France 2008

Briançon, 25 June

  Driving north from the Riviera, we passed over the "highest pass in Europe", Col de la Bonette. Actually, the Col de la Bonette is not the highest, being 2715 metres. An optional road leads to a lookout at Cime de la Bonette, which is at 2860 metres and the highest through road. It was closed for repairs when we visited, so we went through the Col. The road up is spectacular. *
  This shows how the road to Cime de la Bonette gains height after Col de la Bonette. *
  At over 2000 metres up, there was snow next to the road. *
  A very useful facility, although it is a deep drop rather than a WC. *

Next to a minor road along Lac de Serre-Ponçon are these extraordinary rock outcrops known as Les Demoiselles Coiffées (the girls with hairdos). *


Briançon is close to a pass over the Alps to Italy and was strongly fortified. The old town is walled and has a citadel, while there are four other fortresses on nearby hilltops. The fortifications were all designed by Vauban, and now have World Heritage listing.

This is the approach to the old town, showing the gate and church. †

  The entry to the citadel. †
  Inside the citadel. †
  Another fortress on an adjacent mountain, in evening light. *
  Ski lift near Briançon. *

Onwards to Talloires.


Copyright © 2008 by *Lynn Booth or †Nick Booth. Please contact us if you wish to use a photo.