The 2013 Blue Ridge Ski Council Eurofest trip was to Chamonix, France. Jim and I had been the trip leaders for an earlier BRSC excursion in 2002 and were looking forward to simply enjoying some time in this lovely mountain town. In addition we were eager for an opportunity to revisit Lyon. We had been there in 1997 and liked it very much. It has been on our list to see again ever since. After three days there, it was still on our list to see again! We scratched that itch on a 2016 Road Scholar trip to southern France that included several days in Lyon. And, yes, we wouldn't turn down another visit.
After a short train ride into Geneva we found the hotel where we would be spending the night before meeting the rest of the BRSC party. We were able to leave my big ski bag there during our Lyon visit.
We then caught the TGV for the quick trip to Lyon. We had been wanting to take this super-fast train ever since its inception and this was our first opportunity. Alas by this time the local trains were almost as fast and even the first-class TGV cars were showing wear & tear. It was almost empty on this mid-week run.
We stayed two days in Lyon. Our time included lunch in a Michelin 3-Star Restaurant and exploration of the old city with an emphasis on the textile industry.
This view shows the Saône River with the old city center across the river. The Rhône River is on the other side of the city center, but it isn't easy to see where it is in this picture. (Our hotel was on the far side of the Rhône near the tall building to the right of center.)
Click to see:
Our return to Geneva was on the MUCH cheaper and almost as fast local TER (Transport Express Régional) service. Nevertheless, next time we will go first class. It was pretty packed in the peanut gallery. Had we considered it, it should have been obvious that Friday travel would be crowded.
It was too cold to do much sight-seeing in Geneva. Most of our cold-weather gear was packed with the ski bag and we didn't retrieve it until the next morning.
We met our friends Ray & Nancy McKinley at the hotel and had a good time catching up over dinner at a fondue restaurant.
The next day skiers from the Blue Ridge Ski Council gathered from hither and yon to meet up in Chamonix, the premiere mountaineering and ski town.
It was at Chamonix that Doctor Michel-Gabriel Paccard, commemorated in this statue, made the first ascent of Mont Blanc in 1786. More on this later.
Click to see the pictures of our time in Chamonix and environs.