04 July 2010

4th of July Weekend

The city of Nantua in the east of France has two main streets, both of which are one-way. This one heads west, towards Lyon (74 kilometers), while the second continues east, eventually delivering you to Geneva on the French-Swiss border.

From nearly any location, the city's 3,500+ inhabitants, known as Nantuatiens, can look up and see the imposing rock face dominating their city.

The center of attraction in Nantua is the lake. At nearly 3 kilometers long, it supports a variety of activities such as swimming, sailing, fishing, pedal-boating, water-skiing, picnicking and more.

You can go here to see the official site for the city of Nantua; there are some interesting aerial photos of the lake and surrounding areas.

This photo is for my son who loves fast cars.  I just had time to take this one shot before the owner, wearing tight blue jeans and cowboy boots, walked up to the car, hopped inside and rumbled away down the street. 

It's not that uncommon to see Ferraris or Maseratis or even Lamborghinis here in France, but a Dodge Viper?

That's a first for me.

Nantua, of course, is better known for lending its name to the succulent white sauce made from milk, flour, fresh cream and butter infused with the essence of crayfish, aka Sauce Nantua.

Not far from Nantua, in the Jura mountains, is a interesting place called Les marmites de Géant, or, the giant potholes.

The Semine river flows around the village of St. Germain de Joux in successive cascades that have, over time, dug these cylindical holes about 3 meters deep. 

I read somewhere that trout love to hang out in these deep pools, but I didn't see any on this morning.

These "potholes" also mark the trail head for a three-hour walk that climbs to nearly 1,000 meters up the mountain, then loops back down to the St. Germain de Joux.

The Bed & Breakfast we stayed in last night (with the red-tiled roof) sits at the bottom of a valley with spectacular views of the cliffs that shoot straight up for 500 meters or more.

The owners say that they can barely make a living running a B&B. Fortunately for them, the husband is an artisan who crafts bows and arrows by hand and also leads introductory archery courses. This link here takes you to their site.

The forest about one-hour's walk straight up the mountain
from the Bed & Breakfast was quiet, cool and enchanting.

Once out of the forest, a gentle grassy slope leads down
to the quiet village of Bellydoux (Belly-doo).


We didn't have barbecues and we didn't see any fireworks this weekend. We have to wait until July 14th for that.

But we did have lots of clean, fresh, playful nature - an experience worthy of a celebration in honor of our freedom. 


martin said...

Looks soothing! Your photos have convinced us to go there! Our walk in the south-west of the Pilat was also rewarding and I recommend visiting St Genest Malfaux and walking up to the Crete de Chaussitre. This weekend we are going to visit the surrounds of Chalmazel for the first time, weather permitting!

milavera said...

wow looks beautiful - great photos!