We woke to cloudy skies once more, but the chance of rain was low and the temperatures where warm.
Setting out towards the Semnoz spirits where high and there was just a hint of nerves as this would be the first mountain climb for some of the riders in the group. The Semnoz is a 16 km climb at an average of 7% and a gain of 1,142m, nothing like what we have at home in Oakville.
Many where excited to get the first big notch in their belt this week and the joy outweighed the suffering on the faces of the riders.
On a sunny day, the views from the top of the Semnoz are spectacular, with Mont Blanc taking centre stage; however we where surrounded by clouds and Mont Blanc eluded us.
|Views from the Semnoz on a clear day.|
|Low hanging clouds met as at the top of the Semnoz.|
|There are a few couples riding on this trip, and they enjoyed summiting together today. Mike went to join Judi and Doug went to ride with Lorna.|
|At the top, some riders made sandwiches with fresh baguettes.|
Although we had no views from the top of the Semnoz, the 18 km climb was still worth the challenge. Half the group continued to ride while the other half venture in to the beautiful and historic town of Annecy to play tourist, getting in some shopping and taking the water taxi back to the hotel, giving them completely different views of the lake and valley as they meandered along the east side of the lake before crossing over to our side and disembarking.
The sun came out for the afternoon and blue skies once again illuminated the surrounding hillside. The quiet roads, quaint towns, and ever changing terrain made for a fun afternoon ride as we went along the valley floor, past farms, and up and over the Col de Tamie.
One of our stops was the Chateau de Miolans. Built in the mid-1500s, the castle served as a protective fort, placed up on the hillside to monitor for any enemy attacks. Over the centuries, the castle has been renovated with different materials and styles to serve several different functions, including that of a family house.
The afternoon involved massages by the water and finding the party room, to hang out before dinner. Since we have almost all of the rooms in the hotel, it feels very much like our home and that we are with family.