Lalleyriat to Les Échelles

Today’s route was going to include a trip to Lidl, an LPG top-up, and then a drive-through of Annecy, Aix-les-Bains, and Chambery.

Annecy definitely looked as impressive as it appears in the glossy photos. An old town, as well as a lake front with breathtaking views of water and mountains. They do have an aire, a good walk away and by the lake, but there was no room there, so with few other obvious options we were quite happy to have the excuse to do a drive by “shoot”. Admittedly we didn’t see that much of the old town, but our route took us along the lakefront twice and then we were on our way again.

After Annecy we had an onboard lunch break just off the main road, but with some more magnificent mountain scenery. Next drive through was Aix-les-Bains, and like Annecy probably deserved a proper visit, but these lazy philistines took the quick option and sailed on through and passed by the nearby Lac du Bourget. Trying to squeeze an awful lot out of today, we then took in Chambery, which, if motorhomes were more welcome, we’d have enjoyed a proper wander around its streets.

After using the town’s motorhome facilities, a little too far out for easy access for us lightweight walkers, we put ourselves back in the hands of the SatNav. If it wasn’t just a device, you’d think the SatNav was having a laugh at our expense, as it took us up very narrow and steep two-way lanes, only suitable for a single modest vehicle. We were eventually spat out onto the proper main road, which ideally should have been reached along normal roads. We’re very pleased to have a modest motorhome at times like this, and the upside is that we do get to see places we’d never ordinarily contemplate, and Sophie fortunately gets to take some new photographic angles, and so is distracted from any fears that we might not make it through. Of course, we always do – well, mostly 😉.

After a narrow escape from Chambery, we headed in a Southwesterly direction, and the great mountain views continued. We checked out a couple of potential overnight stops, but very narrow roads, as well as Sophie’s new criterion of not being too close to church bells, led us to carry on to the small village of Les Echelles.

The parking here was ideal, below the main town, rural, just set back from the river, and with those lovely mountains in the background. To my dismay, Sophie felt we could do better, which I wonder might be because she’d seen a church nearby. I could see this aversion to church bells becoming a problem in a country where they are so prolific.

Anyway, despite my protestations, I did manage to come up with a great spot about 15 minutes away. It was a little car park for visiting the marshlands, but motorhome parking was authorised from 7pm to 8am. Whilst it was very improbable that we’d be gone (or even awake) by 8am, being off season and away from it all, we reckoned we’d be fine. The views were magnificent and we thought we’d found a real gem, and it is fair to say that Sophie did gloat about it far too much 😉. As it happened, we hadn’t banked on this being a popular haunt for local youngsters in their cars and with their loud music, so we decided to return to my original choice of overnight spot, where we had a very peaceful night (and no church bells either).

*** Just to mention that our blogs can be up to a few weeks behind reality, as we’re always in catch-up mode ***

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