On the road to the North

We are off on our holidays today … first a weekend at Holy Island then a week in Highland Perthshire in Scotland. We just passed a famous sculpture by the main road at Newcastle, the Angel of the North.

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We need to get across the causeway to the island before the tide comes in. We’re making good time though and we haven’t far to go now. We have lots of exciting places to visit so I’ll update as often as data allows.

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Categories: Bear Travels | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Fun in the Snow

Hello everyone. For those of you who have snow at the moment like we do, I hope you are having fun and it isn’t causing you too much trouble?

I tried sledging this week for the first time….

 

 

Landing on my head in the snow wasn’t quite what I envisaged. I’m OK but I don’t think I’ll bother going sledging again for a while.

Phil (a bit sore)

Categories: Bear Life | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Passes and Gorges of the French Alps

After a long day in the car the previous day when we drove all around the Vercors we decided to play it by ear a bit today. If you are staying near Lake Annecy it would be silly not to take a jaunt up to Lake Geneva since it is so near. Our (slightly indirect) route from the campsite up to Yvoire and back takes us to more mountain passes and gorges than you can shake a stick at.

This is at the top of Col de la Croix Fry 1477m. What a very pleasant morning it is. There are so many cyclists going up and down these roads the mind boggles….they must be quite mad. Personally I’m a bit tired just sitting in the car looking out the window.

Col de la Croix Fry

Then a little detour to Col des Aravis at 1498m

Col des Aravis 1498m

Given the choice I would rather not be sat in the road but I get put places sometimes and I don’t get a choice in the name of photography. Still, there’s Mont Blanc in the distance at a hulking great 4810m … like over 3 times as high as we are now. Wow!

Col des Aravis

And then off to Col de la Colombiere at 1618m

Col de la Colombiere 1618m

What a view. Woohoo!

Col de Colombiere

On the way back from Lake Geneva we stumbled upon the most amazing sight. It was the two chaps with cameras by the road that gave it away. Here’s my photographer hard at work, though my typist was more concerned, not that we had scrambled down this steep bank, but that we had done so with both mobile phones and the car keys in Bens pockets.

D902 from Thonon

D902 from Thonon

And the view the other way from the top of the bank … beautiful!

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So we finally reach the Gorges de Pont du Diable or The Devils Bridge Gorge.  An amazing site, much like the Gorges du Fier we visited previously, cut out of the rock by the power of the river. It is located a little way after the amazing views in the photo above on the D902 which runs south from Thonon Les Bains on Lake Geneva. The car park and visitor centre are by the road and you have a long walk down to the entrance of the gorge. And you know what a long walk down means? You guessed it, a long walk back up again which feels even longer if it’s as ridiculously hot and humid as it was when we visited. If you’re not great on your feet or have only tiny little legs like me it may not be practical to get to?

The view from the first part of the walkway inside the gorge.

Gorges du Pont Diable

Here is the Devils Bridge in question, balanced above our heads.

Pont Diable

Hello, here I am. It’s a little gloomy so I’m hard to see.

Gorges du Pont Diable

Biiig trees clinging to the edge of the rocks above.

Gorges du Pont Diable

You have to hand it to the people who decided to put in these walkways for us to visit these wonderful places. They built the first wooden walkways here in the 1890s.

Gorges du Pont Diable

The rocks look kind of funny don’t they? Not really like rocks at all; kind of like a living thing.

Gorges du Pont Diable

And then back we went towards the campsite at Lake Annecy again, but via a slightly less picturesque route for the purposes of speed and getting dinner. A tired and hungry bear is not a good bear. Some of the other passes and gorges we went through on our travels include the Gorges de la Bourne,  Col de Rousset, Col de Grimone and the Gorges de Gats on our big drive round the Vercors.

I guess the only thing I haven’t told you about for this part of the holiday is going to Annecy itself and the lovely boat trip round the lake so I’ll do that in my next post.

Bear hugs,

Phil

Categories: A Bear in France, Bear Travels | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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