Tuesday, September 21, 2010


On Sunday in the off-season in rural France, not much is open.  What is open closes at noon, and might, just might, open again at 3pm.  We slept in, finished unpacking, poked through the rest of the chalet (cellar, shed, etc.), giving the bees in the eaves busy preparing for winter a wide berth, and generally made ourselves at home.

After lunch, we went down to Samoëns to familiarize ourselves with the town.  The tourism office opened at 3pm so we went in with a bunch of questions (laundrette, internet access, market days, ski lifts still open for day-hikers, etc.) and came out with answers to most of the questions.

Then, using the maps provided by the tourist office, we walked the village, admiring the old architecture in the beautiful sunlight and getting the lay of the village.  The stone masons of Samoëns are famous, with many examples of their handiwork to be seen in the Village Centre.
Town center church
Town center residence

River Giffre
River Giffre
Samoëns is in the next valley over from Chamonix-Mont Blanc, so the surrounding mountains are less rugged, but still very beautiful.  The valley was glacially formed, with the River Giffre winding through it.  Although the peaks are not as high as those of Chamonix-Mt Blanc, there are many ski lifts and chalets – a skier’s paradise in the winter.  As seen in a sunset picture, we can see the peaks of the Chamonix-Mont Blanc range poking above some of the smaller peaks in the Samoëns valley.

Sunset picture from chalet - Mont Blanc massif in the distance

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