Sunday, 17 August 2008

About Time

I think I start every holiday blog with the words "Its that time of year again". Well, not today.

We are very late this year by our own standards, something borne mainly from the fact that we thought Alice would be changing schools last year, so we wanted to ensure that we didn't take our holiday during term time.
But still, we're here now. And where is here? Well, we took the ferry from Portsmouth Thursday night, and Friday drove south for five hours for an overnight stop near Beaune (at the charming Chateau de Challanges). Onward on Saturday, cutting south east, past Geneva, and ultimately arriving at a chalet in the charming village of Vacheresse, in the Val d'Abondance. So, we're still in France, just like every other year, but in a part we've never visited before in the Haute Savoie, close to the Swiss border.

I actually booked the chalet back in January, so have had plenty of time to prepare. In all that time, though, I could find precious little written about Vacheresse, and our gite in particular. I mean, with most places nowadays, you get an address and you look it up on Google maps, and within seconds you're sorted. The only thing with Vacheresse is that there are no street names, so all we really knew was that the gite was called "Les Pierre a Julien". In actual fact, I got some directions from the Gites de France people, and further directions from the owners, plus after all that the chalet was quite easy to find, so all told no great hassle. But for someone like me, who loves pouring over maps, it would have been nice to know exactly where we'd be. But still, here we are in the end perched on the mountainside to the north of Vacheresse, with outstanding views over the village. According to the GPS on my phone, we're at 46.3284N, 6.6829E, at an altitude of 1048m. So if anyone on the interweb ever books this chalet, there you go!

Still quite tired after the travelling, but at least we've now had two good night's sleep. As I said, the Chateau de Challenges was absolutely delightful. Very peaceful and tranquil, and only five minutes from both the centre of Beaune and the autoroute. The only downsides were firstly being so close to the autoroute we could hear it from the garden (though not from the room), and the hotel had no restaurant. Although only a few minutes from Beaune, it would have been nice just to eat and crash.

The gite is absolutely wonderful, clearly has been renovated quite recently All wood, so quite creaky! But very comfortable and with the most amazing views across the valley. There are lots of photographs of mountains, which the owner said he took himself. I forgot to ask if he was a professional, though he certainly might have been. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll have some decent photographs of my own, although if the weather so far today is anything to go by...

Note quite sure what to get up to today. As I said, the weather isn't brilliant so far, so we might end up just going down the valley for a drive. But first, its a shower and then breakfast.

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