Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mont D’Or

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After the waterfall we decided to hit one of the highest peaks in the Franche Comté, Mont D’Or.   This mountain is famous not only for its height, but for the yummy cheese that comes from the area around the mountain.  This cheese comes in a round spruce box and is usually served hot – like a fondue, straight from the package.  The odor of the cheese is a bit strong, and the rest of my family doesn’t like it very much, but I LOVE it!  (This rule holds true for almost all the strong cheeses – the rest of them are all wimps)

It wResized_DSC04354asn’t clear how to get to the top of the mountain and we ended up doing a bit of “off-roading” (always fun with our little sedan) before we got off the logging road. The higher we got, the weirder it got.  It got colder and colder as we climbed. The shape of the landscape changed, the trees were scrubbier Resized_HPIM6084and the ground more visibly rocky.  The flowers that grew were quite different.  At first I thought there was an abundance of cowslip – my personal favorite French flower due to the smell!  Then, I smelled one and it had no odor – weird!  The other flowers were strange to me but quite interesting.  Soon enough, we had a hard time noticing such changes since we were literally climbing into the clouds.

Resized_HPIM6079I could only see clearly about 3 feet in front of the car on the winding mountain road – which, of course, was far too narrow to imagine passing on.  Luckily no one else was around and we finally made it to the parking lot. The sign said we had reached the towering height of 1430 meters.  Of course, even though I have lived here for a year and a half, metric still means absolutely nothing to me.  So, for your information, that would be 4700 feet – or 9/10ths of a mile above sea level.  That’s high! When we got out of the car, the adventure really started.  We walked through a turnstile opening in a fence onto a largely unmarked field.  We headed in a general upwards direction and could no longer see the parking lot in less than a minute of walking. We continued bravely onwards and eventually came to the summit.

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We were supposed to be able to see the view pictured, below, left (even Mont Blanc!), instead all we saw was what’s below right…C’est la vie

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The wind was blowing like crazy and it is (unsurprisingly) quite wet inside a cloud. The elevation made it colder as well – there were crocuses all over the place at the top of the mountain.  The snails seemed OK but we were freezing!  Predictably, we got a bit confused on the cloudy way down the mountain and ended up exiting the field at the other end of the parking lot.  I’ll admit we were all a bit freaked out as we walked through the giant parking lot for several minutes, straining our eyes for the familiar friendly shape of Mr. Liberty.  My imagination had us wandering around forever, lost in the shrouded mists.  Of course, I hid my fear so the children wouldn’t be frightened.  I accomplished this by running ahead of them so they wouldn’t see me trembling.  

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I don’t know why I’m into poetry lately – but I blog wherever my whims take me.  Now this poem makes me laugh – but it captures how I was feeling at the time…  We hope to return again, on some unfoggy day!

The Fog, adapted from the poem by Andrew D Robertson

Oh fog! Oh fog!
What do I see?
Nothing! Nothing!
I can't even see me!
Oh fog! Oh fog!
Why are you so mean?
Go away! Go away!
Just let me be me!
Oh fog! Oh fog!
What can I say?
You've painted this mountain
A thick shade of grey.
Oh fog! Oh fog!
What can I do?
I wanna go home,
But I'm stuck in you. 

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