Monday, July 16, 2007

Tour de France 2007, Stage 4: Alpes to St Laurent-en-Grandvaux – 10 July 2007

Baby, its cold outsideAs predicted, it snowed: but not down to 1900m, it snowed down to about 1780m, a mere 100m above our tents and the temperature was correspondingly low. Between the two of us we wore 30 items of clothing to bed that night and still woke a few times with the cold.

After daybreak the morning temperature climbed to a balmy 4 C and our leader decided it was, in fact, time to move on - the Alpes had won and tourism had lost.

Beaufort is ready for 'The Tour'We dropped down to Beaufort for breakfast and the chance to remove some of the layers, exchanging our Michelin-man profiles for our more normal svelte ones.

Resistance fighters cemeterySuitably sustained, clothed and warmed we moved on to Thones: the location of the Museum of the Resistance the Museum of the Deportation. They are at the national cemetery and memorial to the Resistance fighters in the Haute-Savoie. It was sobering to see that nearly all the photos taken were in snow and to remember that these brave fighters did not have the luxury or breaking camp and driving off in quest of some sunshine.

Palais de l'IsleFurther along we stopped at Annecy: a lovely town on the shores of Lake Annecy which would no doubt look absolutely fabulous on a fine summer's day. We saw it on a damp rainy day. We walked the town centre, looked at the Palais de l'Isle - a rather grand name for a building that has spent 500 of its years as a jail, including wartime confinement of Resistance fighters and subsequently SS Officers as the fortunes of war changed.

AnnecySkirting the Swiss border we made out way over the mountains to St Laurent-en-Grandvaux where we set up camp, ate our dinner then crawled into our tent and listened to the rain on the roof, for a change.

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