Day 11 – The actual Belle Epoque, not the disco divas

Waking up to a drizzle ain’t pleasant but sleeping longer than any other night on this trip – priceless. By the time I was packed, the rain had stopped and off I went. The first part of the road followed the Isère river, then it strayed closer to the mountains. I can’t tell you how many times I missed a turn. Nothing too serious that would lead me to another city, but it seemed that every time there was a fork in the road, I chose the wrong direction. Logged some extra mileage as a result.

Made it to Aix-les-Bains, a leading town of the Belle Époque, where the rich and famous of the time would come to take thermal baths. You can still see remnants of the splendor of the epoch. It is situated on beautiful Lake Bourget, where the water seems to be turquoise. Canoes and sailboats splattered the surface. It was quiet and calm, with the surrounding mountaintops covered by clouds.

My Couch Surfing hosts, Olivier and Marion, were busy climbing the nearby mountains when I arrived, so I had time to enjoy the lake and a bit of the city. When they returned, I got a warm welcome at their home, with dinner, a nice chat, some ice cream and a group photo. He is an IT guy and a mountain trekking instructor and she is a teacher. Both were very nice.

Aix-les-Bains is my last stop on the French portion of this trip. Tomorrow, another 75 km on French soil and Au Revoir Belle France! Off to Switzerland!

Today in numbers:

86 km – distance covered
5h29m – riding time
6 h – sleep time, the longest so far on the trip
1 – sleeping pill to achieve the above
1 – cold pizza was eaten on one of those wrong turns
½ – packet of Nougats gone