Meribel Road Trip Review
Hamish Brown | Guest Reporter | published: 6th May 2014
Hamish Brown has been in Meribel since 1992 running Alpine Management Services and is a Director at AMS Rentals. When Merinet was first launched he wrote the snow reports for us before Caroline took over. It's been a while but now he's back with a series of summer road trips in his sporty Morgan car. This is his first installment in that series...
Meribel has been closed for over a week, Chamonix has its last day of the season, the skies are clear, the office is closed so what to do? ROAD TRIP………
At this time of year there is only really one option. Although this morning French radio announced a red day on many major routes, I have no intention of touching a major road. My route is from near Ugine, along the flat towards Chambery, through the vineyards then over the Col du Frêne. Now there is a coincidence – my wee car has an ash frame.
After the col you enter the “land that time forgot”. Its correct name is “Parc Naturel Régional du Massif des Bauges”. The only people that really know about it are the locals and every cycle and motorbike club in the area. The destination is the view point that looks down onto Aix les Bains and Chambery Airport. If you have ever flown into Chambery AIX airport in the winter, the flight path is lower that this view point.
The trip takes us over a number of cols, all below 1200m so all clear of snow. The main cols in the area are still closed. Well that was the plan. The reality was a bit different. Great trip through the vineyards, past Chateau de Miolan then over the first col. What, no sun, only clouds and the temperature dropped by about 10 degrees. But the good news, the valley is stunning, the cows are mooing the wind is in what little hair I have left (coupe d'été) and no one on the road.
In 45 minutes driving, 4 motorbikes past us and 6 cars went the other way. Over the Col du Pres, down towards Chambery and then a sharp right, back up the hill towards the Col du Plainpalais. The view point we were heading for, is just past the ski resort of Revard. Unfortunately, we then climbed into the clouds – now very cold. Nothing to see, so no photo of the view. Luckily, I have one I made earlier – about 4 weeks ago.
A hasty descent down to Aix Les Bains and a stop lake side to watch the kite surfers on Lac du Bourget. The lake, the shore and the lake side road with its new cycle track and frontage looked magnificent – I guess I would too if someone spent 25 million euros on me. All in all an excellent wee trip.
Before I sign off from the first of my summer reports I would like to pass on my congratulation to Cara Brown for her excellent performance over the winter, especially at the British and Scottish Championships in the 3 Valleys – Well done Cara!
Hamish (on the road to nowhere)