The gravures of the Vallée des Merveilles have been a goal of mine for years. I finally made it!
We got an early start at balise 395: 9.10am to be exact. Although definitely warm the heat had not yet become stifling. The patches of shade made it bearable. As we climbed higher it became cooler and the alpine vegetation was cool indeed.
A little over 2 hours later we were here in cooler air:
We reached balise 388 at 11.30 where a sign directed us to Lac Vert. It took only another 20 minutes but it was a hard 20 minutes as a park official reminded us to put the hiking poles away. The metal tips are forbidden once you enter the area of the gravures.
Then, there it was! Lac Vert de Fontanalbe:
Up here, there was a steady, cool wind and the 360° panorama of peaks made it easy to understand why this was a sacred spot for the Bronze Age peoples (3500BC) who left their mysterious engravings (or graffiti?) on 4000 rocks spread out over 17 sq km.
Not far from the orientation table was the Voie Sacrée, a rocky path with a series of gravures on the left side.
On the way back, a butterfly alighted on my hat and made herself comfortable.
The descent was lengthy but presented no special difficulty apart from the sharp stones along the track.