We picked up our little car in the sunshine at 10am at Gare de Lyon, but were not out of the complex labyrinth of Parisian roads until 11am, where the journey immediately picked up pace as we drove through the Paris region and into Bourgogne where we encountered mostly countryside but saw some striking rural churches built in the Germanic style. We first noticed a dramatic change in scenery once we were passed Lyon and motoring towards Chambéry. As we would approach a mountain, we'd notice a small hole that cars were disappearing into; obviously the mountains around here are too big to go around, so the roads mostly just pass through them. After Chambéry we really began to take notice that we were in the Alps. We headed south east towards the massifs on the horizon; these were all snowcapped despite the outside temperature being 20° C.
Sara navigated us very well through the little Alpine towns of Pontcharra and Allevard until we started ascending up the vallée du Haut Bréda and into the mountains, being looked at by the imposing snow covered Belledonne range of mountains to our east that would hopefully become our familiar friend over the
next few days. After 14km and the picturesque little town of La Ferrière we arrived at l'Aubergerie. This was exactly the kind of radical departure from city life that we wanted. From the outside, it masquerades as a run-down mountain house but the charm and simplicity integrate to make this the perfect escape.
It is a converted barn with stone walls and wooden beam ceilings. Our host greeted us and took us to our 'refuge'. An enormous living room with two sofas, a table and a splendid view of the massif to our south. We took a look at the shop for our supplies in La Ferrière and came back for our dinner; wonderful lamb and chicken dishes exemplifying the Alpine cuisine. The host is very humble and friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and took an early night very excited about the prospects to come.
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