Autrtans...

So its time for a bit of exploring and as we have not been to the east side of France it's time to give it a try.

We were again pampered by Mareile and Ernst when we returned for the van, there is always time for a few tunes.

Time for the bodies to rest in the sun and for Molly's feet to heal. So Cap de Agde on the French Mediterranean was just the place. We booked into the campsite for four days and relaxed. Molly was happy with just 10minute walks.

 

Then we were drawn to the mountains so we headed to Puy de Sancy in the Massif Central, in the hope of finishing the climb we started during the summer but alas winter had arrived and there was no visibility.

We found a Gite rural in the Rhone Alps to stay for the next week. As we drove up the windy mountain road, snow was visable on the trees overhead.

Autrans was home for a week.The night before we arrived there was an unforcast freak 10"snowfall. It was now begining to melt from the traditional lauze roofs. Mme.Denise Bonthoux welcomed us and Molly(and introduced us to Earl Grey)to the beautiful apartment that was perfect for rest and enjoyment.

                           After a day's rest we were drawn to the mountain with it's refuges and....

 

 

 

We walked through the the tunnel de Mortier opened for the 1968 Olympic games, now closed. With the amount of rock on the road it is easy to figure out why. It is 1km. long and a bit dark and scary. The Art work though is mighty.

 

 restaurants, what a treat. The snow was still deep, the only footprints were that of deer. Molly was like a puppy, eating up all the snow. It was 28c, we walked for 4hrs. We found a cave, this log cabin restaurant, got our first glimpse of Mont.Blanc from 150km. and a reminder of the ski-slopes of Sweden. The world masters nordic Ski championships will be held here in 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week we had never heard of Autrans. It is a ski station village located in a valley in the middle of the Rhone Alps high above Grenoble where all roads are cul de sac's. By the time we left we had been on top of every mountain and aware of it's beauty and attraction to local and tourist alike, with the number of signposted paths for walking, with the help of snowshoes or being pulled along by dog sleighs in winter.

 

 

 

On our return to the village, there was a cycle race coming through town. Every age and ability take time to discover the beauty of their surroundings, which also includes potholing. We met teenagers, family groups and individuals in every nook and cranny.

From here the only way is up !

Mont Blanc

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