A few weeks earlier my friends and I went on a road trip. We first visited Mont Revard as suggested by my friend. The route to Mont Revard is breathtaking with stunning surroundings. In between, there are beautiful houses completely surrounded by greenery. On the top, one can see the mountain ranges on one side and the city of Aix-les-Bains on the other. Then was time to have lunch and head towards Aix-les-Bains – a city in the Rhone-Alps region on the shores of one of the largest natural lake, Lac du Bourget (Bourget Lake).
The weather was opted for swimming in the lake. There are several locations to swim there. Had lots of fun- swimming, diving jumping and then headed towards Annecy. We then had a plan to stop somewhere in between to camp. Luckily we landed up in the most beautiful, riverside, least known and calm place near Cusy. The place was on the shores of the river ‘Le Cheran‘. One will be totally lost when they are in this beautiful place. We walked around a bit to search for a place to camp. Finally, after an hour or so we found a great place beside the river. Then headed back to the car to pick up our tents and luggage. That exciting walk in there and the wooden bridges are unforgettable. Some group work went on to pitch up the tents and set up the fire camp. had a great time with music on the banks of the river. Believe me, you just get lost in this place.
Had a nice sleep and we woke up next day to witness the calm surroundings. One would dream for this to happen every day. Then was the time to pack everything. Then had breakfast and started walking back to the car. We didn’t want to miss the chance of swimming in Cheran. In the next moment, we were found jumping and diving into the clear and a bit cold water of the river.
With this fresh start to the day, we continued our journey to Annecy- The pearl of the French Alps located in south-eastern France. It commands the view of the mountains beyond the beautiful lake. But this beautiful city welcomed us with the crowd, it was difficult to find a place to park the car around the lake as there was some ongoing event. Then managed to park the car and started walking around the lake. Believe me, you get the best view of the lake and surrounding mountains. Sat near the lake enjoying the eye-catching view. We were not in a mood to swim, but it’s a great place to swim. I recommend not to miss it like we did.
We needed to camp for the day. Again the search for place started. We were lucky to stop en route to Chamonix at an old bridge by the side of the river. We settled there and kind of barbecue went on. That night was a bit cold but the fire camp negated this.
The next destination was Chamonix-Mont-Blanc generally called as Chamonix – it’s situated at the junction of France, Swiss and Italy. It commands the incredible view of the Mont-Blanc- the highest mountain in Europe rising 4800 m above sea level. One can go to Aiguille du Midi which is in Mont Blanc rising around 3800m via telepheric (Cable car) for greater view. This cable car has the highest vertical ascent in the world. Worth it if you can afford it.
Well, its was a great spot to end our trip.
- It’s easy to reach Aix-les-Bains and Annecy with Local trains (TER) from Lyon costing you around 15-30€ one-way. But Road trip would be best.
- Sunset from Mont Revard looks great. Try being there in evening.
- For camping site in Annecy, Le Belvédère- Camping Municipal is the best choice. – Walkable distance from the lake. Costs around 15€ for two people.
- Link to the place near cusy- Sentier de la Passerelle – Le Cheran https://goo.gl/maps/7xbyVeF5qqx
- The cable car to Aiguille du Midi costs around 60€ for two-way. The alternative is to go to Le Brevent.
That was my second weekend in Lyon, I heard from my co-worker that there was a city of Roman history near Lyon(Thank you, Mathis). That was Vienne- a city of south-eastern France around 30km from Lyon, situated on Rhone river. It was a former Roman colony and once a center of textile industry.
I left early in the morning. It was 20 minutes by train from Lyon. Soon after I got down at Vienne I headed to the tourist office and got to know about the places to visit and also got a route map. The whole city can be covered by foot. Indeed, there is a specific heritage route with markings on the road which covers all the major places to visit.
1. Saint-André-le-Bas church
Following the heritage route, I first stopped by a medieval church of Vienne. It is a church built in the 9th century with very fine stone carvings and generally employed for exhibitions in recent days.
2. Saint-Maurice Cathedral
Next was a cathedral of Saint-Maurice built in the 13th century which is a combination of Roman and gothic styles. The interior of the cathedral is breathtaking.
3. Roman Temple
The Roman temple known as the Temple of Augustus and Livia was built in 1BC.
4. Museum and site of Saint-Romain-en-Gal Vienne
I then visited the Museum and historical site of Saint-Romain-en-gal situated on the bank of river Rhone. The museum depicts the history of ancient Vienne, economy, crafts, mosaics and daily life in the Roman house. The archeological site depicts the Gallo-Romain civilization.
5. Belvedere of Pipet and Théâtre Antique
This is the place one shouldn’t miss in Vienne. On climbing to the top of Mount Pipet where there are a chapel and statue of the Virgin mary and there’s a fantastic view of the city, Rhône Valley, and the Antique roman theater.
This Roman theater hosts the Vienne Jazz festival every year in the month of July.
6. Museum of Fine Art and Archaeology
Museum of Fine Art and Archaeology contains collections of objects of Gallo-Roman, French pottery, and paintings dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries.
- It costs around 5-10 Euro from Lyon to Vienne in the regional train (TER).
- In Vienne, Follow the standard heritage route. Just follow logo incorporated on the road which covers all the heritage sites.
- Buy a single ticket which covers all three museums. It’s economical.
An evening at the banks of the river Rhône.