Over the Alps

Our plan for Tuesday could be summed up in its simplest terms as driving from one lake to another. The drive, however, was the thing – we’d driving the Furka Pass, over the Alps themselves, and heading back into France. This would be one of our long driving days, totalling about 245 miles and five hours without stops. But of course, we would stop. We were driving over the Alps.

We made it quite a way before we stopped, and when we did it was for a bit of a quintessential Swiss scene: classic Alpine cows.

1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 250, 35mm
1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 250, 35mm

They had the big bells and everything. And then there was this cow, who I photographed whilst she was shaking her head, giving me a great ‘what the heck are you talking about?’ look.

1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 250, 47mm
1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 250, 47mm

I definitely need to see if I can get that to kick off as a meme.

The wider scene of where we were standing was incredible. Looking back down the road in the direction we’d come from you could see all the way down the valley we’d just driven along.

1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 100, 35mm
1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 100, 35mm

Facing in the other direction I took one of the few pictures on our holiday of the vehicle that was carrying us thousands of miles.

1/500sec, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm
1/500sec, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm

And to the left of this, which is also the opening shot of this post, was another, non-paved valley that just contained snow in its crevice.

1/125sec, f/11, ISO 100, 28mm
1/125sec, f/11, ISO 100, 28mm

I also shot this as a HDR set but I’m undecided as to which I prefer – I like the result, but I’m not sure if it’s quite as nice as the ‘natural’ image.

f/11, ISO 100, 28mm
f/11, ISO 100, 28mm

I certainly like the harsher tones of the HDR image, which makes it more striking – but these don’t necessarily a better picture make.

Let’s move back to the cows. Or should I say, MOOve? (No. No I shouldn’t.)

1/125sec, f/11, ISO 100, 24mm
1/125sec, f/11, ISO 100, 24mm

Yeah, I know. The cow looks unimpressed too. But how did it know back in September that I would make that joke? I must have had that sort of look about me.

Clearly, because this cow was unimpressed too.

1/60sec, f/11, ISO 100, 67mm
1/60sec, f/11, ISO 100, 67mm

Although I think this shot of her is better.

1/400sec, f/4, ISO 100, 65mm
1/400sec, f/4, ISO 100, 65mm

There really was quite a few cows about amongst the incredible scenery.

f/4, ISO 100, 24mm (HDR)
f/4, ISO 100, 24mm (HDR)

Further on up the road we stopped by a small waterfall which presumably contained some of the stuff you buy in bottles in supermarkets (fortunately I never had to stop to relieve myself anywhere – I’d basically be peeing in someone’s mineral water in 50,000 years time). Holly stopped by to take a look, even though the temperatures were close to freezing.

1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 100, 105mm
1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 100, 105mm

Whilst Holly took in the scene, I took photographs of some of the vehicles that passed us by.

1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 100, 55mm
1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 100, 55mm
1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 100, 73mm
1/1000sec, f/4, ISO 100, 73mm

I also took a shot of the waterfall’s flow after it had passed under the road and continued on its way down the frosty mountain.

1/1600sec, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm
1/1600sec, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm

We continued on, and stopped at the highest point on the road for another look. It made for a great view of the Alps.

1/200sec, f/13, ISO 100, 35mm
1/200sec, f/13, ISO 100, 35mm

There be snow, and mountains. It was a weird one for me on my summer holidays to park up in a snow-laiden car park, and actually be able to throw a snowball at my wife (which of course I did), knowing that only a few days later we’d be sitting on the shores of the Mediterranean in our shorts.

1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm
1/1250sec, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm

We continued back down the hills, and when we supposedly bottomed out (we hit the crevice of a valley; I doubt we were anywhere near to sea level) we found a town filled with photographers and some sort of historical reenactment including old vehicles and a stream train.

1/2500sec, f/4, ISO 100, 82mm
1/2500sec, f/4, ISO 100, 82mm

It all looked pretty traditional.

1/640sec, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm
1/640sec, f/4, ISO 100, 24mm

We continued on our journey, eventually dropping back closer to the ground, back into France, and to the shores of another beautiful lake.


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2 Comments

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  1. Years ago when I was in Gimmewald, I was surprised by a caravan of American muscle cars going by. So incongruous. I was reminded of that when I saw your ‘Vette image.

    Like

    • When we drove past the hotel that’s right up on the top of the pass I saw a modern Ferrari, and thought, ‘ooh, Ferrari!’. Then I saw another… and then some more… and what turned out to be a big ol’ supercar meet in the car park with Ferraris, Lambos and the likes… didn’t seem that out of place, considering they were all modern cars.

      I think the ‘Vette fits in pretty nicely, mainly because I associate these roads with The Italian Job (the original 60s version, of course) and it fits that aesthetic pretty nicely!

      Like

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