Cross-country drive in France, 2017
After I finished with the Goldschmidt conference in Paris, Xin flew in, and we started our journey in France.
This was our first time to travel in France. There were so many things we wanted to see, but we only planned a ten-day trip. We spent three days in Paris, after which we rented a car and drove across the country, from Paris to the Normandy beach and Mont St. Michel in the northwest, then to Chambord to the south of Paris, and then to the Alps before heading back to Paris.
Driving in France is very similar to that in the US. The streets in Paris are narrow and usually very busy, sometimes confusing. We were a bit nervous when driving in Paris. Otherwise the rest of the country was fun to drive in, although it is very expensive to drive in France (lots of tolls and the gas is almost twice more expensive than in the US).
People pouring in to see the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre (Greek goddess of victory). The Winged Victory of Samothrace is also called the Nike of Samothrace, and was created about the 2nd century BC.
People taking selfies in front of Venus de Milo in the Louvre.
Representations of boats appear in Cyprus towards the end of the Early Bronze Age (2300-2000 BC). see here
Inside the Louvre Apple Store. The second floor is made of glass.
The back yard of the Notre Dame.
Beneath the Eiffel Tower.
View of the Arc de Triomphe from the Champs-Élysées.
Paris after sunset, seen from the Montparnasse Tower Panoramic Observation Deck.
The Normandy American Cemetery by the Omaha Beach, in honor of American troops who died in Europe during World War II.
Boy wandering in the Normandy American Cemetery.
The Mont Saint Michel in dusk. Mont Saint Michel is an island commune in Normandy, sitting one kilometer off the coast. It has complicated histories of a thousand years…
“Eagle” in the cage on the Mont Saint Michel.
People having fun on the muddy beach.
The muddy beach seen from the Mont Saint Michel.
Country road in France.
A girl in red skirt running in front of the Château de Chambord (Chambord Castle). The Château de Chambord is one of the most famous castles in France, constructed by King Francis I of France starting about 500 years ago, but was never completed. It was built as a hunting lodge for Francis I.
Me walking up the stairs in the Chambord Castle.
Breakfast in the forest. The classic carriage behind the table was built into a hotel room in which we stayed for two nights. Hidden deep in the forest, it was very difficult to find when we first arrived. There was no cell phone reception or wifi, no people around, but only humming insects at night. There was hot water and electricity in the carriage to ensure comfortable stays. It was a bit scary at first, but once we got used to this raw and classic environment, it was simply fantastic. A perfect escape.
A huge snail…
A nuclear power plant!
A creepy huge house in the forest. It reminded me of The Grand Budapest Hotel. It turned out that this old pink house belong to the parents of our host who ran the classic carriage hotel.
Cattle in the mountain.
Lake Sassière (Lac de la Sassière).
Lake Sassière in distance. Hiking up to see the glaciers.
Above the treeline.
Glaciers at ~3,000 m altitude. I’ve published two papers on glacial deposits, but it was my first time to see glaciers in close distance…
A lone hiker in the Alps.
Purple flowers clustered in the valley.
Cattle by the road.
World War II concrete tank traps at the France-Italy border.
Xin pointing at San Fransisco (13,680 km away) on the road sign at the France-Italy border.
Man staring at the mountains far away.This is one of my favorate photos from this trip. Shot at the France-Italy border.
Glaciers on the Mont Blanc (4,810 m), the highest peak in the Alps.
Climbers decending the Mont Blanc.
View from the Aiguille Du Midi (3,842 m).
The Aiguille Du Midi.
View of the Mont Blanc from hotel balcony.