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Published: August 19th 2013
Despite the room at the Comfort Hotel being small, the bed was comfortable and we didn’t have to stay awake during the night not knowing what might have been happening to our car and possessions had we stayed at the hotel from hell, Hotel de la Gare up the road at Voreppe.We know this sounds a bit dramatic but place was awful and it will teach us a lesson to read the reviews for each place we booked. In this case the hotel had not had enough reviews done on it and we would have had to go a couple of web pages into the listing to get the information that we are sure would have put us off booking it.
However, we have been charged a no show charge even though we did show up and had been locked out and could not attract anyone’s attention to let us in. Actually not only have they charged us once BUT they have charged us twice. We emailed them with a copy to booking.com and we hope that the problem gets cleared up quickly.
We were glad to hit the road and get down to what we believe will be
far better accommodation in an apartment in a specialised holiday resort just outside Aix-en-Provence(hereafter called AeP).We are sure that there won’t be any itinerants sitting around drinking and looking unsavoury along with their noisy kids and long suffering mothers.
Unwittingly, we took what is known as Route Napolean, the N85, after we had cleared Grenoble heading south. The route was taken by Napoleon in 1815 after he ended his exile on the island of Elba and was heading to Paris to take over as Emperor from King Louis. He took the mountainous route rather than the easier way via the Rhone River Valley to try and surprise the King’s troops.However, he was met at Laffrey by King Louis’s men where he asked them to stand aside and they did so without a battle. There is an impressive statue of Napoleon in bronze on the field where the meeting of the two parties occurred.
The road was a really enjoyable drive and we reached an altitude of over 1000 metres with some very spectacular scenery all around as well as numerous small villages with fascinating old buildings.
For the third or fourth time we passed over the 45th
The weather had cooled off at this altitude and for a while it struggled to get above 16C although overhead it was still fine and sunny but with a fresh wind from the north.
The traffic was busy and our progress was relatively slow although it gave us time to take in the views.
At Saint Bonnet-en-Champsaur we noticed a memorial on a small hill above the village and upon investigation we found it was to the local resistance fighters killed by the Germans between 1942 and 1945 and another smaller memorial commemorating an incident in July 1944 when 4 locals were murdered by the Germans. A walk around the cemetery was interesting as the plots were all laid out with a separate one for each family with burials in some ranging back over 150 years.
The mountain road came to an end as we approached the city of Gap and the road twisted and turned through several hairpin bends down the mountainside to the city.
The terrain became flatter as we pushed further south taking a stop at Manosque at an Auchan store to top up the grocery box and ensure we had
enough food in store considering tomorrow is Sunday and everything will probably be closed.
We arrived at the apartment complex and were relieved it looked to be as good as we had hoped with only tourists staying there.
Our apartment on the third floor faced east and had a good size balcony with table and chairs and looked out over the swimming pool which in the 30C heat was full of bodies cooling off.
We are pleased to be able to put our roots down for 3 nights in very comfortable surroundings and we celebrated being away from the hotel from hell by cracking a bottle of wine and sitting out on the balcony until the night came.
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