52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.
Sunday 11 February 2007
deep beneath the cover of another perfect wonder....
Hello there. Well, we're safely back from the Alps and all our limbs appear to still be intact. They're a bit sore, but on the last count, they were all still there and were (just about) functioning as intended. I know that this is important at the best of times, but as we leave for Ecuador in about three weeks, it's something that I'm particularly grateful for this time around.
There's been a lot of talk this year about how bad the snow has been in Europe this year - poor in the sense that they just don't seem to have had any at all. When your main industry is skiing, that's quite a problem.
So what was the weather like?
Um.... in a word.... snowy.
But you know what? Snowy is alright by me.
The first day there was gloriously sunny and warm. The sun's pleasant enough, but as the temperature stays above freezing for most of the day, it's not ideal for snow. The conditions on the slope were initially pretty reasonable, but as the day wore on the snow got softer and softer, and the skiing wasn't much fun.
I wasn't too upset then when the conditions closed in overnight and it started to snow. From there, it didn't really stop snowing for the rest of the week. The obvious upside of this is that the conditions were fantastic, but the downside is that it's very cold and visibility is sometimes very poor.
Apparently you burn off about 300 calories an hour when you go skiing..... not the way I ski you don't. Yeah, the snow is fun, but a skiing holiday for me is as much about the regular stops for coffee, hot chocolate and vin chaud.
And the food. Lots and lots and lots of food. French food is brilliant, of course, but from La Rosiere (where we were based) it is also quite easy to ski across the border and into Italy. We did this twice during the week, and both times we stopped in lovely restaurants and ate like kings.
I did some skiing too though.
And quite a lot of sitting on chair lifts - many of which are clearly designed for much smaller men than me.
I would never claim to be anything more than an intermediate skiier, but I am slowly getting better and (as long as the snow conditions are good) I can now fairly comfortably manage the odd black run.
C is generally much quicker down the slope than me, but -- much to her annoyance -- the instructor we hired for a couple of hours one afternoon was rather taken with the quality of my turns (this isn't quite as good as last year, when our instructor told her that she skiied "like a toad" but thought that I was a "natural technician"). I don't know if it's true, but I'll take the compliments where I can get them...
So yes. All in all it was a very pleasant week indeed. Great to be back and all that.