Travel to the Austrian Danube
Day 1 Barcelona - Château des Salses - Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans - Annecy - Ferney Voltaire
(in 241 km.) Fort de Salses (Château de Salses): We made our first stop at the rest area (Aire de repos) Château de Salses, on the A9 motorway. Our goal was to relax after some kilometers driving while we contemplate this fortress. A path leads in about 10 minutes from the parking to the fortress. First mentioned in a document from 1047, the current fortress was built between 1497 and 1503, is rectangular, 115 x 90 meters, divided into three concentric spaces and protected by a moat 15 meters wide and 7 deep.
Fort de Salses
Inside the complex is a square, the governor´s house, the chapel (dedicated to St. Sebastian, austere, with pediment and pilasters at the altar), the prison, the stables and the royal palace.
We continue along the A9 highway and in the A7, passed Orange, we saw from the highway the spectacular fortress of Mornas. The fortress of Mornas stands on a rocky outcrop on the left bank of the Rhone. The fortress is more or less trapezoidal. The northern part is occupied by the fortress itself: access is protected by a barbican (14th century). The entire north is separated from the south by two moats.
Fortress of Mornas
(in 75 km.) Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans:We deviate from the highway just four kilometers to stop to eat on picnic tables situated by the river La Bourne in Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans. From here we contemplate the aqueduct built in 1876, 35 meters high and 235 meters long. At his feet is the grotto of Thaïs, in which there are traces of Cro-Magnon and of underground cave life.
(in 180 km.) Annecy: We walked for two hours in this beautiful town considered the Venice of the Alps. We start the tour from the Lake Annecy, the mouth of the river Thiou, near the Jardins de l´Europe and the bridge of lovers. The lake is 17 kilometers long and offers plenty of tourist attractions. We walked into the old town to get to the Palais de l´Ille, probably the most photographed building in this town. We passed through streets of the medieval quarter as Quai de l'Île, rue Rousseau and especially the rue Sainte-Claire which highlights its arcades of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Annecy - Palais de l´Île
The old town of Annecy is dotted with numerous fountains, such as Sant-Jean located at the corner of rue Carnot and the rue Royale. We arrived at the beautiful Sainte-Claire square and turn to the rue de l'Île and the rampe du Chateau, amounting to the chateau of Annecy. The castle was built between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. It was the residence of the counts of Geneva and dukes of Genevois-Nemours.The Tower of the Queen, solid, is the oldest part of the castle, dating from the twelfth century. Its walls have a thickness of more than four meters. Annecy certainly deserves a longer visit, but our visit was just to make a rest stop our driving trip.
(in 46 km.) Ferney-Voltaire: We entered Switzerland and a few kilometers left again to this commune of France because the prices of accommodations, restaurants and gasoline are cheaper.