A ski trip in the French Alps
We wanted to catch the last opportunity this season for another ski before the snow melts and so we moved fairly quickly from Spain through the bottom of France and up to the French Alps.
Despite it being the beginning of the in some parts of the UK, we managed at the last minute to book a 5 night stay in a chalet in a beautiful ski resort in Avoriaz. Needing a bit of space from the campervan, and desperately needing to do some washing, we were in for a real treat because we stayed in a chalet called Chilly powder (www.chillypowder.com), just steps away from the téléphérique up to the slopes.
What a gorgeous place! because we had only booked accommodation the morning of our arrival the kids shared a room downstairs and we were in a room upstairs! (yippee!). The place was full of families, including lots of kids their own age and everyone spoke English. We especially wanted kids + English to give our kids a chance to have a good play with their peers for almost a week. And we virtually didn’t see them from the minute we arrived to the minute we left. James and Abbie befriended loads of kids, including Georgie, Megan and Ben from Stratford upon Avon in England.
Of course the hamster accompanied us to the Chalet and was a huge hit amongst the kids, even to the point of a mass search for him when the poor little thing tried to get away from all the noise and squeals of delight.
The chalet, run by a very welcoming British couple Francesca and Paul, along with friendly staff had everything you could ask for; comfortable rooms with ensuite bathrooms, a buffet breakfast every morning, afternoon tea (including Flapjacks one day!), earlier and very nutricious kids dinners, apératifs in the evening, followed by a delicious 3 course meal, accompanied by wines. Every evening we ate at long tables, allowing us to get to know the other adults, each with very interesting stories to tell. There was also Wifi, a washing machine and dryer, printer and longer than 1 minute shower!!!! Oh and DVDs in English for the kids! ( They haven’t really watched any TV for 3 months). Is that gushy enough?
Skiing was great too. We skied with the kids on the first day and then they were booked into group lessons for the following 3 days with the other kids from the chalet. Dave did his snowboarding thing on black runs and adventure parks whilst I fumbled around on the blue runs. We are in awe of the progression that our kids have made; James is now a confident black run skier and Abbie isn’t far behind. Really long pistes too, which was great, although quite slushy down the bottom. (not good for those soon to be 40 year old knees!). Incredible to note that at several points during our skiing, James and Dave could be in Switzerland, whilst Abbie and I were in France!
In fact, we have never been so warm on the slopes and can’t believe that we thought to pack thermals! There was little time on the slopes each morning before we were dripping with perspiration and discarding as much clothing as possible without becoming inappropriate. Not complaining though, as we had bright sunshine and blue skies every day without a breath of wind.
During the 5 days, I took une journée de repos and caught the local bus down to Morzine, a gorgeous little village at the bottom of the resort, filled with lovely little shops, cafés and restaurants. I went for a jog along the river and then took myself and my book out for lunch. Walking back through the village to the bus stop, I found myself in a beautiful place near the tourist office, with bells ringing and horses trotting along. I had to make the moment last and so had a glass of rosé outside in the sunshine before heading back up the mountain.
All in all, an unforgettable week and I feel so lucky to have made it to the Alps! We definitely plan to return in the Summer, to take advantage of all there is to offer at that time of year, including a 2 km zip-line across the valley! Bring it on!