An early morning departure from our dull but air conditioned hotel and travel via the highway got us to our first stop rather quickly and thankfully ahead of the tour busses we noticed arriving when we left. The medieval city of Pérouges was peaceful when we arrived but the ample bus parking just outside of the walls of the city indicated it was not always so. An interesting stop but it gives off a slight feeling of being created (or saved) for tourists. The Three Musketeers from 1973 (with Michael York) was supposedly shot in the village.
A slight detour off our path to the large and busy city of Vienne, France was an opportunity to see some Roman ruins. Included in the city is a large Roman artifact museum with a small ruin village behind it, The Temple of Augustus; a striking and very well preserved ancient building surrounded by modern cafes and a Roman theater carved into a large hill still used for performances.
Next on the route was a monument built by one rather than an empire. POSTMAN CHEVAL’S IDEAL PALACE is a worthwhile stop even with the high price of admission and the crowds. One man’s obsession now a money making tourist attraction.
As we progressed south and east through France toward the Italian border thankful things became decidedly more Italian. The coffee was prepared by hand rather than push-button machine and served with something close to a smile rather than the typical French look of stylish disgust and anger.
In Pont-en-Royans, France along the river “La Bourne” there is a village known for their suspended houses hanging over the waterway. On this hot day the river and local waterfall / swimming area was quite busy.
The Col de Rousset is a fantastic mountain pass. The road surface is immaculate and torrists in caravans have not discovered it – only the maniacs on motorcycles and sports cars have. Fortunately they do not block your way down.. but will overtake you at the slightest opportunity.
Our stop for the night was in Gap France. A historic city that is actually quite ugly and full of homeless street people. The one bit of history we found was an old Roman footbridge that is given little regard by the city.