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Safe in Lyon.

Yesterday (26 December) was quite the experience.  We had our first fondue and got stuck in the snow and arrived late in Lyon.  But we survived and are just about ready to explore Lyon, France.

On the way from Bern to Lyon, we stopped in Montreaux to see the Prison of Chillon, famous from Lord Byron's story.  We shared a cheese fondue in Martigny and then headed up the mountain to see the town of Chamonix and the famous mountain Mont Blanc.  The snowy roads were worrying me, but I was doing fine until we were just one last little hill before the roads were fully plowed and cleared.  But our light weight little car (Ford Fiesta) simply would not get up that last slope, the snow was too deep.

Parked and asked the locals where we could get chains for the tires, and the directed us to the "next town" up the road.  We could take the train, which we had to run to catch since it was leaving in five minutes.  Once on the trainn, we realized we forgot to check what tire size the car had.

It turns out that the "next town" up the road is not the "next town" up the train tracks., and the train passes only once an hour.  Instead of waiting in this town to catch the next train, we hitch hiked to the next town.

We finally found a store that sells chains for 95 euros!  (about $140 US).  Yikes.  And we still didn't know what size we needed.

We tried hitching back to the car, but the only lady who stopped for us insisted that we were heading in the wrong direction.  Since we were standing at bus stop to hitch hike, we caught the next bus instead.  But it doesn't go to the small town where our car was.  So we got off the bus at the place we had left the train and then caught the next train back to our car.

The snow looked better after the traffic that had been passing our car, so we tried driving up the slope again.  We couldn't even get the car to start up the slope.  So, write down the tire size and catch the train back to the store that sells them and then back by train again.  This ordeal took us about three hours all told.

We drove through but did not stop in Chamonix to view Mont Blanc, because we had been seeing Mt B while riding the train and walking, and because it was after dark by the time we got there.  So, drove on to Geneva and finally to Lyon.

We are safe and sound here and will depart our CS Host's house in a few minutes to tour Lyon.  Tomorrow we head to Paris, where we'll stay four days.

We are very much enjoying the trip so far, even with all the unfun adventures we sometimes have.  We are both healthy and well.

We hope you are also doing well and are in good health.


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