Golden Landscape

Living in a golden landscape

In the train from Valence to Grenoble I noticed the wonderful golden foliage of most trees in this region of the Alps. I was invited by friend Bernard for the weekend, and fortunately the weather was soft for the autumn season. Bernard said it was the wind from the south that kept the temperature warm, and we would have the time for a hike in the mountains on my second day. I had brought my camera with me.

A golden hue in the Alps

Two donkeys in a rustic landscape; French Alps

We participated in a French folk dance session on my first day, at the home of one of Bernard’s friends. With about twenty men and women present I was not sure how that would work out for me, being ignorant of traditional dance. But the music did it all. 

Living in the heights; French Alps

Two professional instructors used their skill to explain the two double and one double step formations of each dance in simple demonstrations. In practice I concluded that it was better not to use the mind but to go with the flow of the music. And it flowed.

Light leaves; French Alps

Bernard captivated by the paysage d’or; French Alps

That’s how I felt too during the walk in the mountains, going with the flow in this silent and wholesome landscape. The ‘paysage d’or’ as Bernard called it, reminded me of Japanese gardens in autumn, but here on a large scale in France. There was a silence that made it easy to become one with the mountains and the trees and take in the rich shades of golden colors. The classic striking beauty of the autumn season.

Changing colors; French Alps

Bernard finds sweet chestnuts; French Alps

A fabric of autumn colors; French Alps

We hiked on the side of the mountain range Belledonne which gave an excellent view on the mountain range Chartreuse behind us. These mountains are sporadically covered with small settlements that are called ‘hameaux‘ in French. Some people passed us going downhill on bikes, heavily braking and still going fast. Imagine what strength it takes to go all the way uphill on a bike. Hiking or biking, well-being it is in this golden landscape.

View of the Chartreuse mountain range from La Chapelle; French Alps