Monday, July 12, 2010

Arriving in the French Alps

I stayed up until nearly midnight last night to see the final game of the World Soccer….yes…at the end of the overtime I watched as the world watched Spain score a goal against The Netherlands! Very exciting….I thought for sure that they were going into kicks….Jim had said to wake him up if they went to that. He woke for a minute when they scored but that was it! I turned the television off and fell sound asleep!

Up and on the road by 8:35 am it was already 25 degrees, that’s about 85 degrees in California! We had a long drive ahead of us as we’re driving the toll roads all the way to Chambery in the south near the French Alps; about a five hour drive. We’ve decided to splurge on the toll roads for the long drives instead of finding our way on the National Roads; much easier.

Along the way I noticed that the sun, in the east, created beautiful rainbows in the rain birds that were being used to water the cornfields this morning. We were headed south to Mulhouse; from there we will head towards Lyon and then before we arrive in Lyon we will head east again towards the French Alps.

At 11 am I saw my first field of sunflowers….our girls….love them so much…we were just outside of Dole, France. We continued on through the farmlands of France…mostly corn fields and freshly mowed hay…lots of rolled hay in the fields. As we drove it kept getting warmer and warmer…by the time we arrived in Chambery at 2:15 pm it was 39 degrees…that’s over 100 degrees in California! Rick Steves says to double the temperature and add 30…for an average temperature.

Our home for the next four nights…a very new Formule 1 hotel….is closed until 5 pm…unless you want to check in using a credit card…and so we decided to drive to Albertville and check out the road course for tomorrow.

Albertville was the sight of the 1992 Winter Olympics in France. This will be in the middle of the Stage Nine Tour de France tomorrow and has a wonderful climb up the Col de la Madeleine tomorrow. We are only about 50 kilometers from Albertville so off we went to check out the course. We had a wonderful time driving part way up the mountains checking out all the trailers that have already parked for the best views. I stopped and talked to several fellows from Denmark, complete with trailer and they’d only arrived an hour ago. On most mountains one must arrive several days before for the prime spot that they had for their trailer!

Back down the mountain and over to our home base for the next four nights in Chambery; we checked in and then hit the grocery store for supplies. The best news is that this is a very new and clean Formule 1 hotel and it has free wifi!!! And a fast wifi; even better!

You’ll notice at the beginning of the slideshow…a photo of Lance taken from the web yesterday when he crashed into someone who’d fallen in front of him. It was not a good day….word on the web is that he will begin to support his teammate Levi Leipheimer who is now in eighth position and definitely in contention for winning the 2010 Tour de France. But then, Lance may surprise us as the race is still young! The important thing is that he is part of a very supportive team and racing for a wonderful cause….the cure of cancer!

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