Tuesday, 17 April 2012


We left Annecy after lunch and drove not too far to Nantua. The huge scale of my map of France began to be apparent now. We had been lent a road atlas of France but had left it at home, confident that our van came equipped with maps. It did:one atlas of the whole of Europe. Some of the smaller roads weren't shown, some of the larger roads weren't numbered, quite a few villages were just not there. Even the lake at Nantua didn't make the cut! But it was there, and we found our Aire, and above is the view from the cab. I haven't really captured the huge height of the mountains beyond, they were in cloud when I started painting and the sun came out as I watched.
 Nanuta seemed like a town which had been left behind, once beautiful it has been forgotten as the "Autoroute of the Titans" skims through the mountains above.
It was faded and sad, but it did have a Lidl and we were able to fill our cupboards for the rest of the holiday for 16 Euros!
There was also a monument to those who had been deported in the Second World War; the area was stronghold of the French Resistance movement and the town had suffered harshly at the hands of the Nazis. A plaque recorded the names of around fifty Jewish children and their teachers who had also been taken away, I think to Auschwitz. A group of three siblings were the same age as my three children and we spent a few sober moments contemplating the devastating effects of the politics of a neighbouring country on this tucked away little town seventy years ago.

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