La Route des Crêtes

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July 22nd 2016
Published: July 22nd 2016
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We arrived in Dijon today after four days of hiking in the Vosges mountains, along the Route des Crêtes (or Route of the Ridges). After an easy first day we had a huge climb on the second day from the valley of the Rhine (at about 400 m) to the height of the ridge (about 1300 m), but for the next two days the path stayed relatively level, with a couple of notable exceptions. At the end of the third day we met a very friendly couple who live near Strasbourg. We got to know each other over dinner and the next day we walked with them. Lynn and I had planned to stay at a refuge-hotel run by the local hiking club that night, but Frédéric and Claudia invited us to stay with them at Frédéric's father's house in a village in the valley below. We gladly accepted and ended up walking about 27 km that day, the last 6 km straight downhill! I think we walked about 75 km altogether over the four days.

We found the trail to be very different from hiking in Canada: dotted amid the forest and meadows there were farms all the way up, almost to the highest points, and at several places along the trail a road crossed from one side to another. These intersections often had a cafe or even a hotel, so that the trail alternated between semi-wilderness and the comforts of civilisation.

After a pleasant evening of eating and talking with Frédéric and Claudia, Lynn and I moved on the next day to the nearby town of Mulhouse for a day of recuperation before coming to Dijon today. Rose and Alan joined us here from the farm where they've been WOOFing since they left Paris. We'll be together here for a few days before Lynn and I head for London and the young ones travel to another farm in northern France.


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