Saturday, 9 March 2013

Great Motor Highways of the Alps.

Two days ago I was talking about doing a trip this year in the van along the Route des Grandes Alpes, and doing it alone probably because my wife / navigator doesn't cope well with great heights and steep drops.

Yesterday in Ulverston I bought a few items in Appleseeds on Market Street, then went into the Tinner's Rabbit bookshop, a narrow place with an open coal fire and tiny rooms and fixed ropes on the very steep and narrow stairs.

On the second floor in amongst second-hand mountain and adventure themed books I found "The Great Motor Highways of the Alps", a pretty good coincidence, don't you think? First edition too, not that I was bothered, apart from the expense.

I walked away, had a very good vegan lunch in no-meat Gillams, returned and bought the book for 25% less than the marked price. It has many very good b&w photographs, maps and profiles. Routes to and from Channel ports are all pre-autoroute and remind me of family holidays in the '70s when we travelled through towns Brits nowadays visit only on those odd occasions when we might be dawdling home avoiding péage at the end of a holiday. 

Despite the intervening decades of road improvements and tunnel building, I'm now very much looking forward to finding a few exact locations at which I might replicate some of those 1958 b&w images.

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