Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Route Napoleon

We left our lovely hotel in Leysin and the hosts there recommended that since we had two days to get to Nice we should travel via the "Route Napoleon" as it was very scenic.  It goes from Cannes up to Grenoble, following the route that Napoleon took in 1815 on his return from exile in Elba.  

It was a long drive the first day. We drove along Lake Geneva and then passed into France quite early. After that most of the time we were either stuck in tailbacks due to roadworks, trying to make it through congested cities, or driving through unattractive little villages. When I toured France with my parents nearly 25 years ago, we came to the conclusion that paint salesmen would not make much of a living in France.  So many of the buildings looked old and dilapidated,  with peeling paint and cracked render. Nothing has changed in the intervening years.

Castle near Lake Geneva

Vineyards near the Lake

Route Napoleon found us accommodation up the top of a deserted mountain track in a place call Corps. The Boustigue Hotel was rather disappointing.  The view was good, certainly, and the fact that the staff only spoke French shouldn't have been a problem, but it was a bit difficult due to the heavy local accent. The room was pretty average. Dinner, though, was definitely a French meal.  Very nice.

Next day was more of the Route Napoleon, including a stop at Sisteron which is a pre-Roman town situated by a river in an amazing gorge. Because of this were are some spectacular geological formations surrounding the town. Apparently Napoleon stopped here for lunch on his way up north and as the town was fiercely Royalist the local population largely ignored him.  

Route Napoleon



Rocher de la baume in Sisteron

We found a lovely place to stop for lunch, with a very friendly host who couldn't believe we had come all the way from Australia!

In general, having seen some spectacular scenery in the Dolomites, Austria and Switzerland, we found the Route Napoleon a bit of a let down.  We also found the French drivers very rude and aggressive. Heaven help you if you need to change lanes at any time! 

We spent the night in an airport hotel in Nice. Not exciting, but very convenient since we had to return the lease car at 9am the following day and then fly back to England.

No comments:

Post a Comment