My human had one of her better ideas for our weekend activities :)…I was in total agreement with this one! She thought a weekend away staying at a simple wooden chalet in the mountains would be a wonderful ‘time-out’ treat. Vikki thinks mountains have strong, solid, peaceful energy and the beautiful green scenery and mountain air would be good for us. Every time she loads the car up for a journey and I see my collar bell go in the bag, I know that it’s outdoor adventure time for me..yippee! So I started waiting around the front door all excited and ready to go!
A place we like is called Villard-de-Lans about 40 minutes from Grenoble. The surrounding areas are beautiful…famous gorges, open views and alpine forests.
You see, the month of May marks the start of the busy season on the French Riviera. Cannes film festival and then the Grand Prix motor racing in Monaco start the tourist season rolling and these two events alone draw in many visitors. As soon as preparations start even us doggies feel the pace of life quicken and spin around when we are walking in town or in the car stuck in extra traffic.
There are a lot more taxis and cars (especially the noisy Ferrari cars that zoom around) and visiting humans walk faster with more bounce in their step; the sea is filling up with super yachts and giant cruise ships; the restaurants and bars are busier; even the sun seems to race up earlier into the sky so it doesn’t miss out on any of the action and the ocean waves move with more vigour in response. The French Riviera and Monaco have swiftly become bustly, bright and perky!
In contrast, Villard-de-Lans (like other mountain villages in France) is inbetween winter ski season and summer outdoor season, so it is a great time to get a very good deal and choice on somewhere to stay. A lot of cross-country skiers and mountain bikers love staying in this area but since there is no snow and before the summer mountain biking season starts, there are some super walks for us sporty doggies and our humans to enjoy…all to ourselves!
Although the area is mountainous, there is a gentle, open spacious feel here with ground that is nice and soft to run on. There are streams and small rivers running through the valley so I can drink the refreshing mountain water as I go along exploring. It’s bliss!
Villard-de-Lans is a village where people live all year round within a great local community. It also has a strong agricultural heritage ensuring that it does not become a mountain resort full of hotels and holiday homes that shut down out of season. The locals are very friendly and helpful to us and I’ve noticed ‘mountain’ people always say hello to me when I pass them..it’s very nice!
‘Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you…while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.’ (John Muir 1838-1914)