The second week in France, part III

Today has been pretty much exhausting, which is partly due to the fact our bed in our mobile home really sucks and partly due to the fact that getting up early and walking for almost five hours in the blistering heat (33+ degrees Celcius in the shade) has the tendency to wear one down pretty hard.
I’m assuming both are true for today.

We went to a place referred to as ‘Prapic’, which is more commonly known in this region as a ‘mountain village’. It turned out  to be really touristic, really tiny and car-free. And, not unimportantly, pretty busy. We eventually grasped why, but this was not for a full two hours later after we entered the village. If you could name it that, it existed of exacly (and we counted them carefully) 15 houses, 17 sheds, 1 church, 1 camping (in a car-free village!) and three restaurants/bars/terraces/tea-gardens/souvenir-shops. Goes to show the tourist-mindedness of the inhabitants.

So we set out for a thing called ‘Saut de Laire’, of which we knew nothing more than it would be a 6 quarter walk with 300 meters of height-gain. Well, see for yourself.  Saut du Laire is a small cascade with a bridge, and is probably called after the plains that it resides in. The main attraction though were the ominously present marmota marmota, which we know all as Alpine Marmots. We saw at least 8 of them, while still hearing loads more. Some were pretty much domesticated by the many people that had come before us, and most likely will do after us, and some were really ‘wild’ in the sense that they would duck for cover when grabbing the faintest scent of us in the vicinity.

The sun was shining relentlessly, and that is why I’m having a little trouble colour-adjusting the pictures, so I’m only showing a small selection of the Marmot-photo’s. Perhaps the others will be added later on.
By the way: mum & dad, thanks for getting me the camera-tripod for my birthday! It has been a great tool these past few days!

And now, marmot-galore!
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The second week in France, part II

The following Monday, a major undertaking was on the schedule. We would drive all the way to the other side of the Parc des Ecrins (which is the reserve we’re in by the way) to La Grave. A two hour drive from our general direction, leading us through the best parts of the Parc, showing us the best the Parc could offer. Or so we’re told.

Long story short: the road up to La Grave as pointed out to us by TomTom was twisty , bendy, narrow and heart-stoppingly beautiful all in one. I most certainly loved it, even though Kirsten does not agree with me on at least several occasions in our memory. (These do include very narrow darkish twisty downhill roads, with another car coming from the opposing direction at death-defying speeds.)

La Grave is apparently filled with Dutch people at this time of year, and so we went up the ‘Téléphérique des Glaciers de La Meije’ with another Dutch couple to 2400 and even to 3200-something meters to be immediately peppered with snow and other icy stuff. Luckily, this only lasted for a few minutes after which we could marvel at the grandeur of the view available at that height. The ‘Table d’Orientation’ showed us the fact that Les Deux Alps was only a short distance away, as was the Alpe d’Huez and the view also included the Mont Blanc. The nearest rock was the La Meije at nearly 4km’s of height, after which the site has been named.
After some time of marvelling we decided to go down to the middle-station to go for a stroll to a nearby lake, which we did. Back down, we thought it would be nice to go the other way around the parc (generally speaking, one could drive from South to North through either the West or the East. We did the first on the way there, and did the latter on our way home.)
It was a great, yet exhausting day. Great!

Warning: lot’s of pictures. 🙂

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UPDATE:

The maps below kind of show our route to and from La Meije. It’s quite a distance. Please note the D212f on our way to La Grave. It’s tiny!

To:

Grotere kaart weergeven

From:

Grotere kaart weergeven

The second week in France, part I

A major update today: I’m posting a bunch of pictures we made over the past few days, arranged by day.

Sunday, we went for a short stroll ‘just around the corner’ from us, which ended up being a gigantic detour of over 2.5 hours for what could’ve been a short stumble of only 30 minutes. Damn bad roadsigns.
However, the view has been great, and we finally came round to see the subject of our tour: an abandoned and disused ‘viaduc’.  Le viaduc du Buzon, it’s history unknown to me, but the fact that it has been in use once, and not is not anymore.

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BTW: the last few pictures actually were taken with that sloped field. It’s not me being drunk or something. 😉

One lazy afternoon

As today has been primarily resting after the day before, I’m both too busy doing generally nothing and too lazy to post something decent.

Until the time I’m ready for some proper blogging, you’ll have to have fun on the other parts of the internet. (Yes, there are other parts!)

Ontopic: tomorrow we’ll go for a small hike in the vicinity, as we travelled 2 hours by car the last time to get to our destination: La Grave – La Meije.
The pictures are abundant and really nice!

Our first week is nearing it's close

After doing pretty much nothing yesterday, today was very much active.
We went to La Chapelle en Valgaudemar, and some further to reach a hotel sitting on a perking rock, looking out over the two stretches of valley it was sitting in.
The road to the hotel was terrible, very small and treacherously high without decent side protection. One could very easily drop off and tumble a few hundred meters down. Anyway, we survived that.

The trip went to a small lake, Lac du Lauzon, which was about a 90 minute trip one-way, and about an hour back. It was filled (the trip, not the lake) with lovely scenery and great views. Below a small assorti of the 250 shots we made together. 😉
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Oh, and not to forget this: below our view of our part of Gap, when all trees would be cut down. 🙂
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Pics from France

We went for a walk today, from and to the Col de Gleize.
About 1600+ meters of col, ready for me to drive to in my trusty Clio.

It’s like my dad said, those French will drive to anywhere. Including a 800 metre ascend on the tiniest of roads. Let’s say there were just wide enough to fit my car. 🙂

We saw this tiny walkway up to a thing called Pic de Gleize, which was about 500 meters higher. We went up there, and it was great!
The wildlife was astonishing, with lots of butterflies, lizards and even alpine marmots!

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The marmot was about 15 meters away from us, and was silently sitting there, like he knew we were ok people, but he (?) didn’t fully trust us.
It’s a privilege to be able to come that close to wildlife like that. Needless to say, it was a total fluke for me to find the marmot, as I looked over a ledge for actually once the entire 3 hour trip.  😉

We’ve not dicided what to do tomorrow yet, but when the pics are nice, I’ll share them 😀

Well, I was wrong…

So we went to France, right?

We figured our camping just had to be filled with those French people, talking nothing but french to us. And we figured it would be really old-school and dirty all over.
In short, we’re wrong.

I’m typing this right now from our campsite, sitting on a remarkably well-kept part of the campsite, with the impression of those French to be quite nice people.

To further sum up our stay: it’s not as sunny as we hoped for, not as warm as we hoped for, and not as mountany as we hoped for.
Maybe I’ll post some pics soon!