This past weekend we had the pleasure of visiting friends in the Savoie. It is such a special part of France. As my friend and I were walking through the hilltops I stopped, spun around and started singing “the hills are alive, with the sound of muuuuusic, la-la-la-la”. Not because I am a huge Julie Andrews fan, simply because it just felt right. When you are looking out above tiny Alpen villages with soaring green mountains and pastures dotted with cows and sheep, you truly feel like you are in a movie. That movie.
The long weekend began with a trip to the legendary Alpe d’Huez for a ride up the epic Tour de France climb. All went quite well and I found the climb much less offensive than Ventoux. Still, it’s no slouch and was a tough slog. Afterward we made our way over to my friend Didi’s house in Saint-Alban-Leysse where we were treated to some gorgeous food, wine and a little relaxing by the pool with a view of the Chartreuse Mountains in the distance.
The following morning we headed to the charming town of Chambéry where we wandered around the Saturday morning market purchasing fabulous bread, sausages, fruits and other goodies. We made a lovely picnic lunch and were then off for more adventuring in the high Alps to Didi’s friend’s B & B in La Léchère. Nikki and Hugh own an unbelievably stunning chalet which they renovated with love and staggering amounts of hard work. They offer cycling tours and cooking classes, and I highly recommend a visit to Chalet Savoie Faire for their brilliant hospitality should you find yourself in the region.
We woke to a beautiful Sunday and after a fabulous breakfast went out for another very challenging bike ride suggested to us by Didi's husband Didier. There is no shortage of huge cols to climb and quaint villages to see right from Didi’s house, and I was delighted to have a chance to explore her part of France more thouroughly.
While I feel most at home here in Provence, I never miss an opportunity to get to the Savoie—it is a truly awe-inspiring part of the world. Thank you Didi and Didier… grosses bises!