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Lac des Vaches, French Alps

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Lac des Vaches (Lake of Cows) is located in the Vanoise National Park in the French Alps, near the village of Pralognan-La-Vanoise.

The Vanoise National Park in Savoie was the first national park in France established in 1963. It borders the Italian National Park of the Gran Paradiso on the east. Both parks together cover an area of 1,250 km2, representing Western Europe's largest protected area.

The French Alps is home to the famous Tarentaise cows also known as Tarine, well adapted to the high altitudes and rough terrain.

I have not seen any cows crossing the lake (that would be a cool picture), but felt them watching me from the surrounding mountains. One wrong step and they would be all over me. According to the legend, the cows made a last stand at the lake during WW2, against an overwhelming German force, after their French caretakers capitulated and abandoned this strategic mountain pass. All of the Tarine defenders were butchered by the Nazis.

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