La vie at Lac du Chalain, France

Initially the plan was to go see something outside of Europe, however, when the chance came up we decided to go see the Jura, a beautiful green part of France, happily situated near Switzerland and Italy. We set up camp at Lac du Chalain, a perfect blue lagoon of fresh water.

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We took a stroll around the campsite, and it was then and there we decided to make a trip around the lake later that week, a good 20 km.

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At the lake there are two campsites, and two villages nearby. No more, no less. So when you’re not a hiker or a biker, you probably should stay clear of the site. There’s not much to do besides visiting a tiny cave and go grocery shopping. I always enjoy grocery shopping in France, because the malls are so much bigger then the ones in Holland.

This time we were in luck! In the village Marigny there was a big party going on. It was an annual fest and every villager (a small village of 125 people) was there. With drinking games and chasing goats I could see it was something big for them, and of course we joined in!

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Before taking our first hike we took a nice French meal, consisting of onions, egg and tomatoes, finished with some French bread and some local wine. Next stop: Le Cascades du Herrison. It all felt kinda Herisson Ford, with an E. Climbing over waterfalls en big (enormous) rocks, walking steep hills and seeing the Jura in all the green it is, I found it all amazing. At the end of the day, and a stiff 15 km walk later, I was totally tired but really satisfied!

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The walk around the lake, well that was something else. Why take the already existing roads when you can go off road? Climbing and holing on to branches. Sometimes even tumbling down! One really has to watch out while taking this hike! But it’s worth while (maybe not so much the beach for nudists, but you can just walk by). Now and again you will see a boat, overgrown with plants, some local animals and if you look in the emerald green water you can see fish, minding their own business.

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If you ever go to France, go see the mountains and the lakes. Go see the waterfalls and the forests. If you are more a city kinda type, I dare you to find the Mona Lisa in Paris, and if you find it, will you be so kind to send me a picture?

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