psx_20160606_104148My little munchkin and I are on the road again, we are on a mommy son vacation enjoying the unruffled French countryside.psx_20160607_071835.jpgpsx_20160609_225538.jpgWe are currently staying in Saint Pierre de Chandieu, approximately 23kms from Lyon in Rhône-Alpes region. This part of the country is calm and relaxed with picturesque landscapes. Red poppies are in full bloom creating a spectacular display. Touch wood the weather has been clement allowing us to spend more time outdoors and enjoy the magic of spring. We couldn’t have chosen a better time to visit. We spent our first days picking strawberries and cherries.psx_20160611_050837psx_20160611_051005psx_20160611_051204psx_20160611_051249psx_20160609_184911Our first road trip was not as successful. We drove 136kms southeast to Vercors with the intention to visit The Grands-Goulets Road only to find it was long closed to the public.

The Vercors Massif lies in the Prealps, in the south-east France, straddling the departments of Drôme and Isère, both of which are part of the Rhône-Alpes region, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) south-east of Lyon.
In June and July 1944, the massif became important in World War II with the establishment of the Free Republic of Vercors, led by the Maquis du Vercors, a base for the French Resistance against German occupation.

The Grands-Goulets Road
The road was built between 1844 and 1851. It was a huge human and financial investment. After 156 years of leading travellers through the mountains by its winding and narrow road, the French government was forced to permanently close the historic road in 2005 after a series of fatal accidents. This scenic road now is bypassed by a tunnel. Today the old road sits abandoned and untravelled. Not even cyclists or hikers are allowed to venture its long and winding route. While there are rumours that it might re-open for such purposes, the tourism office maintains that les Grands Goulets and its spectacular sights are closed forever.

On a brighter note, I had my first Café Gourmande and now I am hooked. A Café Gourmand is an espresso and a selection of mignardises served together.
It gives the opportunity to eat several different desserts in one go, without feeling guilty for the calories as the quantity of each dessert is supposed to be tiny. While there is no requirement for the composition of a “Café Gourmand”, the desserts most commonly included are chocolate mousse, apple pie, ice cream and crème brûlée. In my case, I had two scoops of vanilla ice cream, a macaroon and the most delicious, warm, ooey-gooey molten lava cake.

Lora by Lora.

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