Savoy to Geneva: Make the B road great again


By Steph G.

Oh France, you've gone and done it to us again. For the copious amounts of delicious food and wine, as well as the endless snow covered pistes, were apparently not enough. On top of the gained weight, the emotional baggage we carried back home with us had to include your B road views as well. Yet again.


A few years back, at the end of my first ski trip to Val d'Isère in the French Alps, I grudgingly set off on my way back home. Your usual route from there to Geneva would normally take you past Bourg-Saint-Maurice and Moûtiers, followed by Albertville. You would then have a choice depending on traffic to either continue to Chambéry and from there join the A41 or head north to the town of Annecy before joining the A41 from there. Call it my navi being confused by traffic reports, call it the navi's operator - yes, moi - being confused in general and for no reason in particular, I took a wrong turn and headed towards Annecy instead of Chambéry. I could have gotten back on course and hit the same A41 from there, but non. Instead, upon reaching the Lac d'Annecy I took a right and drove along its Eastern coast, only a few meters from the shoreline. Two wrongs apparently do make a right because missing both main routes to the elusive A41 meant trading the boring motorway views for an early morning peek at the lake's natural beauty in all its splendour.


Earlier this year, and armed with renewed urges to hit the Follie Douce once again, that memorable week of skiing at Val d'Isère called for a repeat, this time with part of the CP crew on board as well. Didn't take long to establish that the Follie Douce was indeed where it had last been left and that hot chocolate with Chartreuse at 11 am is apparently still frowned upon, though I wonder why. Seven days of skiing, gaining weight and punishing our liver later, sadly came the time to head back. Prior to heading out I heard the kind man of Radio Val d'Isère warn of expected traffic jams between Chambéry and Annecy. Good for you, mon ami, but we have a different plan in mind... This time we would drive along the Lac du Bourget, starting at Le Bourget-du-Lac and bypassing the A41 altogether, before hitting Motz and eventually the A40 at Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.


Although not the early misty morning view of the Lac d'Annecy I had caught last time, the sight while driving along the Lac du Bourget remained just as gorgeous. They say you should never go back to your old loves because you'll only be disappointed. Unless of course it is a B road in the Alps.


Any excuse to take a picturesque B road instead of a highway is a good reason. Mark K. recently wrote about taking our Porsche 964 down the Romantische Strasse and driving to drive rather than to get somewhere. So, Savoy, perhaps we'll see you again in Summer, this time in one of our classics instead.

Steph G.