The Dauphiné: A Packing List

The Vercors Mountain Range in the Dauphiné.

The Vercors Mountain Range in the Dauphiné. (Photo by Johan N)

We’re currently in the beginning stages of planning a trip to the Dauphiné region of France. Along with visiting the main attractions in the area, I want to walk the same hills and breathe the same air as my Chastain ancestors. We’ve been reading a few guidebooks to prepare. After a handful of paragraphs extolling the beauty of the Dauphiné, one book offers the following advice:

Inns and Accomodation for Travellers can scarcely be said to exist in this wild district. Travellers must be fully prepared to rough it. Not only are the inns in the remote valleys mere cabarets, but they exceed in filth and vermin those of any part of Europe, and are nearly destitute of ordinary food. Visitors should provide themselves with tea, chocolate, portable soup, biscuits; and those who intend to ascend peaks, and cross difficult passes, had better provide ropes, ice-hatchets, and a bag, coarse cloth or sacking canvas, to sleep in.

I guess I should mention that the book, A Handbook for Travellers in France: Being a Guide to Normandy, Brittany; The Rivers Seine, Loire, Rhône, and Garonne; The French Alps, Dauphiné, The Pyrenees, Provence, and Nice, was written in 1864.

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