The cable-cars bring you in a vaste mountain-bike domain of 80 km through an overwhelming surroudings.
What a pity I'm a hiker....
Go to the Tourist Office and ask for a mountain-bike road map and .... go !
Avully - Ripaille
Friday ,Aaugust 29th 2003
We left for Thonon and drove left in the direction of Vailly, with the castle of Avully as target visit. In Saxel we noticed a sign "monastere" which we decided to follow. At the end of a nice, long, steep climb we arrived at the monastery of the "Moniales de Betlehem" in Voirons.
At the entry we saw pictures of life in a monastery and we read that these nuns have monasteries all over the world, one of which is in Opgrimbie, Belgium.
The shop was closed, so we could not buy postcards or, eventually, pottery.
We returned to our original goal and over Bons we drove to the castle of Avully. At our arrival (a few minutes before 12) we noticed that since August 25th visits were only allowed on Sundays. We met a lady who told us that we could enter the castle at 2 p.m.
We drove back to the center of Bons where we drunk a coffee in a Bar-Tabac. The village has nothing worth visiting, so by 2 we drove back to the castle. Entrance fee: ? 6,00 p.p. The castle's rooms had beautiful furniture with wall painting all over the place: historical scenes as well as portraits and coats of arms. One of the rooms is completely devoted to the history of the House of Savoie, from the Roman period to the 20th century.
After the visit we drove further to Thonon to visit the castle of Ripaille. Same entrance fee. We had to wait 30 minutes for the next tour to start and during this time we visited some of the gardens.
The tour started in the private area and we saw several completely decorated rooms, with furniture dating back to the 19th century. In the area which is also used for exhibitions and receptions the furniture dates back to end 19th - early 20th century. The decoration is in English Art Nouveau style (unique in France) with many wooden walls and ceilings, all decorated with leaves and flowers and birds. Doors and shutters had beautiful mountings, all with different motives and curls. We ended our visit with a walk along the lake and a drink on a terrace.
Saturday, August 30th, 2003
After having had breakfast and paid for the consumptions, we loaded our luggage in the car and left. We had decided to drive along Lac L?man up to Morges and than drive up north. We made short stops at Nyon and Morges and made short walks along the harbors. Then we took north in the direction of Pontarlier and from there we used the same roads as during our outward journey, but in the other direction. We arrived home at about 20 h. having enjoyed a wonderful holiday.