The villagers of Vaujany thought their lot was hill farming on the side of a steep remote mountainside, with the only one road in and out and prone to regular avalanches. But in the 1980’s they struck unexpected gold when the French government compulsorily purchased a giant chunk of land for France’s largest hydro-electric scheme.
The astute villagers invested the money in what was then the largest cable-car in the country, to reach the slopes above the neighbouring Alpe d’Huez ski resort.
As well as being famous as a stage finish in the Tour de France Alpe d’Huez is also a sought after ski area that includes 250km’s of pistes. The top station offers great views of the Alps including Mont Blanc and apparently on a clear day a fifth of France can be seen from this point, so linking to ‘Le Huez’ was a fantastic opportunity.
Now all that’s great if you want to go skiing but what about going for a pint of milk a baguette or a ‘bit-a-cheese’ grommet?
The canny locals came up with a solution while constructing the cable car infrastructure, “lets put in escalators and lifts everywhere’. So visitors and villagers alike whether carrying skis or the groceries can now go up and down the steep inclines via a series of lifts and escalators, without the need for donkeys or oxygen!
Motorhomers are also spoilt in Vaujany, as the aire is right beneath the cable car and gondola it’s also next to a swimming pool /spa complex, an ice rink (with it’s own restaurant) and a bowling alley, all just a hundred yards walk away…
The convenience of having the swimming pool with its Haman and sauna so close to the aire is great. However, the downside is before you can use these facilities, men have to do some smuggling! My UK swimming shorts are, apparently too loose fitting. The French, don’t ask me WHY? Insist on the tight-fitting speedo style trunks. So 22 €’s later and my favourite pets and I were allowed in.