Wednesday, 31st December 2014 in France - 2014/15.
Slept well and up early to start the drive to Lyon – or Lion as the sat nav called it. Reims was rhymes and later Nice was nice as in ‘nice day’. Let me say for a start it was cold but not quite the finger – numbing teeth chattering cold of the UK – at least not half way down the E16. A few miles earlier, however, as we left Reims and drove high up over the mountains It was just that sort of cold.. The chummy sun disappeared to be gradually replaced by low cloud. To the left and right of the motorway snow appeared, first as a scattering and then as a covering, mercifully leaving the roadway clear. We stopped for a coffee and stepped out into the minus 5 wondering if we should have gone to the west of Paris rather than east – so close to the swiss border where all those sporty types had been stuck in their cars for hours. However those sort of thoughts left as we saw the huge choice of hot and cold food, fresh fruit, delectable pastries as well as the usual bagettes etc. The problem was getting to them – it was lunchtime and the place was crowded but we managed to grab a coffee, apple and baguette and braced ourselves, uneccessarily, as it turned out, for the journey ahead. As quickly as it had come, the snow disappeared being replaced by a strong but warm wind buffeting the trees. Always wondered how those tall thin Italian cypresses manage to grow so straight. I watched as the tops bent almost to right angles. We drove past clouds of mistletoe studding the poplar trees. Around 4.30 we turned into our next overnight. This time a Chambre d’Hote just north of Lyon. Run by a guy so relaxed that it took us a while to realise he was speaking English. We had the place to ourselves tonight but it would be full New years eve. Can see why – so beautiful.
Years ago I cycled through France and discovered Chambres D’Hotes. And I have never had a bad one. Welcoming with deep feather beds and pretty bits of art like this lamp we coveted. Breakfasts are always home made bread, homemade jam, and good coffee.