Friday, August 05, 2022

the Jura surprise

Sometime last winter, I was browsing through Google maps and happened upon the Jura Mountains, for no obvious reason except that I love mountains and Central Europe. I dove into Street View and followed a few mountain roads, sighing in pandemic isolation over views I would probably never see in real life.

This summer, I found myself in the passenger seat of a car at the foot of these mountains, near the French/Swiss border. The driver programmed the navigator with our destination - the Loire Valley in the middle of France. I peered at the suggested route, winding back and forth across the navigator screen. "Looks like it's taking us across the mountains." I'm a little nervous about driving in mountains. I  don't have much experience - Finland is pretty flat.

So we drove across the Juras. It was beautiful - steep, wooded slopes, valleys with cute villages. Good roads. A very surprising hilltop fortification (Forte l'Écluse) looming over the road. As surprising as my dream coming true - diving into a map and surfacing in France.

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