July 17, 2013
Day 7. Travel Day.
We packed up in the morning and after breakfast loaded up the van and headed toward Les Deux Alpes. We originally planned to do a ride near the hotel near Violès first, but it was hot with a threat of thunderstorms, and frankly, we were all very tired from the previous three days of riding with not enough sleep. Collectively we decided to skip riding and take some recovery time so that we would be ready to ride the big mountain the next day.
Our drive to Les Deux Alpes from Violès was expected to take about three hours with some stops for shopping, pictures and food along the way. Jennifer suggested a detour that would extend the travel day but would allow us to drive through the Gorges in the Vercors Regional Natural Park on our way toward Grenoble. This is a protected area of forested mountains in the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France. The views were absolutely breathtaking as we rode in the van through the Gorges de la Bourne and on through Grenoble. Did I mention that the food in France is incredible? Even at the highway rest stops you can purchase fresh gourmet food such as homemade tortellini with fresh basil pesto!
We arrived at our hotel in Les Deux Alpes, the Hotel Le Souleil’Or, in the early evening hours. http://www.le-souleil-or.fr It was located in a very beautiful setting high up in the mountains with Alpes style architecture which reminded me of Austria. I had a slope side view from the hotel room. There was no snow on the low slopes but folks were are still skiing up top on the glacier this time of year. Down below near our hotel the ski trails were filled with cows grazing on the grass by the chairlifts. You could hear their cow bells gently ringing in the wind. Naturally I ordered raclette for dinner at Le Charbon de Bois Restaurant.
We would do Alpe d’Huez tomorrow with a forecast for chilly temps and even rain possible.