It Snowed!

Saturday 16th Otcober

We were on the road from Champignole in good time, albeit raining.  Heidi was all programmed to take us to St Jean de Tholome where Rachael & Michel live, which is not too far from Geneva.  We were soon climbing up higher and higher into the Jura Alpine region passing through little village after little village.  Once we had climbed to about 900m above sea level, it started to snow and continued snowing for the next hour or so as we continued to climb until we reached the top at 1345m and then started the descent through a few hairpin bends.  We were reluctant to stop and take too many photos of the snow falling as we were unsure of how long we would be in the snow zone and we did not really fancy getting stuck.

before the snow Before the snow, just drizzle to obscure the view!

thats snow Yes that is snow, fortunately not settling at this point

drizzle Drizzle lower down


tractors againThe usual tractor even in these atrocious conditions.

On the way down we finally came across a stretch of road involving very tight hairpins and rather steep drop offs.  However it was negotiated with aplomb!!  We were soon down below the snow line and through more villages.

turreted houseUnusual turreted house below the snow

We did stop at Segny as we came across McDonalds – our free wifi provider, in warm surrounds, with clean toilets and they even have a half decent coffee these days!  Well done McDonald’s.  We were able to download mail and post our latest blog entry.  That done we were on our way again.  The weather had not improved much, the only difference was that the snow being replaced by rain.  We were soon in the midst of Geneva,and a customs border is located right in the middle of the city and as we were unsure of what we were to do, we stopped and went and had a chat to the nice men at customs.  We were soon on our way having found out that we did not need to do anything or buy a sticker (so long as we keep off the motorways whilst in Switzerland) which is otherwise mandatory in Switzerland. 

driving through Geneva Driving through Geneva

It was not long before we were on the other side of Geneva and passing through another customs area, in the middle of the city it seemed,  back into France!  It was too wet and miserable to get decent pictures of Geneva, but we did see the famous fountain in the lake.

When we were in the region of Rachael’s place we gave her a call to get the final directions.  We arrived to meet up with Rachael, her husband Michel and their one year old son Joshua on their property in the country. 

Michel racael joshua Michel, Rachael and Joshua

We spent a lovely afternoon and evening with them, Michel cooked a local (Haute-Savoie region) speciality for dinner “Reblochonnade”, which is potatoes and bacon with cream and with a whole Reblochon cheese cut in half and the two halves laid on top of the bake. Tarte Iflette is very similar but with onions.  Delicious.  After a few wines,  and convivial conversation (with Rachael translating), it was soon time for bed.

Sunday 17th October

Up this morning and after a sumptuous breakfast of croissants and pastries, Rachael, Joshua, Roy & Bernice headed off into the town of Bonneville as we were again off to McDonalds for free wifi so we could Skype Rachael’s parents Glennis & Robin – we met Glennis through playing competitive Scrabble a few too many years ago now to count! That done, we were off into another village as it was their local Autumn Festival so we spent the next few hours wandering the streets sampling the myriad of local cheeses, meats – (including the more unusual wild boar and even donkey!!), sausages & salamis, and looking at all the stalls. cheese 1 Cheese, all local

suasages 1 Sausages of all different types

sausages 2 more sausage and wine


There was even freshly pressed apple juice as well as wines and every other thing you could imagine!

pressing apples Pressing apples

snow someone interested in the result

roasting chestnuts Roasting chestnuts

eating the results and eating them!

band And the band played on

someones name Some people have there name on lots of things

roy bernice joshuaRoy Bernice and Joshua at the market

A lovely day out.  The weather has turned rather chilly but at least it is not raining today. 

Michel cooked us another stunning dinner tonight of Roasted Lamb with lots of garlic, with a very tasty mushroom pasta (another Haute-Savoie speciality) and home grown beans.  It has been very special staying with this lovely family, and we really appreciate their kind and warm hospitality.

story time Reading Nana’s book

Tomorrow we will head off towards Milan, as we have to be there by Thursday to pick up Alex.  We are not sure where we will end up over the next day or so… this space!


3 Responses to “It Snowed!”

  1. Rachael Metral Says:

    Bonjour Roy & Bernice!
    It was really lovely catching up with you after so many years & very refreshing spending time with laid-back kiwis. Have fun on the rest of your “European Adventure” in your wonderful campervan. Bon voyage et a bientot! Love Rachael, Michel & Josh.

  2. Correne Says:

    Glad you had a great time with rach and family. Joshua is a real cutey is he not. We have just got back from Norfolk Island It is so peaceful and relaxing I just love it No more news You guys look if you are having a fantastic time in Europe some of those cheeses and red wines look yummy enjoy the rest of your trip and catch you later

  3. Friends | The Vanninis' Manoeuvres Says:

    […] Now we met Glennis many years ago when Roy & I lived in Tokoroa and we had taken up playing scrabble competitively in the mid 1980’s then continued playing when we moved to Auckland a year or two later. Over the years the inevitable happened…Roy became Chairman of NZ Scrabble, and I was at varying times, treasurer or secretary.  As well, Glennis & Rob’s daughter Rachael became our regular babysitter over the next few years but more recently in 2010 we caught up with Rachael and her family who now reside in France – which you can read about here […]

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