Monday, 9 September 2013

Summer 2013, Jura and Vosges, eastern France, pt 2

We travelled north through Jura, stopping of at la Musee De L'Aventure Peugeot in Socheaux on the way ...

... then continued into the Vosges where, again, we found aires and small campsites allowing us to potter around enjoying walks, sunshine, food and wine; but not necessarily in that order.

While on our travels through the Vosges we found ourselves near the site of Natzweiler-Struthof, the only Nazi concentration camp on present-day French territory; the region of Alsace-Lorraine having been annexed by the German Reich during WWII. Of course, this visit was always going to be a moving, somewhat uncomfortable experience.

The most appalling experiments took place here, in the name of science, with scant regard for the lives or sensibilities of inmates used as human guinea pigs.

Although no mass executions were held here, this furnace was used for the regular cremation of inmates who had died following experimentation, floggings and similar atrocities.

Public floggings were a common occurrence, using this rack which was carried outside so inmates could bear witness to these appalling acts of cruelty.

We left the camp deep in thought and wonder at how human beings could ever treat each other this way and saddened that, despite the passage of time, similar events still take place in some parts of the world.

Nevertheless, our trip continued.

More later.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Summer 2013, Jura and Vosges, eastern France pt 1

Our summer trip for 2013 saw us travelling across la belle France to her eastern extremities; the Jura, where she cosies up to the Swiss border and the Vosges, where she rubs shoulders (in a slightly suggestive way) with Germany.

We trundled down in temperatures above 30C, with only the threat of an occasional storm for relief;

... towards Giverny, once home to Claude Monet, before accepting it was just too hot for the pooches so, hitting the autoroute, we zipped across to higher altitudes in the hope of, at least, cooler nights and mornings - and it worked.

We spent 5 days or so on a campsite at Saint Point Lac where we wandered long forest trails in the cool of the morning then relaxed in the shade of our van's invaluable awning during hot afternoons.

We found an excellent walking guide and, choosing walks we fancied we meandered around the area stopping for a couple of nights here ... then a couple there ... travelling maybe 15 or 20 miles between stops. Very relaxing.


We didn't do anything remotely exciting, being content in simply absorbing the peace, tranquillity and beauty of our surroundings.


It was blissful!
More to come, later.