Supposedly a caving expedition
This was mainly a caving expedition to the Gouffre Berger (in the Vercors, by Grenoble in South France), but since we were in the area ;) we decided to get in as many sights as we could on the way.
After getting caught in two traffic jams getting to Dover, we took the slightly late ferry to Calais. We stopped only once on the way through Belgium to Luxembourg, and that was just to get a chance to cool down and apply sun-cream. Sorry Belgium, no insults intended, but there was just nothing to stop and look at along the route we took. The first place we stopped for pictures was Luxembourg city.
We then went along the French/German border, spending some time in each country, eventually staying for one night in a layby on a German motorway. The next day we continued into the top of Switzerland, passing through Bern before finally reaching some impressive scenery at Interlaken.
From Interlaken, we headed up the valley to Grindelwald. The valley itself is one of the most beautiful, with a steep U-shaped cross-section. The walls are about 500 metres high, with the rock stata showing like zebra stripes. The valley runs up the edge of the Jungfrau (4158 metres) and Mönch (4099 metres) before reaching Grindelwald at the base of the Eiger (3970 metres).
Returning to Interlaken, we then went up the ice scoured Aare Valley to join the Rhône Valley
That night, we camped at the base of a small "hill"; Blinnenhorn (3374 metres).
Finally, we reached Grenoble, then up the side of the immense cliffs onto the Vercors plateau.
This was the start of the real holiday (honest ;) ) and the pictures of the surface part of the expedition are on their own site - I am the guy with the long hair in a couple of the pictures (no, not The Moroccan Waiter ™).
The underground pictures from the Berger were not as good as they could have been, so take a look at the Speleoclub Avalon Gouffre Berger gallery. It is one of the World's most awesome cave systems, and well worth a look. I have also done a writeup of my own trips into the Berger where I got to part way down the Grand Canyon.
While we were there, we also took a look at the Bourne Gorge (our own camera screwed up the pictures, so these are taken other websites).
After nearly two weeks in the Vercors, we took the direct route back across France. We stopped at Laon, a small city with its own cathedral perched on top of a cliff-lined mound. Why did we stop? Well, we were in the area, and I like gothic architecture. Do we need any other reason? Oh yeah ... food!