Hoofin’ it in Les Hautes-Alpes


Herding the flock to lower pastures in Les Orres

These short getaways to France feel almost like a tradition by now. In spring and fall, we get the itch to pack up and go. This recent trip took place at the end of October (while the forest here at home was still essentially green). It took 5 hours (220 miles) to get there, but when we arrived in Les Orres, the vibrant colors were a sight to behold!

A gentle nature walk starts at the parking area Pra Paisset, and we did just that for about a mile before heading back. The trail goes further up to an observation deck at Source de Jerusalem, and further still to Lac de Sainte-Marguerite. Total distance one-way: 3.6 miles. Altitude gain: 2000 feet. We’ll simply have to return another time to do the entire route and other hikes in the area.

No escape to France is complete without discoveries that are gastronomic in nature. There’s an absolute treasure of a boulangerie/patisserie that we came across in the small village of Chateauroux-les-Alpes: Aux Petits Godon. Actually I didn’t stumble upon them by chance, but a rave review on Google led me to this spectacular place for artisan breads, dessert pastries and fine viennoiserie.


L-R: patte d’ours (bear paw), croissant, pain au chocolat

The bear paw (or bear claw) had a thin layer of rum-flavored pastry cream within. This was way beyond the usual sweet dough, almond filling and almond-topped bear claws that I’ve had in the states. This was extraordinarily YUM. Croissant, flaky and buttery; pain au chocolat, divine.


Clockwise from top left: vanilla tart, chestnut tart (à la Mont Blanc) but with a whipped cream and berry filling, chocolate lingot, lemon meringue tart

“Two for you, two for me. But we share everything.” No need to gush over these; they were as good as they look. We’ve visited a lot of patisseries in tiny, lesser known villages in our travels to France and this truly is the cream of the crop. Definitely worth hoofin’ it over there!

12 thoughts on “Hoofin’ it in Les Hautes-Alpes

  1. Nonna T

    Beautiful pastries. I am sure that they were delicious. I looked on google maps and wow, that must be quite a scenic drive. Did you have good views of Monviso?

    Like

    Reply
    1. Rowena Post author

      The A4 between Milan and Turin is a boring stretch of road and blocks a lot of views. The most spectacular sight is Sacra di San Michele as you’re pretty much driving right under it!

      Like

      Reply
    1. Rowena Post author

      The ease of just crossing the border hit home especially when my cousins were here. Those two went from Rome up to our place, then up to Switzerland, France, and lastly Barcelona. I’m like ugh, all that driving! Glad the MotH likes to drive.

      Like

      Reply
      1. Rowena Post author

        Funny you should say that because I distinctly remember griping to MotH why doesn’t Italy have more reliable train service like Japan. And the trains in Japan are much cleaner!

        Like

    1. Rowena Post author

      I still think about those pastries to this day! There’s an idea running around in my head to do a trip specifically to check out boulangerie/patisserie in a given area. Spring 2023 can’t come soon enough.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

No need to fill in the blanks, but comments are moderated

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.