Monday, October 13, 2008


We never planned to come this way. Forty two years ago I spent summer in the high Alps close to this town, walked the streets, climbed hills along with some kids. For a month I was forced to speak only French -- even quarrel in French. The town is built as a medieval fortress it clings to the rock face, surrounded by a moat, narrow streets each with steps so that you can't drive there, never could drive a horse and cart up the hill. A large gutter with flowing water marks the center of the road. Shops are all closed today, Monday. The streets only have an occasional pedestrian.

Surrounding mountains haven't changed in 42 years, vertical cliffs and crags, clear running streams. Today they speak more of their history, folding, uplift, stuff that geologists understand. Trees everywhere are changing colours, accenting the landscape with an automnal palette, bringing out also the reds, and gold of the mountains.

We're heading for Nevache to sample Alpine Fondue, and other local specialties. Then to our camp by the river. Tomorrow, via Turin toward Venice.

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