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Travel Photos – Europe: France
Locations visited on a trip to France in August 1996 included Paris,
Versailles, Chartres, Clermont-Ferrand, and Gex.
Since it was our first flight over the Atlantic, the jet lag hit us
hard, and day one in Paris was a difficult adjustment. Our hotel was
a short distance from the Eiffel Tower, but I had my fill of hustle and
bustle city life in less than 48 hours. After some obligatory visits
to Notre Dame cathedral and a few museums, we departed Paris a day
ahead of originally planned and headed to Versailles. From there, we
briefly visited Chartres before making a relatively rapid traverse to
Clermont-Ferrand, which was the site for my week-long business workshop.
A timely national holiday gave us the opportunity to tour the state of
Auvergne including Chateaux de Val and Le Puy de Dome. We made a large
loop in the state during a leisurely Thursday drive with many stops and
visits to numerous small towns.
Next stop: Switzerland
Departing Clermont-Ferrand on a Saturday, we needed to reach
Zurich, Switzerland by Sunday night. Since we like
to see the countryside, we picked a mix of road types and stopped numerous
times to absorb some local flavor. We decided to avoid Geneva so we went
around it to the north stopping at the tiny town of Gex. It was an excellent
choice with a street fair that evening and very friendly townspeople.
A pre-sunrise awakening inspired us to find a photogenic spot for shooting
the rising sun while nearly everyone in the town below remained asleep.
Return from south to north
We left France for a full week but had to return to Paris for the flight
home. Unfortunately, we underestimated the total driving and also didn't
leave enough time to tour any other parts of France. Instead, we found
ourselves driving from the Mediterranean Sea town of Cavalaire-sur-Mer
on the French Riveria all the way back to Paris in one day. We spent our
final night in France north of Paris in Senlis so we could reach the
airport easily the next day.