France & Switzerland - Summer '23

Unfinished business in the Alps!

Last year we had planned to spend plenty of time in Switzerland but bad weather put a stop to that. Time to try again...

And success! In fact, things worked out so well we didn't even have time to take what has become a usual loop home through Germany - that will have to wait for next time.

Things went well with another easy jaunt across France. A chance to explore part of the Jura mountains on the French/Swiss border - well, they are mountains so loved this region of course!

Then on to Switzerland for walks, hikes and some truly epic bike riding.

As it turned out there was also time to meet friends in Annecy for a couple of group rides in the region, including another all day epic with giant charcuterie lunch. Good times all round!


Short drive across 3 departments today: tiny roads, forests & rolling hills make for slow progress but nice views smile


Obligatory '1st day of hols enjoying apperos & curry outside' shots grin *Actually 2nd day 'cos yesterday was busy! wink


After yesterday's smashfest (no photo stops) an easier cruise today. Similar terrain though... so this is a 2fer wink


When lunch terrace has red shades - argh! Very nice steak & crepe/pizza thing + ice cream & soft cheese dessert. Nom!


Random shot from the road, just outside village of Quintaine. Am a sucker for rolling vineyards & a little church.


Today's ride: beautiful spin starting in France, through the Jura mountains (& valleys) to Switzerland & back.


Few random shots from the road today. Sadly these don't do justice to the beautiful drive through the Jura sad


Magical walk in Gorges de l'Areuse. Found randomly looking at maps years ago happened to be passing by today. Lucky!


Today's ride: more exploration of the Swiss Jura. Silly steep final climb & descent home a blast! Beautiful stuff smile


Quick look at little medieval square in Le Landeron. Think the road needs replacing with cobbles for more ambience.


Lunch by a random rest spot in Switzerland. After stopping noticed a nearby restaurant was popular so ducked in. Nom!


Scenic detour above Lake Thun. Normally I'd ride roads like this but today snail does the work saving legs for later.


Rest stop by Lake Thun. Enjoying coffee & cake while admiring the view.


Sunset stroll by Lake Thun on another beautiful evening. Wow!


Random shots from train window on the ride between Lauterbrunnen & Wengen (and back).


Heading out of Wengen on a little hike today. Up into the forest for the first leg...


Hiking above Wengen & Lauterbrunnen (Switzerland). What a day!


Out of the forest to spectacular views down the Lauterbrunnen valley. Another amazing Swiss hiking experience!


Lunch with a view... nom, nom, nom tongue


Heading back downhill now. Back through more beautiful forest. First time I've seen purple pine cones!


Obligatory, 'hiking past cows in Switzerland' shots wink


Back into Wengen to catch the train 'home' to our camping. Some particularly well kept gardens here. Beautiful place.


Swiss supermarket find: something wrapped in bacon wrapped in beef. They had me at 'wrapped in bacon' wink Nom! tongue


Lunch stop by Lake Brienz - on our way to Innertkirchen. Thankfully having more luck with Swiss weather this year smile


Dream day on the bike: Grimsel Pass. Furka Pass. Susten Pass. Blue skies. Lakes. Snow. 121km. 3476m vertical. Yowza!


We were given free public transport passes in Switzerland, so on our last day here used on cable car to Hasliberg smile


What passes for small snack when you burnt 4400kcal on the last ride: croissant stuffed with Lindor. Yes, I had 2! grin


Short stroll this morning by the shores of Lake Geneva. A dip might have been tempting last night, but not right now!


Passing Geneva so went looking for a good curry house. 'Bollywood' just over the border in Gaillard. Nom, nom, nom tongue


Park in central Annecy at lunchtime? No chance! But let's have a look. Arrived just as this spot was vacated. Lucky!


Quick (& damp) look Annecy old town. Part of a good tourist pic is making busy places look calm wink & it's only June!


Obligatory, 'seek out Asian food whenever in a town larger than we are used to' lunch photo. Yin Ba, Annecy. Nom! tongue


Camping by Lake Annecy. Bit grey on arrival but remnants of today's storm look cool blowing over peaks on other side.


Today's ride: social spin up Col de la Forclaz, which means... snack stop! Ham & cheese galettes all round - nom! tongue


Huge ride to Arpettaz/Crest Voland/Aravis/Croix Fry. Charcuterie lunch. Beer above Lake Annecy to finish. Magic day!


Col pics sans velo? Avec femme will have to do wink Came up North side on super tiny road - defo by bike next time! smile


Rest stop overlooking Lac de Grand Maison on the Western side of Col du Glandon. Looking nice and full thankfully.


Sunshine: check! Pool: check! Snow-capped mountains behind us: check! Smiles: check! Almost feels like a holiday! wink


This evening's episode of 'random goodies from the local patisserie': Blueberry & creme tart thing. Yummy! tongue


Alpe d'Huez: super famous cycling climb but village not v.pretty. Luckily return via Villard-Reculas is spectacular!


Passing through Haute-Loire. Beautiful rolling hills & friendly natives. Am sure French farmers think we are mad! wink


Viaduc de Chapeauroux (& matching bridge we crossed). Impressive structures for a tiny village in middle of nowhere!


Lunch @ Centre Routier l'Imprevu. 5 courses for 14.50. Very nice, esp. the cheese board. Must be bargain of the trip!