Monday 4 November 2013

F S = France Sévrier? [Episode 3]

Up, up and away!

It was whilst glancing at the on-line map of the bus network for Annecy, France, that fbb espied something a little out of the ordinary.
There, entangled with the main line 6 to Colmyr (park and ride) ...
... the main line 7 to Clinique Générale ...
... and the less frequent 14 to Visitation (actually Monastère de la Visitation) ...
... was a mucky blue line, very wiggly, and diving off the edge of the map. So what went thataway?

Answer : a summer-only route running nearly 11 miles from Annecy to the summit of Mont Semnoz.
The special liveried bus claims that it climbs to a height of ...
... 1704 metres (5590ft), although Wikipedia apears to have decapitated the peak somewhat. For comparison, please note that Snowdon peaks at 1,085 metres (3,560 ft).

Semnoz is a mountain of Haute-Savoie, France. It lies in the Bauges range. It has an altitude of 1,699 m (5,574 ft) above sea level. The penultimate stage of the 2013 Tour de France (Stage 20) saw a summit finish on Semnoz, 125 km (78 miles) after departing from Annecy.
The bus route starts at the station interchange, and, after leaving built-up Annecy, climbs up through woodland ...
... then bursts out into the open air with some fantastic views.
Skiing is the winter activity (with no bus) but there are plenty of self mortification bloodsports to enjoy in summer.
Readers can amuse themselves by working out which is which; then by listing all the possible injuries that might ensue from their participation. No zorbing? What a disappointment.
And if you are a keen cyclist, specialising in downhill riding (rather than the exhausting process of pedalling up!) or, more frighteningly, if you enjoy riding "off-piste", simply book your bike on the bus.
That's the way to do it!

Saying "pish" and "tush" to such mundane velocipedal virtuosity (it's just SO last-season, darling), fbb can't wait to join in with ...
... the annual roller-blade-up-Semnoz event. On bother! He's missed it yet again - quel dommage.

But the publicity and the superb scenery make the bus ride up (and down) a worthy item on fbb's every expanding list of "omnibological things to do".
"Avec ou sans VTT" (bottom left) = with or without VTT
VTT = "Vélo(cipède) tout-terrain"
= bicycle all-terrain; i.e. mountain bike.
Pronounce it "Vay Tay Tay" (approximately).
But, having arrived (in our on-line imagination) at the summit of Semnoz, enjoyed some daydream-brand (liquid) refrreshment, we must teleport ourselves a mile or so north-east, virtually descending the mountain back to the lakeside at Sévrier.
Semnoz bottom left : Sévrier top centre

We can now reveal (well, not now but tomorrow!) what trucker David stopped to photograph.

See also "F S = France Sévrier? [Episode 1]" (read again)
See also "F S = France Sévrier? [Episode 2]" (read again)

 Next bus blog : Tuesday 5th November 


  1. 'But the publicity and the superb scenery make the bus ride up (and down) a worthy item on fbb's every expanding list of "omnibological things to do".'

    I'm sure you're right, but with the bus windows covered with advertising you won't see much of the scenery. Another instance of the industry shooting itself in the foot. When will bus operators learn that buses are not pantechnicons?

  2. I had hoped you could peer through the dots!

  3. It doesn't work - to my mind, the so-called 'Contravision' is actually a con trick - although, perhaps, since 'contra' means 'against', the name is not so far off the mark. It is something that hinders vision.

    It amazes me that the lobby representing people with partial sight haven't protested more effectively about it.