TBT - The Alps & Switzerland
I didn’t expect to be as blown away by the Alps as I was. We didn’t get to see their full range, but driving up to them from Italy was quite the sight to behold. Seeing their counterparts in France and Switzerland was just icing on the cake.
After we left Cinque Terre, we actually drove through the South of France and stopped at a campground near Cannes. We wanted to explore the beaches and nearby downtown area, but because there is literally NO parking for an RV of such a size, we had to settle for a view from the RV.
After we left Cannes, we were back on the road heading towards Italy to get to Switzerland through the Mont Blanc tunnel. By going this way,we had to pass through France, and were treated with an amazing view of the Italian, Swiss and French Alps.
We drove North through Piedmont and then on to the province of Aosta Valley. This province is very mountainous, and boasts the Italian portion of the Alps.
The province itself is beautiful, with waterfalls spilling out of the green mountains every few miles, and small villages resting on the crests of hills. There are also hundreds of grape vines being grown in neat little rows all up the sides of the steep hills. My mom and I were both straining in our seats and trying our best to capture photos of the beautiful landscape from inside the moving RV.
As we drove closer to the Alps, the fog got thicker, and the mountains got whiter. We started to see some snow capped peaks, and even some ice creeping down from the tops of the mountains.
We went through the Alps at the Mont Blanc tunnel, which borders Italy and France. When we finally emerged from the tunnel, the view was even more stunning than before we had entered. I was twisting around in my seat trying to capture every possible angle of the icy mountains that I saw. There was even some visible ice in places that was the perfect pale blue colour of glaciers.
At this point, we were in Chamonix, France and wanted to stop and get some groceries for the night. We ended up pulling into this small town, and parked beside a gorgeous green lake filled with cool, clear water that was the foreground to the icy mountains. As soon as we got out of the car we could feel the temperature drop. It was mid day in July, but it felt like a cool late-summer evening in September.
The photos just don’t do this place justice. It was such a beautiful and tranquil little spot with a small church hidden in the forest and the perfectly calm green coloured lake. It was the ideal place to stop and enjoy the scenery. We were able to do our grocery shopping at a small market, and buy some authentic French brioche à tête from a bakery. Spoiler alert: it was AMAZING!
After we took as many photos as possible, we got back in the RV to make our way to Switzerland. The rest of the drive was just as gorgeous, complete with views of the French Alps and surrounding countryside.
Once we got into Switzerland, we had a bit of a hard time finding our campsite (surprise, surprise). We were staying in Lausanne, Switzerland, right on lake Geneva. The campsite had a gorgeous view of the crystal clear lake and its surrounding harbor, and was only about a 2 minute walk from where we parked the RV. We had a look around the lake before making dinner and settling in for the night.
When we woke up that morning, we had a brief walk around the town to see some of the architecture. You could definitely tell that we weren’t in Italy anymore, because the style of the homes was completely different!
Before long, we were back on the road again, to start the French leg of our trip. We were heading for Chartres, France, and I can’t wait to share the stunning photos from the Gothic cathedral!!