Saturday, 19 January 2013

Going nowhere slowly

Day 187 17.01.13 Macon to Lyon to Annecy

We got up fairly early and readied ourselves to get on the road to Lyon.  It was a fairly long drive and the route into the city was a nightmare.  For the first time in a while we had no official parking spots outlined and so had planned to head to a McDonald’s to drop the van in the carpark and then head out with the Sat Nav on foot to find a more suitable parking spot.  Maccy’s turned out to be ridiculously busy so we ended up grabbing food to give Chris a break from driving and then had to get straight back on the road as there was a queue for parking spots!  We drove to a couple of different Lidl supermarkets with the intention of parking up again, only to find they had height barriers or where entirely packed out.  We went through my entire list of back up options including a large park a few kilometres out of town but the car parks there had height barriers too low for us.  Frustrated and stressed we ended up driving to the very far outskirts of town just so we could pull up and come up with a new plan.  It turned out to be a very rough looking area so we didn’t stop for long!  We ended up giving up on Lyon and moving on to our next destination.  I really do hate the idea of missing out on a place but it’s not remotely campervan friendly and driving around has been ridiculously stressful.

Our next spot is Annecy at the foot of the Alps.  The drive there takes us through some spectacular scenery including tunnels though colossal mountains and everywhere is covered is snow.  We spot many a snowy mountainside town along the way, just beautiful!  Van Diesel isn’t a fan of some of the sharp climbs but on a downhill hits a new personal best of 131 kph, very impressed!   Our trusty steed seems to be doing much better for fuel economy this time around too; we’ve only filled up 3 times since leaving the UK!

We finally reach Annecy by mid-afternoon after an exhausting day.  We park up on the side of a small road alongside the famous lake.  There’s a police station on the other side of us and although Annecy is supposed to be a wild camping free area, they don’t seem to be bothered that we’re here.  We wrap up warm and head out for a quick look around before it gets too dark.  We walk into town and spot the old prison building surrounded by crystal clear water.  Capped in snow and lit up its amazing.  We grab a map from the tourist office and do some window shopping on the high street (Its far too expensive here for actual shopping!).  It’s too dark to see the mountains clearly but their outlines in the night sky are magnificent.  I can’t wait until tomorrow to see this place in the daylight.  For now we make a hasty retreat back to Van Diesel for a warm dinner.  At around 500 metres above sea level, it isn’t exactly warm here!

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