Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Our experiences in the French alps

Well here we are Paul (my husband ) and I (Denise Brian’s sister) in St Jean d’Aulps staying with B & J for a few days. We are absolutely amazed and delighted at the fantastic views that can be enjoyed even from the apartment window - it is so much more beautiful than we imagined. We have been on two fantastic days walking on the beautifully groomed pistes on very well organised and signposted paths - the views are to die for, whichever way you look! The first day was quite hard as we are not used to walking in snow and there was a fair bit of uphill (not my favourite) but we stopped for a ‘vin chaud’ midway through and were revived enough to enjoy the second half of the day. 
At the top of our first gondola lift
We completed a very enjoyable day with homemade (by Brian) apple and cinnamon cake  and millionaire shortbread followed by a fab meal of beef bourginon expertly created by Jackie. We were in bed by 10pm as I was exhausted from all the fresh air and exercise!

Jackie, Paul and me on the ridge above Morzine
A welcome 'Vin Chaud'

Lunch stop

This is a 'travelator' used to get people up a slope

Our first chairlift. He stopped it so we could step off it!
The second day we walked about 5 miles at a much greater height of about 1800 metres (much higher than Ben Nevis!) with even more amazing views over mountain ridges, snow covered chalets, helipads and again past practically vertical snow slopes busy with skiers making it all look very easy and enjoyable. We enjoyed a beer on the ski slopes and even had an encounter with a chair lift - I was amazed at my bravery, but it was such good fun! Back at the car park we saw a few people clustered around a very heath robinson contraption that was belching out steam and looked to be creating something to eat or drink. 
The snow was a bit deep in places!
We went over for a closer looked and the locals explained in French that it was a mini distillery producing pear brandy! One of the locals offered us a swig from the bottle he had just bought and reckoned it would improve our skiing! It burned all the way down but was surprisingly good. Once back at base we were again treated to tea and cakes. I was then (fairly easily I am surprised to report!) persuaded to have a go at trying to stand up on a pair of skis on a very flat slope close to the bottom of the piste a few yards from the apartment. 

Our highest point
I managed to fall over twice in about  10 minutes but tried to have a go at moving forward slowly, stopping and turning-it was very hard, uncomfortable and scary but I’m so glad I had a go. All this stress was followed by confit of duck, boulangere potatoes and cabbage followed by Brian’s bread and butter pudding washed down with wine, of course!

I’m off to bed soon as I am exhausted again but a very happy bunny who is loving the alpine adventure!

A relaxing moment


Carefully walking down the piste

Ready to ski

Its not too bad.....

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