Serre Chevalier

tags:

We enjoyed our ski trip to Serre Chevalier a couple of years ago so much that we decided to go back and stay at Pinewood again - and take a few friends with us. 

handprints in the snow
touristing in Briancon

This was my first time skiing in a group (not counting skiing with new friends made in chalets, of course) and it was great fun.  Between six of us, we had abilities ranging from 'complete beginner' to 'could probably ski backwards with eyes closed' to 'not actually skiing on account of growing a baby'.  It was nice to all meet up for lunch though - and to stuff ourselves with cheese fondue and steak at Petit Pont on chalet night off.

continue reading »

Turbulent Tewkesbury

tags:

Winter dog walks this year have tended to get quite repetitive, and not involved venturing too far from home.  February seems like a good time to change that, so we picked a walk from the AA '50 Walks in Gloucestershire' book - Turbulent Tewkesbury.  This is one of the few walks in the book that doesn't have a map, so I had a quick look online and found that someone had already roughly plotted the route on OS maps.  Very convenient.

We started in the Vineyards, and (mostly) followed the signposted Battle Trail, with an addition to walk through Margaret's Camp. I know basically nothing about battles of the civil war, despite a couple of visits to Tewkesbury Medieval Festival.  At least I recognised some of the fields, and there are plenty of information boards to read along the way.

Tewkesbury Abbey

After a bit of pavement walking, we crossed over onto the Severn Ham and wandered along the river, crossing back at Healing's Mill.  From here, it was just a case of wandering down the high street and back to the car park - with a sneaky pub stop that coincided with a brief rain shower!

Les Deux Alpes

tags:

My ski holidays have, until now, all been booked fairly last minute.  But this time our Christmas trip got booked really early - in August!  We intended to have a quick browse of flight prices just in case of bargains, then sort the rest later - but instead found a very good package deal for a week of B&B at Hotel Serre Palas in Les Deux Alpes.

Jon is determined to properly learn to ski this winter, so our first morning was spent doing many slow laps of the nursery drag lifts.  He'd booked himself some afternoon lessons, giving me time to zoom around on my own at a more sensible pace.

I spotted the large queue outside the Jandri Express 2 gondola, and smugly thought to myself "sod that, I'll take the chair instead".  So off I went to the Glaciers lift, only to discover when I got off that it no longer goes as far as it did two years ago.  Great. Apparently the second part of it was moved to replace a different lift somewhere else.  The Super Venosc lift on the Vallée Blanche side also seems to have disappeared for this year.  hmm.

2 signpost
my blog post from last time has a very similar photo - but of a different 2 sign

While I'm having a whinge, L2A still feels like one giant wide motorway of piste - all roads lead to Jandri.  I thought this last time we visited, but was hoping that with the resort having more snow coverage, and me being a much better skier, it might be better.  Nope.

I will forgive it because the runs down Signal are just as lovely as I remembered, and the restaurants/cafés/bars in town are good. For Christmas dinner we had a delicious tartiflette - our original plan of a giant bucket of fried chicken from Full Belly didn't work out as they were closed, so that had to wait for another evening.

les deux alpes glacier
a sunny day on the glacier

The majority of the week was lovely and sunny, though I did get rather blown away at the top of the glacier, and on one afternoon everything quickly vanished into clouds and I had some 'I can hear voices over there so that must be where the piste goes' fun. We also - mostly accidentally - found the viewing platform on the glacier, on a less windy occasion.

Unfortunately both of us came down with flu - Jon during the second half of the week, and me the day we travelled home.  As well as limiting our skiing ability, this also meant not eating a huge amount, pretty much no boozing, and then NYE spend flopped on the sofa rather than at a friend's house party.  Rock and Roll..!