It’s about time I wrote something that was pure fun! One of the fun things that I really wanted to do while in France was go hiking. I have just bought a pair of hiking boots, which I broke in around Syracuse, but hadn’t actually taken on a hiking trip yet. The inaugural hiking trip is in the Jura! Wow, that’s pretty special. I guess I’m going to tell this in my traditional play-by-play style. Sorry!
We got on the bus to Gex around lunch time. We had packed a few things, but not everything, we still needed bread. As we were getting ready, we both were thinking “oh no! we’re going to be eating cheese and chocolate for lunch, we don’t have any bread.” But then we realized, with forehead slaps, that we are in France. There are patisseries everywhere! So when we got to Gex, we walked over to the tourist office, picked up a local map and walked around the town.
Gex is a hilly town.
Gex is on the edge of the Jura, actually part way up the side from the plain below. So I guess it doesn’t really have hills, its on the side of one, so everything is either up the hill or down the hill. Anyway, we walked from the bus stop at the bottom of the hill to the church at the top of the hill. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the church. It’s kind of boring anyway. I’m not sure of the history, but I’m sure the reformation is why the church is so plain. I did take a picture of the Alps though!
The Alps from Gex
Then we walked around a bit more and found a patisserie that was charging 92$, I mean 0.92 euro for a baguette. And on out of town we went. We didn’t get too far up the slope of the Jura, but it was a lovely hike. Here are a few more photos.
A trail in the Jura
The first section of the trail really reminded me a lot of the forest in the Pacific Northwest. The forest floor is covered with moss and lichen and ferns. The trees are a mix of conifers and deciduous, close enough that I felt very much at home.
A mountain stream in the Jura
We popped out of the forest onto a paved road, which we followed for a while. There was a small woodland interpretive center, with a big man carved out of wood. It startled Ali quite a bit when she first saw it. It wasn’t open for the public, too early in the season. We followed the road a bit more, along the stream we had been hearing and following pretty much the whole way. We lunched on our delicious loaf of bread, some cheese and chocolate for desert. We drank most of our water. We also found the side stream that we took joins the bigger stream, which we posed next to above. I don’t know the names of any of the creeks we walked along. There were more trails we could have explored, and will in the future, it’s so easy to get to from our apartment! There are some canyons and small waterfalls that I definitely want to get a better look at next time.
Near the end of our hike
After this, we just wound our way back into town, mostly along the paved mountain road. On the way into town we found some animals at a farm, and couldn’t resist taking photos!
Ali loves animals!
When we got back to town we really wanted some ice cream, and probably could have found it too. But we were too tired to face the language barrier, and it was getting a little cold now that we weren’t huffing and puffing up or down the side of a mountain. So we walked over to the bus stop. The locals were starting to collect, which usually indicates that the arrival of a bus is imminent. We would have been waiting a while if we’d gotten that ice cream!
Walking back into Gex
Bonus! Here is a map!
Elevation profile of our hike: up 600 feet, down 600 feet!