Looking back the way we've come along Lake Bourget
The south end of the Jura
The Rhone gorge next to those mountains
When I stopped along the lake to snack, I watched dozen of folks ride by. There was something strange; the folks riding one way seemed to be struggling a lot. Then I realised that I had stopped on a hill. I really hadn't noticed it because my standards for hills are rather high now. I hadn't had to shift into my granny, so the slope wasn't more that 2 or 3 % and I had automatically shifted down without thinking "hill." Most of these Sunday riders seemed to think "big hill." Compared to the real hills in this part of France, this hill was a bump in the road!
Riding through Chambery
On the bikeroute
On a two lane road where one lane is a bike lane!
And riding along the lake on N 201
VIew of lake from near top of 991 climb
There is a tunnel
The lake, the road with bike lane, and the train track
When D 991 leaves the north end of the lake, it climbs a bit, so 90% of the bicycle riders are gone. Then, at Seyssel, the few that are left cross the Rhone river - on a beautiful bridge - and ride D 991 on the other side. For some reason, I decided not to cross, and continued through Seyssel - looking for lunch, but not finding it - and on on D 992. D 992 was very pleasant rural riding though forest. Nice. Then I saw a good looking restaurant where D 992 T's into N 508 ! It was getting on 1 PM by this time, so that restaurant was probably my last chance for lunch.
It was a pizza place, so I ordered a salad, a pizza, and wine. I knew I had done well when they brought the salad. It was gorgeous and very good. About the time my pizza arrived - oh, how am I going to eat all that? - a couple from Paris drove up. He stopped to examine my bike and then the sat close to me and, since he spoke English but she didn't, we had a two way conversation about US/French problems (he started it) and, when I told them I was a Jew, she identified herself as a Jew and we talked about French/US/Jewish/Israel problems. Then, after we had all finished eating, he asked if I had images they could see - we had talked about my digital camera and the fact that I carried a computer - So I showed them some of my web pages from this trip and they bought me two cups of Cafe. I was really glad to be able to talk politics with them, especially since she was Jewish and I am friends with a lot of Jews who think that France is very anti-semitic. She didn't see it that way at all. Oh yes, the pizza, like the salad, was excellent. The folks from Paris said this restaurant was well known and well respected.
Nearing the top of the N 508 climb
Here is what I saw looking back from the top
And here is a town on top, Clarafond, with the Rhone gorge behind it
View of top of climb out of Belegarde
Several hundred meters lower, climbing on N 206
View of the Rhone Valley
D 984, which now becomes an expressway, D 884, runs high up in the Rhone valley. The river is down around 200 M and D 884 is at 500 to 550 M. There is another substantial climb up from N 208 which has descended to 300 M or so from over 500 M before D 984. It was easy riding after that climb. at least till D 884 ended and I continued on D 35 and then D 984 C. Then there was another hundred meters or more of climbing getting to Gex. Before I got on D 984 C, the route started passing lots of C.E.R.N. places. C.E.R.N. is the European Nuclear Research Center and I have known several folks who worked/taught/studied there.
The D 884 expressway with the Jura in the background
And a sign showing distances on D 884 and other roads
View of Gex from D 984 C
Last night's hotel, a part of an extensive budget hotel chain - Buffalo Hotels - was the best hotel room and breakfast for the price that I've had in France. Highly recommended. This one is 20 E more expensive and, other than the screen and a little more space, not as good.