to different areas and of course a bit of "Retail Therapy" for Lorraine. It was great being with my daughter and grandaughter again.


Mont Blanc close up. We went up to Belle Plagne to see the "Blessing of the Cows". This shows the local Savoie cows that produce the superb Beaufort cheese munching away with Mont Blanc in the background. Nothing better than some Beaufort cheese and a bottle of the Gamay wine umm!


On Wednesday it was decided to go and visit the glacier at 3070 mts. but the lifts weren't working due to somebody cutting through the power cables so a picnic was the other alternative.

The hills are alive with the "Sound of Music"

They look happy don't they?



The family at the top of the lift that was working, there was a very steep drop down to the valley behind. The route to the picnic spot which was a very "interesting" walk/scramble. It was a pretty steep drop to the left of us.


By the smug grin on her face you would think she had climbed Everest  



Now that is definitely a picnic spot with a view, it was gorgeous up there. The family enjoying their rest and recuperation.


One of the main reasons for our visit to France. little "Trouble".



We had to walk down to Belle Plagne from the top a "mere" 8-9km. about 2½ hours in all and boy were the legs feeling it after that. Charles decided to take us on the scenic route rather than the pathways which involved a lot of zig zagging on the steep bits of the descent. Little Scarlet loved it but often fell over and just looked up as if to say "see I'm not crying".

The following day we left for home hoping to stop somewhere halfway up France.

We eventually stopped in Langres, north of Dijon on an Aire that we found by luck. There must have been at least another 20 or so motorhomes staying overnight there as well. It had all the facilities required and cost nothing, a bonus for a Scotsman!!

In the morning we headed off to Neufchatel en Bray to one of our favourite campsites "Camping St Claire".

After a very tasty meal and a few drinks we got chatting to a German family of musicians. Well the drink flowed and the conversation carried on into the early hours of the morning. It was a great night, one to remember.


Definitely a night to remember, I reckon my German improved a lot that evening!!  


Next day we managed to get an earlier crossing on the Tunnel than booked and weaved our weary way home.

Looking back on the trip we did too much in too short a time but the purpose was to see which countries we would definitely return to later. Lorraine thought Luxembourg was beautiful even with the huge forests that seemed to be everywhere and we both loved Slovenia.It's a must to return there and spend at least a week or so exploring. Austria would need a week on it's own and the Italian Lakes at least 10 days to enjoy properly.

Just looking forward to the next trip.