Last weekend I wore a pair of running shoes and went for a hike in the French Alps with a fellow Au Pair from Germany. We decided to get out and explore a bit, and since the cold weather has been fast approaching, we decided it was probably one of the last chances we’d have to comfortably hike up a mountain. (But let’s be real…there has never really been a time when I have been able to comfortably hike up a mountain. But as they say…when in France.)
She brought a map/book on various hiking trails in the area and we started driving. The GPS couldn’t find our cross streets, so we decided to wing it. After a while we finally stumbled upon signs for Mount Veyrier, and after asking a couple pedestrians for directions in broken French, we ended up driving straight ahead. There were a couple of Private Property signs, but of course, we ignored them and kept driving up until we reached a barrier positioned at what felt like a 90 degree angle. We looked up, and I tried not to look down, because as steep as the street was it felt even more narrow. All I could think about was that if I had been driving my van, we wold probably still be stuck there. Luckily, after a 20 point turn in a small manual Honda model, we made it out. We took a deep breath and I looked over to her and said simply how the fuck do people live here?
We both shrugged our shoulders laughed and came to the obvious conclusion that, well, it’s France- what can you do.
She knew of another spot toward the top of a mountain that overlooked the lake, because she had visited it with her family several weeks prior. Somehow we managed to stumble upon a map on the side of the road as well as another helpful bystander, and we made it to Col de Forclaz by noon.
The lake was hidden under a cloud of fog, but the weather was perfect and we found a small path to hike up. Tennis shoes might not have been the best choice, but when you are living abroad on a dime, basically broke and relying on what you could fit into a couple suitcases, you gotta use what you got.
All in all, it was a great day exploring the Alps, strolling around Annecy and dipping our feet in the lake- I don’t think this place can get old.