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**France 360° Photos are HERE**
I've been attempting to bridge the gaps between blog posts by regularly posting short updates on facebook, so hopefully that has been semi-sufficient? If you don't already follow my facebook page, it's HERE.
In my last post, I mentioned that I would be staying with Mike, a Frenchman and friend of mine who I traveled with in Iceland. I was looking forward to this visit, though it was only for a few days, because of photos that Mike had shown me previously and left me drooling over someday seeing the French Alps.
A drooling dream which came to fruition as of October 12th, 2016. But before we get to that, let's backpedal a couple of days...
October 10th, 2016: After saying my goodbyes to Nathalie and her kids, I walked around Annecy for a few hours with the intentions to see anything that I had reviously missed and then around 4 pm took a blablacar (ridesharing) from Annecy to Ugine, which is where Mike resides. Once there, the first day consisted of a short introduction to the town before having some soup for dinner and then going to the nearby town of Albertville for bowling. At more than $5 per person per game, I found the cost of playing what is in the US a cheap past-time to be rather steeply priced. With sore knuckles and a semi-intact ego, I concluded my day.
October 11th, 2016: I get to drive a car again! Since I left Iceland on the 25th of August, I haven't been behind the wheel of any vehicle (van, truck, car, bus, train, or otherwise). That all ended today when I was handed the keys to Mike's car and set free for a couple of hours before he had to leave for a video-shoot. Something that I took full advantage of and headed back to Albertville to see some architecture, photograph a giant chicken (pictured below) for my mother who collects such fowl things, and visit a medieval village located within walking distance. For two hours, I did the best I could and it went rather smoothly. Until I tried to get back up the rather steep hill to the house... The car is manual and as long as I'm a) taking off with nobody behind me or b) making a slow, sharp turn, I'm as they say, "Golden, Pony Boy". This exact point in time was neither of those as I wasn't sure of where exactly the house was located and then once I found it, I couldn't for the life of me make the turn. It was less than 90° and I hated it. 5 or 6 attempts later, I made it and haven't asked to drive anyone else's car since.
Once back, we both left for Chambéry for his video shoot and I brought with my camera to take some pictures while he was busy. This was also a fairly productive time and led to me wandering around in old tunnel-like walkways for an hour or so taking pictures of whatever interested me. That means... yes, another sweet freaking motorcycle. Last week, it was Kawasaki, this time it's Yamaha. I'm glad that the big boys are figuring out how to design some good looking bikes.
**Note: 360 photos uploaded - Link at the top of the page**
Once the shoot was done, we went for a drive around the ring of road that connects Annecy, Chambéry, and Albertville. With this finished, we headed back to the house before grabbing some beers with a friend of Mike's.
October 12th, 2016: Today was a big day for a couple of reasons. A) I get to go to the mountains and B) I get to have raclette (like fondue, but better). So yeah, today we went to a nearby dam, drove through some super-windy mountain roads to go for a semi-short hike, and then watched some guys make cheese, followed by the aforementioned raclette. Without going into too many minute details, I about died on the mountainside. I was climbing up when I got to a portion above me that was almost entire shale. What does that mean? Well, when you go to grab onto the rock, it just breaks off. The same can be said for when you step on it. Plus it's rather smooth/slick. I've honestly never been so terrified in my life... HOWEVER, when I got past it, I was joined on the mountainside by a flock of sheep (besides the image posted below, I also have a 360 of this, which I will post to Flickr later)
As with many, many other days that I've had since I started this trip, my time in Ugine was amazing and I felt like family. I can't wait to go back on my way through France to Spain :)
(No drawings were done in this portion of the trip as we were pretty busy and stopping to draw would have been a hinderance)