The imposter

        St. Christophe la grotte and Sardinian way

In Crossbow named the 'the Shardun pass,' Episode 11 The Imposter

                                           Entrance of The Pass.                                     The Sardinian way (mountains) in the back. This shot below is taken from Desert.


Parc Naturel Régional

 Sardinian Way, a part of the Parc Naturel Régional de Chartreuse .

The small village Saint Christophe La Grotte, which has less than 500 inhabitants, is a special place. There is an escarpment, a limestone ridge, which is part of the southern outskirts of the Alps, and a narrow gorge cutting through this escarpment allowing to cross it. The first to use this special location were the Romans, who built their road, the major route between Chambéry and Lyon, through the gorge. Today the Roman road is only a minor road, little more than a comfortable footpath, but still some Roman remains are left, like the impressive Saint Martin's Bridge.


Eleanor is exploring the 'Shardunpass,'

The real name of this place is the Sardinian Way / la Voie sarde

   1986                                                            2014                                                                1986         


This is a beautiful gorge!


Two riders approaching...  A merchant with his donkey 'Hannibal.' He says he is robbed by William Tell (Roland). He seems to have a mountain pass that turns out to be worthless in these mountains. And he throws it away and continues his journey. Tell grabs it and that will come in handy later on!


The recognizable rocks behind them in opposite


1986                                    The entrance of Voie Sarde                             2014    



                                                                      1986    It's a beautiful walk and in springtime you see many waterfalls and hear the water running through the rocks 2014


1986                                                                  1986                                                                      2014



Entering the Voie Sarde


      The entrance rock

The left circle is the rock the shooters are on. That's the first part of the Shardun pass in Crossbow.

Stefan rides first and is entering the Shardunpass. There is a sniper on the rock. Stefan is already out of sight and ends up in a trap of all kinds of men who joined 'Tell'

On the photos below: the beautiful entrance rock near the monument of Voie Sarde. The photo is made in 2014


An ancient valuable route

The Voie Sarde is a historic route through a natural canyon in the Chartreuse Mountains just east of Les Échelles, Savoy. The Duke ordered the renovation of the ancient Roman road and the work, completed in 1670, was commemorated by a stone memorial built into the side of the rock face. Turner’s study shows an oblique view of the structure from the side, looking west from the Voie Sarde across the open plain beyond towards Les Échelles. In the centre is a vertical rock formation known as ‘Le Pilon’ which stands near the entrance to a limestone cave, the ‘Grotte inférieure’ The cave of Roland.



The route was made obsolete during the early nineteenth century when Napoleon ordered the construction of a tunnel through the mountains, thereby by-passing the steep terraces of the Voie Sarde. However, it remained of interest to tourists and travellers through the area. The Voie Sarde was now used for centuries. Famous travellers have used it, like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Pope Pius VII when he came to France in 1804 to consecrate Napoleon I as emperor. And Napoleon was responsible, that the Sardinian Way was abandoned. In 1820 he found the road too arduous, and ordered a tunnel to be built. Between 1667 and 1670 the Dukes of Savoy converted the already ruined Roman road into a royal road fit for carriages, called Voie Sarde (Sardinian Way).


Entrance Grotte Inferieure (inside the cliff of La Voie Sarde)

The stairs (at the second circle) is the place left of Tell, Eleanor and Stefan walk in the trap and meet Grendel. It's the stairs to Grotte Inferieure

            1986                                                                                                   1986                                                                                         2014                    


Stefan is caught by Grendel   

1986                     2015 Below: typical 'blocked' rocks are left and the stairs is right                 1986



They take them to 'Tell' (Roland). The opportunity for Tell to ask Roland about using his name and robbing a merchant.



'Angel' (Eleanor) is invited to join them, Tell is not



The rebel's cave

Grotte Superieure (the right circle)


In front of the Grotte Superieure


To Compare

Just before the cave. Right above you see the path Eleanor takes just before they arrive at the cave. In fact Eleanor is going to Gessler's camp and talks to Tyroll to make a deal (episode: The Misalliance)

During the whole pass there is a small wall and trench beside the path to collect melted water. Here the wall disappears, it looks like just a forest path, but a very beautiful one in this pass.

1986 /1987                                                                                     2015


               1986  Grotte superieure has a huge portale                                         2014 This photo is taken closer to the cave                 


Grotte Superieure or ‘Grotte du Grand Goulet (Great Great Gully)

The entrance is a huge portal with a gorge below, which makes it very hard to enter. To access the cave, a path along the right hand cliff face and across a bridge into the cave has been built. This path was completely renovated before the cave was reopened in 2002. There is an old legend, that Mandrin, the famous Dauphiné smuggler, used this cave as a hideout.

The caves were developed in the 19th century, to provide a tourist destination for the people bathing at la Bauche les Bains. The iron laden thermal water was used to cure various illnesses, especially blood related diseases. The caves were owned at this time by the Périnel family, who created a company for the developments of the caves in 1884 and stared to sell stocks. One year later the development started and in 1886 the caves were opened to the public. The Grotte Supérieure (Upper Cave, right below,) is noted for various impressive speleothems. Tell confronts Roland with his stolen name.  In front of the cave there is built a fence of wood. 

Tell wants to hear from Roland why he misuses his name.


One of two caves known as the Grottes des Échelles Both caves are located along the Voie Sarde and they are guided together. Tourist reception and ticket sales are located in the Auberge des Grottes (Cave Inn), an old road-mender's house dating back to when the tunnel was built. The caves are called Grottes des Echelles (The Ladder Caves), as they are located right at the steps of the Voie Sarde. It seems they are known for a long time, but especially the Grand Goulet is hard to enter, it has a huge portal with a gorge below. To access the cave, a path along the right hand cliff face and across a bridge into the cave has been built. This path was completely renovated before the cave was reopened in 2002.

     In front of the cave


         Roland as 'Tell' has a day job to get his men under control: quarrels and rebellion. During a quarrel about who gets the most, Roland shouts: 'Everybody gets his share!' But the fights goes on and Tell decides just to burn the whole thing. 'two dogs fight for a bone' , and that upsets Grendel!

         1986                                                                  2014                                                                2014   Le Pilon






Grendel is mad and wants Tell's horse for the damage. When he jumps on it, the horse throws him off.


Blade doesn't like Gaston is almost taking over...while telling Gaston she gets killed by Grendel, the right hand of Gaston.        


The valley of Entremont

By coincidence during a walk we saw the valley at the south of Desert of Entremont                                    2014 my photo


                                                            1986  On the way out and back                                           2016  zoomed photo of vallee Entremont                                               

Above a hikingpath south of desert of Entremont

Then switching to the foot of mont Outeran


Location: imperial borderguard


Above and below an unknown location. Probably the southern part of Mont l'Outeran, you can see on the photo below. But because of the zooming skills of the cameraman I was not able to locate the rock ridge they found the shot soldier and where Roland tries to flee. But It's nearby.

1986                                                                                       2014




The D45A is the road the place lies nearby, not the exact place, for the exact place see below. We show this picture to show the view on the mountains in the back.


Probably the path on the foot of mount Outeran between the pine trees and broadleaf trees.



Everybody knows Roland as William Tell, even the imperial border guard. Roland wants to flee but does he get the chance? Tell uses the pass of the merchant.



Extra Photos of Voie Sarde

A drone video of the Voie Sarde

The white water, while walking there you can hear the water running through the rocks, small waterfalls running through mosses, a breathtaking scene.


Great place to be! You have to beware of falling rock, see the sign above.

You can take the stairs up to the plateau. But you can also walk to the two caves. We were there in may and everywhere you could hear the water splashing and flowing in the rocks. It is really a joy walking on an old trade route and surrounded by rough and beautiful nature! The bonus is that I recognize this place from my childhood even though it is from TV. But now for real. Small waterfalls on the left and right, sometimes a slow-flowing shower that gently flows over you ... if you are lucky with the sun and the beams could lighten up the high cliffs you can see lots of rainbows in it.




The stairs to Plateau La Ravoire  

Is wild and beautiful. An amazing place to hike and explore.



The monument, Voie sarde

Voie Sarde. A monumental, 400m long dressed stone ramp was built. Also the Charles Emmanuel II  (Duke of Savoy) Monument (left photo) was erected, to commemorate the man behind the Sardinian Way project. The 20m high monument is listed in the national register of Historical Monuments. You can see it below on the map.




                                                          For a long time and ancient road                                                     Below: the high wall, the path is right above it.



Waterlevels in la Voie Sarde

The paths in the caves are built high up for the water.


The canal next to the ancient path is very important to make it possible for the water to pass. We were there in may and you can hear the water everywhere between and in the rocks. The water needs to get away.



Porche d'entrée de la grotte supérieure