Saturday, 9 June 2012

French holiday

Chris and I booked a last minute trip to France for the Diamond Jubilee weekend. We bust-a-gut to get to Heathrow airport for a 17:50 flight to Geneve on Friday night only to discover it was delayed by over two hours so our holiday started a little later than planned. Mark and Fanny from GPM10 picked us up at the airport in their big silver van that was big enough to throw our bags and bike boxes in the back with no problems.
Saturday 2nd June
  • Stayed at the Auberge du Roselet Hotel over-looking Lake Annecy.
  • Mark (our personal director sportif) arrived at 10:30. Chris and Mark built up the bikes while I organised water bottles and energy bars.

  • Mark set a reasonable pace towards the first climb of the day - the Col de Marais alt. 840 metres - I was a little bit nervous about how I would handle the ride but I climbed the col at a steady cadence.

  • The descent was fast and fun. Being a novice descender I was a little too brake-happy but I think my confidence will improve with practise. We sailed through Thone and followed the valley around to the opposite side of Lake Annecy. 
  • We took a much needed fuel stop at Mark's girlfriend Fanny's Cafe and ordered crepes all round.
  • Prior to our lunch break I took an embarrassing  head dive for the tarmac as we were passing the Lakeside beaches. I skidded and ended up in the flowerbeds. Luckily there was no real damage to my bike and a I got away with just a few scratches and a bruised ego.
  • Here is a link to the route:

  • After the bike ride Chris and I jumped in the lake for a refreshing swim.
  • To finish the day off we had at a lovely meal with Mark and Fanny at restaurant in Annecy.


Sunday 3rd June
  • We decided to do a similar route to the previous day we took us up the Col de Marais for a second time. I improved my time.
  • It started to rain as we rode into Thone. We stopped for a very quick coffee break for a temporary shelter from the rain.
  • We over-took a triathlete as they made their way around a very route to ours. It was only when we passed him that we realised he must have taken a bad fall.
  • In the photo above I am in (very temporary) second place position in the Annecy triathlon. The dots in the distance are the lead triathlete with the pace motorbike.
  • Here is a link to the route:

  • Arrived in Chamonix after a brilliant drive on an elevated road-way through the valley and checked into Hotel Eden. Unfortunately Mount Blanc was hidden by cloud, mist and rain so I hoped the weather would improve for Monday. 
  • Ended the day in style with scallops followed by steak. Yum. I think the candle was Chris' idea of romance.

Monday 4th June
  • The weather was still cloudy and rainy so we went for Plan B which was to drive through the Mount Blanc tunnel to Italy and spend the day relaxing at a natural thermal spa.
  • Luckily the weather in Pre Saint Didier was much clearer than in France so we got to enjoy the outside spa pools and jacuzzi's. 
  • We also had a full body mud treatment and Turkish sauna that required you to have a cold shower at the end to revitalise the skin and close pores. Chris enjoyed pushing me under the cold shower - he is a little bit mischievous.
  • The day would not be complete without a nice meal and luckily the only restaurant that was open in Pre Saint Didier did a brilliant fillet steak and salad.

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