So, a couple of days before chrissy, the three of us and our bags made our way west to Megeve in the French Alps. Megeve is a lovely town with a view of Mt Blanc and access to dozens of ski runs. It’s a typical alpine ski town with a very relaxed atmosphere.
It took three different trains and a bus to get there but it was worth it. Although I doubt CA would have agreed at the time as she suffered from motion sickness on the way and had a couple of vommies, once on the train and once on the bus. The bus driver was really good about it though. Not only did he whip out a mop and take care of the offending mess, but he also went out of his way to drop us as close to our chalet as possible (perhaps he just wanted to get the annoying Aussies off his effing bus). Of course, by this time it was dark and armed with the less than accurate instructions from our host we set off looking for our building. As luck would have it, it was the only one with an outside light that wasn’t working so we couldn’t view the name of the chalet that we suspected was ours. I ventured inside and thankfully bumped into a family coming home for the day who confirmed we were where we thought we were.
The apartment was excellent. It was roomy, had a great kitchen, comfy beds and big doonas. I mean, what more do you need? The next day we set off, bought a lift pass and headed up to the top of the nearest ski lift, which by the way, leaves from the centre of town. Once up top the view was awesome. There was only one thing missing. Snow. Oh they’d made some a few days earlier, but it’s not the same is it? Picture if you will, spectacular mountains with big white stripes running down the sides, zig-zagging their way to the bottom. Still, heaps of people were out enjoying the sunny day and the ski runs. We played for a bit, had a hot chocolate on the deck of a cafe with the most amazing views, then hopped on another lift and went in a different direction to explore. The rest of the day was spent doing much the same thing, exploring and riding in ski-lifts with a bit of tobogganing thrown in. We had good food everywhere we went – at prices you’d expect from a ski town – but dinner we self catered and relaxed in the comfortable apartment speculating as to the possibility of a white christmas.
Christmas day arrived cold, partly sunny but snow-less. This was not to change for the remainder of our stay. It was only a small disappointment as Megeve and the surrounding area are really lovely even without snow. The next day we headed off to the ski hire place to get kitted out and hit the slopes (which I was to do often – literally). We’d previously organised for CA to have a private lesson leaving the two of us able to go our own way. Before we go any further, yes, I was on the Australian Downhill Team. Until the discovery of an administrative error. It had been more than 20 years since either of us had strapped on downhill skis and we approached the exercise with some trepidation. As the day wore on, TW quickly became more confident and was soon looking as though she had been doing it every winter for the past 20 years as she effortlessly shooshed (yes it’s a real word) down the slopes. I less so and after taking a few falls I was starting to feel sore and sorry. However, the fact that we were in the French Alps had a sobering effect on me and I soon forgot to be cranky and continued to enjoy just being there. And falling down. I’d like to blame the man-made snow, but we all know that’s crap. Never the less, it was a great day out and CA now has a taste for it.
We left Megeve feeling as though we’d had a decent Alpine experience, but a little jaded by the lack of real snow. From there, it was a windy taxi ride down to Sallanches where we took a train to Annecy where we’d spend our next night.