Laurent in the valley of the Romanche, a large part of Grenoble was swept away, and many of the inhabitants were drowned. The valley of the Romanche is no sooner entered, a few miles above Grenoble, than the mountains begin to close, the scenery becomes wilder, and the fury of the torrent is evinced by the masses of débris strewed along its bed.

In the cool of the evening, we walked through the fields across the plain, to see the torrent, visible from the village, which rushes from the rocky gorge on the mountain-side to join its waters to the Romanche.

The route from Grenoble to the frontier fortress of Briançon lies for the most part up the valley of the Romanche, which presents a variety of wild and beautiful scenery. In summer the river is confined within comparatively narrow limits; but in autumn and spring it is often a furious torrent, flooding the low-lying lands, and forcing for itself new channels.

Between Grenoble and Briancon, in the valley of the Romanche, many villages are so destitute of wood that they are reduced to the necessity of baking their bread with sun-dried cow-dung, and even this they can afford to do but once a year.

Of these, Mont Pelvoux whose double pyramid can be seen from Lyons on a clear day, a hundred miles off and the Aiguille du Midi, are among the larger masses, rising to a height little short of Mont Blanc itself. From the ramparts of Grenoble the panoramic view is of wonderful beauty and grandeur, extending along the valleys of the Isère and the Drac, and across that of the Romanche.

Shortly after we pass another cascade, that of the Riftort, which also joins the Romanche, and marks the boundary between the department of the Isère and that of the Hautes Alpes, which we now enter.

The former route is the shorter; but, after leaving the valley of the Rhone, it passes by the impracticable and unfruitful river-valleys of the Drac, the Romanche, and the upper Durance, through a difficult and poor mountain country, and requires at least a seven or eight days' mountain march.

From thence a gradual ascent leads up to the summit of the Col de Lauteret, which divides the valley of the Romanche from that of the Guisanne. The pastures along the mountain-side are of the richest verdure; and so many rare and beautiful plants are found growing there that M. Rousillon has described it as a "very botanical Eden."

Above this gorge, the Romanche is joined by the Ferrand, an impetuous torrent which comes down from the glaciers of the Grand Rousses.

The former route is the shorter; but, after leaving the valley of the Rhone, it passes by the impracticable and unfruitful river-valleys of the Drac, the Romanche, and the upper Durance, through a difficult and poor mountain country, and requires at least a seven or eight days' mountain march.