We left Briancon on a clear bright morning, heading along the Serre Chevalier valley towards the Col du Lautaret. Heading along the valley we found ourselves surrounded by the mountains of the Parc Naturel des Ecrins, a national park renowned for its wildness and beauty. I had walked here in February with a friend, Pete, just scratched on edge. This part of the trip was a recce for me as I want to visit again next year. We weren’t disappointed b y the weather either, clear and bright, no haze to disturb the views of the peaks as we passed.
Briancon a memory we drove the steadily climbing road to the Col du Lautaret. 2058m.
Every where we looked we saw fantastic sights and as we climbed more was revealed. We found ourselves playing leapfrog with other motorists who like us kept stopping to take pictures of hill big and small.
As we arrived at the Col, La Mieje showed up as a huge lump in the background, glaciers hanging down and snow-covered well down her shoulders. At just under 4000m not the biggest in the Ecrins, but certainly no slouch.
It’s all downhill from the Col, still plenty to look at though.
Next to slide into view was Lac Chambon, pure green and looking splendid.
We misjudged the timing as one of the tunnels was being worked on, which meant closure for the first half of each hour. Except during lunch break. We arrived, had a quick stop to see if the cafe was open, only to see the tunnel close, and the cafe was shut. We had a drive to the next village, it too was closed. Sometimes you just need to sit and enjoy the view.
Passing on, we left the high places and headed towards Grenoble. Once we hit the city it was a straight (sort of) run home and a night in our own bed.