Wednesday, May 15, 2013

C'est Magnifique!

View from the Front Door of the Chalet, Les Marecottes, Alps, Switzerland

I am in awe of the majesty and grandeur of Les Alpes.

I’ve flown over the peaks, but until you’ve seen them up close, looking nearly straight up 10,000 feet or more of rock and trees and snow, I don’t think you can truly appreciate the beauty of these mountains.

Donna-Lane and I are taking a working break for a few days, and her friend graciously offered the use of her chalet in Les Marecottes, a tiny mountain village (actually referred to as a commune, year-round population perhaps 100) about halfway up La Creusnaz in the Swiss Alps, not far from Chamonix, France. 

The chalet was built 226 years ago in 1787 - the year the Federalist Papers were published and the US Constitution sent to the states for ratification, Shay's Rebellion highlighted the plight of debt-ridden farmers in Massachusetts, Austrian emperor Jozef II banned from labor children under 8, Mozart completed his "Eine small Nachtmusik,"and Geneva's Horace-Bénédict de Saussure reached the top of Mont Blanc.

You can ascend to the village by train, but we drove the narrow, barely one-lane road which twists and turns and hairpins up the side of the mountain, hugging the cliff nearly the entire way. D-L insisted I watch the road the entire climb – no sightseeing – and both hands on the steering wheel.

The views, as you can see from the photos on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/rick.adams.39589), are spectacular!

Enroute, we paused for lunch in Evian, France, where the women professional golfers hold a major tournament every year, sponsored by the Evian l'eau naturelle folks. Charming narrow streets and shops up the hill … parks and promenades along the Lake Geneva  waterfront. A huge casino.

As we strolled by the lake, we met a man from Sri Lanka who asked us to take his photo. He was visiting a friend with whom he went to school -- at, of all places, the University of Texas at Austin. Hook ‘em, Horns!

Halfway up the mountain, we passed through Salvan, where Guglielmo Marconi carried out some major experiments in wireless telegraphy. I worked at Marconi Communications when we launched the company into the telecom market, practically blanketing downtown Atlanta and the convention center with Guglielmo’s sage face.

My frequent stops along the way to jump out of the car and take photos turned a normally one-hour drive into more than three hours. But how could I not try to capture some semblance of these wonderful views?

For more photos, see my Facebook page: rick.adams.39589


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