Today I hiked the French Alps, in my Birks.

I never thought it was possible to meet someone who doesn’t like cheese… My infatuation for the stuff is growing on the daily as I’m tasting new cheese every other day at the market or for instance the farm where it’s made (like we did today!).

Literally, two days ago I said aloud to my mother, I don’t think there’s a single person on this planet who does not like cheese. And then we met Craig. Last night on our outing to Beer-O-Clock, J and I met a lovely couple from the UK, Sammy and Craig. As our discussion of cheese came about Craig admitted that he didn’t like the stuff! Craig does not like any cheese at all. Ever. In any country. Not the smelly stuff, not on pizza, not in cheesecake, not on a bagel, not even the fake crap they put on nachos.

The unthinkable occurred in a land I didn’t think possible, the land of cheese. France has over 500+ different cheeses throughout the country, and we have EIGHT different ones in our fridge at this very moment. Yes, I’m serious.. We have eight different cheeses in our mini fridge at this time.

On another note, Mum and I hiked the French Alps today. And in our satchel we carried three different types of cheeses, two of which we purchased at a fromagerie on the summit.

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Just the beginning. Would do this over and over again.

There’s a summer bus that comes every few hours up and down mountain Semnoz, that is just near Annecy. The bus ride took 45 minutes to the summit, up a super windy road. We passed several bikers (overachievers…) on the way up. Apparently it’s pretty common to take the bus up and bike down, the summer bus has a bike section in the back, pretty convenient! Once at the top there are TONS of different trails, fromageries (cheese farms) and adorable cabin-like restaurants.

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J checking out the bus schedule.
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Goats, single file!

Our first order of business was the cheese farm up and over yonder. We selected two versions of goat cheese, one soft and the other hard. Then we were on our way to explore. We walked a few miles over rolling hills, passing by cows, sounds of their bells chiming in the blustery wind, when we came upon the most adorable barn-like structure, which was a homey, rustic little cabin style restaurant serving up a few specialties. We decided to share the local specialty, potato and cheese tartfillete  that we love so much, and a blueberry tart, another specialty to the area. And of course a bottle of wine.

After our boozy lunch and the blueberry tart that changed my life, we decided we would begin our 5 hour descent to Annecy and came upon this beautiful view.

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Started at the bottom now we here 🙂

And we made some friends.

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Speaking wth my new friend
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Goaties!
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Candid, thx J.

It was overall a great day!

After our decision to make the hike down the mountain instead of taking the bus, we had to take one last pit stop for a toilet break and to fuel up one last time…

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Large beer, please.

The distance to the bottom was over 20 kilometers and after we guzzled our bubbles we started out around 3:30pm. And yes, I wore my Birkenstocks. I got lots of strange looks from passerbyers, but to be fair, Birkenstocks are extremely comfortable and I did not plan on doing extensive hiking considering my newly healed foot. The Birks were real troopers! We took the forrest route marked by trail signs and the trail itself often being uneven, gravel, rocks, sticks and stones. Had to be super careful with my foot and after about 2 hours in the woods we veered back out to the main road. The uneven grounds were taking a toll on my sore foot and we decided to finish the hike roadside. Little did we know we still had a long way to go.

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Old trail sign.

I joked a few times about us hitching a ride, J wasn’t having it. After about 10 minutes on the road and half a baguette later, a little yellow car pulled over and this lovely woman offered us a ride, she is a Canadian living in France for over 20 years. We gladly accepted, and thank goodness we did, the rest of the drive down the windy road seemed never ending. We walked 12 miles and over 30,000 steps! Hooray!!!

Do: Take the bus up to Mt. Semnoz, hike around & visit one of the many dairy farms and sample/buy some fresh cheese.

Eat: Blueberry tart and coffee at Refuge Du Semnoz up in the alps.

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#FrenchAlps

 

And before all that we of course went to the market this morning and stocked up for the weekend. Planning to bike around the lake tomorrow (43 km) if my foot isn’t ballooned and is still attached to my leg. As for now, my shins are throbbing and my feet HURT. It was completely and entirely worth it.

I’m going to eat some chocolate now,  drink my tea and call it a night. #enjoywhatyoudo

 

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