We’ve been following with amusement the story of the tiger that has been allegedly spotted near Paris with the pawprints and the blurry photo - http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30035666
Now we can reveal that we have our own tiger in Varanges who is not seen much out and about but was glimpsed this morning painting a wall in the vicinity.
Another relevation – many people do not believe that we can see Mont Blanc from the top of the hill going towards Donzy. Here it is this morning, 180km away as the crow flies. You don’t see it much clearer than that.
The hill that runs past our house climbs steeply up over the ridge to Donzy le Pertuis, nestling high on the side of the next valley. From the top of the hill we always look out for Mont Blanc which lies 180km to the south east. The weather this week has been very clear and sunny so Mont Blanc has been easy to spot, the snow glittering in the sunshine.
When we mentioned this to some people they would not believe us. So today we decided to go closer for a better look. Off we set heading east across the River Saône into the Bresse region. To us in Soâne-et-Loire, going ‘over the river’ means entering foreign lands. Ain, in the Rhône-Alpes, is very flat with large fields, and the Bresse farmhouses are very different with their brick and half timbered ‘longhouse’ appearance. Very soon the Jura mountains loomed up and we were into hairpin bends, rocky chasms and pine forests. There were many cyclists on the roads (don’t they know it’s hilly in the Jura?) but very little traffic. Soon we emerged Narnia-like into a land of Swiss chalets, alpine meadows and clanging cowbells.
Giant bike in the Haut Jura
We found to our joy that we were following the route of this year’s Tour de France. We had seen the beginning of Stage 7 near Tournus, and we were amazed to find out how far they had cycled that day (165.5km) and how steep and twisty the road was to Station des Rousses. That was described as a ‘medium mountains’ stage, an easy day for the riders. In the Haut Jura there was village with a 10m wooden bicycle made of wood. Apparently it was a copy of the Maire’s bike but 10 times as big!
We climbed over the final mountain before us was Lake Geneva and a wonderful view of Mont Blanc. And we have the photos to prove it!