Sunday, 6 November 2011

Chambery

From Dijon to Chambery via Lyon. Oh, I so didn't want to go via Lyon, it is always a busy road. Not as bad as the M25 mind you, but lots of lorries. Lots and lots of lorries. But wait, this was Saturday. No lorries. Well, that isn't quite true but there ware certainly fewer than on a weekday. Good for more 'getting used to the new car' practise. As we approached the Lyon bypass there was a sign that indicated Chambery and Turin but no, the satnav ignored it. Now why, when we know the satnav has 'got it wrong' do we still not take the correct turn? We do it time and again, and still we do it. We did it on Friday evening as we approached Dijon, it gave us one of those vague instructions and we didn't follow our instinct and so added half an hour to our route. This time there was a new road, cutting a corner, and the satnav didn't know about it. So we didn't take it. When will we learn!!! Eventually we got ourselves on the Chambery/Turin autoroute and enjoyed a more peaceful drive. Here are a couple of photos taken when we stopped at an aire (picnic area) for a short break. I so wished we had bought picnic supplies when we were at the market. IMG 1872

IMG 1876

We reached Chambery in time for a late lunch. And if I was ranting about the satnav earlier I have to say that we were glad of it now. We missed a couple of turns (our fault!) as we wound our way through narrow streets and crossed complicated junctions. And then there was no parking to be found at the hotel… ah but what did we spy but an underground car park. Joy!!!
The joy was short-lived on my part. The entrance was steep, narrow and windy. And the tyres squeaked. And did I mention the turns were sharp. And that this was an automatic car that I was just getting used to? There were no places on the first floor so… onwards and downwards and… a parking place. A very narrow parking place. A bit of shuffling and… we were parked.
Off to find the hotel, settle in and find some lunch and a glass of wine, I needed it.
There aren't many photos of Chambery. I don't know why. Chambery was buzzing with life. We enjoyed a delicious, traditional French meal at a little brasserie, obviously a favourite with the locals and we were lucky to find a table. The wine slid down a treat.
We spent the afternoon wandering through the town, along narrow streets filled with people buying or just looking or, best of all, sitting at pavement cafés enjoying the late autumn sunshine. I knew I should be taking photos but the buildings are on a grand scale and difficult (for me!) to photograph. Here is a photo that Tony took, of the bell tower.

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I have to tell you that we were sitting at a café when we heard the strangest sounds… maybe an organ we thought. Off we went to investigate. The sounds led us to the bell tower and the most amazing set of chimes. Although the building is obviously old, the chimes were installed in 1996 (or thereabouts). I don't know what nearby residents must think though as the chimes went on for at least ten minutes… I don't know how many times a day or even if we were just lucky to be there on a chime day. Very interesting though.
Light dinner we thought after our delicious lunch. Strangely, the town, so vibrant in the afternoon, was very quiet when we went out for dinner. I think we may have been too early. Anyway, we both chose tartiflette - potatoes, cream, lardons and reblochon cheese. Light!!!

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