Day five. Finally some skiing!

Chesieres Travel Blog

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Slope (and view, of course)

Not counting our departure day, or the day we slept through after driving all night, this is day three in the mountains and finally I'm going skiing today. Out of the four of us, I am the only one who can ski. So, this was going to be a solo act for the day. It is a special day today, for it is my wife's birthday. For those of you who read this blog from day one, you know I had a gift prepared. After breakfast, I gave her my present and it moved her to tears. It was the perfect gift, and she loved it. What I gave? I gave her nothing… Mind you, I have put it in a nice box, carefully gift-wrapped it with fringes and all, and I included a card. My wife has everything she wants already, and feels more 'stuff' clutters her home and her life. She is not materialistic and is she's trying to 'simplify' her life. 'Nothing' was exactly what she wanted.

the train that goes from Villars to Bretay

 

After the gifts were given, we decided I would go skiing and we would all have lunch on the mountain. You see, yesterday we discovered there was a train going up to Bretay, a little place amidst the slopes. With my 18 times zoom on the camera, I spotted a restaurant next to the little train station and suggested we would meet there. Eelco, being a good sport, was kind enough to drive me to the cable cart that would take me up the mountain. The cable cart is nearby, walking distance actually, but with those heavy boots on and ski's over your shoulder, ah well, let's just say I would get enough of a work out after I got off the cable cart. I bought myself a day pass with the same nice woman as Yesterday and I couldn't wait to get on the slopes.

I had great cell phone reception

 

Being high up in the mountains (the one I was on is a little over 2000 meters), it is advisable you are well prepared. Up there, there is thin, less polluted air, and you are closer to the sun. With proper gear on, some water and camera in my backpack and a sun block factor 20 on my face, down the slope I went. My first goal was the restaurant. After our horrible experience yesterday, we thought it was best to reserve a table, a task obviously given to me. Being on skies for the first time in 10 ½ months, it all felt a little weird and strange. My feet and legs weren't exactly doing what my brain was telling them to. I was on unfamiliar terrain and snow conditions were not perfect, a bit icy even. However, I will be the last person to blame my gear, the snow or my new surroundings.

arrival
I just lack technique to cope with ever changing slopes, situations and conditions. Nevertheless, twenty or so years of having ploughed through snow ensures I have sufficient technique to get me safely down a mountain.

 

The restaurant took its name from the road it was on, 'Col de Bretay'. Making a reservation wasn't possible anymore, the were fully booked. Fortunately, there's also a self service restaurant and the tables on the terrace belonged to it. I skied some more and after an hour or two, rested my weary ass on chair on the terrace. Turned out, I was sitting in the windiest spot of the place. This wouldn't have been a problem, if the temperatures weren't freezing. Anyhow, me being there early meant that I had time to switch tables.

Restaurant Col de Bretay
The terrace was crowded, but every time a better table came available, I jumped on it like a starving wolf on a reindeer calf. After an hour, the rest of the bunch joined me and we had a lovely lunch.

 

 

Seeing all those people in gear, who are walking peculiar on skiing boots, wearing masks, scarves, bandanas, helmets and goggles, Eelco decided winter sports weren't his thing. He very much likes the mountains and the wintertime but couldn't be bothered with putting on all that gear, the scuffling masses or the queues in front of the lifts. With a hardy meal in my tummy, I said farewell and headed down the slopes some more.

 

In the evening, Jacomien cooked us a wonderful, Swiss dinner.

mountain road
On her own birthday, I hear you ask. Well, yes! She's a cook and would be gutted if she couldn't prepare food. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, makes no difference to her as long as it is food. This night we had cheese fondue 'extraordinaire Deluxe'. It was lovely. The flavour was great and it is always fun to have something to do at the table. Of course, bets were on, on who would loose his bread or broccoli in the fondue first. A clear winner is hard to pick. I think we all owed each other a bottle of wine. To work off the extra few pounds we had just put on, we went for an evening walk. Nothing makes you sleepier than a hardy meal followed by a walk in the fresh mountain air. Not long after we got back to the chalet, we all went to bed.

tvillingmarit says:
I envie you the snow
Posted on: Jan 14, 2008
Sunflower300 says:
Beautifully written, Rudolph. The romance of the gift, the desperation of gaining a better table, and the comfort of a home cooked dinner with loved ones. Thank you for sharing.
Posted on: Jan 13, 2008
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Slope (and view, of course)
Slope (and view, of course)
the train that goes from Villars t…
the train that goes from Villars …
I had great cell phone reception
I had great cell phone reception
arrival
arrival
Restaurant Col de Bretay
Restaurant Col de Bretay
mountain road
mountain road
Lovely house with spectacular view…
Lovely house with spectacular vie…
View of the valley
View of the valley
Chair lift
Chair lift
Almost there guys, dont fall out …
Almost there guys, don't fall out…
A Swiss, keeping an eye on things
A Swiss, keeping an eye on things
Nice view upon arrival
Nice view upon arrival
another slope
another slope
Looks like a ski ramp, but in fact…
Looks like a ski ramp, but in fac…
Reflections on a helmet
Reflections on a helmet
fences to prevent avalanches.
fences to prevent avalanches.
Strange creatures live in the moun…
Strange creatures live in the mou…
Ah, so romantic. Please notice the…
Ah, so romantic. Please notice th…
Now where did I put mine?
Now where did I put mine?
Dog on terrace
Dog on terrace
He felt right at home in these tem…
He felt right at home in these te…
Oh, so cute :)
Oh, so cute :)
Les tits
'Les tits'
The scorching sun is melting the s…
The scorching sun is melting the …
Fox trails in the garden
Fox trails in the garden
When skiing, you can cross the tra…
When skiing, you can cross the tr…
Detail of balcony
Detail of balcony
Cheese fondue
Cheese fondue
Almost ready to eat now
Almost ready to eat now
Nice view
Nice view
Clear blue sky
Clear blue sky
Ive been up there
I've been up there
A shed
A shed
Nature doing an art thing
Nature doing an art thing
trail of a piste-bully
trail of a 'piste-bully'
tow lift
tow lift
Main street leading in to the vill…
Main street leading in to the vil…
Lights on trees
Lights on trees
A restaurant with winter deco
A restaurant with winter deco
One of two churches
One of two churches
Cozy chalet
Cozy chalet
Hey look, there goes Rudolph ;)
Hey look, there goes Rudolph ;)
The other church
The other church
Villars train station
Villars train station
Maintenance train
Maintenance train
A train coming from Bretay to Vill…
A train coming from Bretay to Vil…
Some lazy person hang these lights…
Some lazy person hang these light…
Chalet looks warm and cozy
Chalet looks warm and cozy
Shopping center is highly overst…
'Shopping center' is highly overs…
Street light deco
Street light deco
Wouldnt want that in front of my …
Wouldn't want that in front of my…
more street light deco
more street light deco
Also nicely decorated
Also nicely decorated
Village on the other side of the v…
Village on the other side of the …
Somehow, I think this is inappropr…
Somehow, I think this is inapprop…
The famous pharmacist (remember la…
The famous pharmacist (remember l…
post office / trainstation
post office / trainstation
Chesieres
photo by: Sweetski