The car has also the advantage to bring back some various things, most of the time some cheap stuff from Poland to my French relatives (beers, HI FI, books, even garden decorations once), and the same in the opposite direction (mostly wine for me !!). And not the least, I can also travel with my wife when she has holidays too - it happened only once so far unfortunately.
But travelling by car also offers more flexibility. Despite the trip being longer, I can stop in interesting places, like Dresden, or the villages od the Vosges.
When I have a significant amount of time, and if there is nice weather, I try to combine it with some week end, and the hiking gear is a part of the luggage. In few occasions, I managed to make day trips to the Chartreuse, a beautiful limestone sub-range of the pre-Alps whose character remind me my home Pyrenees. I could change a bit for the Vercors or the Bauges, but every time I come back to the Chartreuse, the closest indeed too.
I went several times in the Chartreuse this way, always in February by some strange coincidence.
* The first time, out of the work scope, was while visiting some friends in grenoble in February 2003. A couple of their other friends and me made it to the top of La Pinéa with snowshoes. It was somehow my discovering of this range, which was also my very first contact with the Alps.
* The second time was while spending 2 monthes in Lyon in February 2005. All my week-ends were busy with many various other things, mainly visiting my familly, as well as a bit of sightseing in France 2nd largest town, whose old centre in the UNESCO list I had never seen before. But I kept the sunniest ones for the Chartreuse. I was then a member of the French Alpine Club (CAF) and consulted the trip list of the CAF of Lyon. These folks welcomed me the best possible way for a splendid trip to La Croix de l'Alpe with snowshoes, my most acomplished trip in the Chartreuse so far.
* Few weeks later, I tried to make another walk alone, as no CAF trip was planned. The initial plan was to reach some peaklet around but the amounts of snow were so huge that I only walked till Col de Charmette.
* The last time, in February 2008, my wife was there as well. No mountaineering trip, as it was improvised and we had no hiking gear. But a fine visit of the Chartreuse monastery and a lot of fine sightseeing.
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