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Report 918: Skiing Val d'Isere and Tignes

By SeaJay from Virginia, Winter 2005

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Page 4 of 13: Saturday, January 22 - Lousy Skiing and Apartment Arrival

We pack in the morning, deposit our luggage in the hotel luggage holding room, and carry our skis to the pass office. We are advised at the ticket window that conditions suck. CJ’s passion for skiing doesn’t allow him to be dissuaded by the advisory. It will cost us a lot of money since in retrospect we won’t be able to ski tomorrow and for all intents and purposes Monday will be as frustrating and useless a ski day as today. We basically waste three days of lift tickets.

Our first run lift takes us to the top of the Solaise. Suffering flat light and little visibility from the snow the skiing is tiring so we stop for coffee and hot chocolate. We anticipate a call from Claude that doesn’t come.

We take the téléphérique (tram) to the top of Rocher de Bellevarde and eventually make our way in terribly white-out conditions and flat light to La Daille. Just two long runs but we’ve been struggling and fighting these conditions as if we were beginners. It’s very exhausting when you’re fighting the mountain.

We make our way to the free shuttle bus back to Val d’ Isère 1850. La Daille 1785 is the lowest village in the Val d’ Isère complex. This bus, one of three complimentary shuttle lines, climbs the mountain through the lower village up to the village center then through a tunnel to a location near many of the lifts. There is another bus that takes folks from the village up the mountain all the way to Le Fornet.

We try Crêpe Val’s for lunch. Carol has a weird crepe (with a salad on top) and CJ gets decadent and has cheese fondue for lunch. We walk up to our new lodging to drop off our skis. Claude and Marine have checked in and their stuff is in the room but they are gone. We correctly surmise they are shopping for food.

CJ returns to the hotel in his ski boots, changes to his snowboarding boots and lugs two of our rollers up the hill to the room. Carol retrieves her snowshoes and we both return to the hotel to retrieve the remaining roller, both backpacks, and CJ’s ski boots.

It is a very large apartment with two bedrooms, bathroom with the usual tub and wand, separate toilet room, and kitchen/living room combination. We have TV. It seems very nice to us but Claude and Marine are most unhappy with it. They ridicule the cheap furniture and are very upset that there are no staples left in the kitchen. We must buy everything we need.

Claude and Marine arrive shortly and minutes later the supermarket delivers the groceries. This is one of the great service features of Val d’ Isère. Now is the time to enjoy wine and conversation. We exchange Christmas gifts. First come the gag gifts. We have two blow-up dolphin floats for their new pool. CJ has Beliken beer bar coasters from Belize (the ones with the swimsuit girls on the reverse side). We always give Claude beer coasters from our travels to decorate his bar. Since Claude works for Thales, CJ also has a Thales badge lanyard and Thales key chain he picked up at the Surface Navy symposium a few weeks back. Carol has jewelry for Marine and CJ has the 2004 Microsoft Flight Simulator program for Claude. We both get t-shirts with “Petit Bretonne“ (small Breton) on the back. CJ certainly won’t look like a small “anything” in the shirt until he loses about 30 pounds. Carol gets a beautiful pashmina scarf. CJ gets chocolates from his favorite and the famous Brest store “Histoire de Chocolat.” They have a large chocolate fountain as you enter the store. For years, CJ has dreamt of 30 seconds with his head under the fountain’s delicious streaming chocolate.

We are still tired from our trip as are Claude and Marine. Their home in Brittany is as far west as you can get in France and we are now about as far east as you can get with the exception of a small part of Alsace. We decide to dine in and are in bed by 9 pm.

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