Thursday, February 15, 2007

Skiing in France

Julie and I went to France for a ski trip. This is the third we have done with Norman and Ginny from the Wine and Things store in Raleigh. We flew to Paris and then headed to Meribel in the Alps. Meribel is in an area called the Three Valleys. It includes three huge ski areas, one in each valley, that are interconnected by lifts. For a map, click here. The central valley alone has 16 gondolas. Not lifts. Gondolas. HUGE!! After a week of skiing, we went back to Paris for a few days of visiting. It was a great trip.

This is the group of 10 (as long as you include the photographer). One of the nicest things was that everyone skied at roughly the same level. That made it much easier to ski together throughout the day.

Even in the Courcheval valley, Park City is famous. Apparently someone had decided to name one of the ski runs "Park City". I love our home town, but it never looks quite like this.

Dick and Cosette are getting ready for another day of skiing. The scenery is so dramatic. We never could figure out why the tree line is so much lower here than in the US. Probably some soil thing since the weather is warmer.

Scattered around the mountain sides are rock cabins. They were used to hide Jewish refugees during WW II. Most seem to be in good condition although I don't think they get used any more.

We never found any details about what happened, but we are pretty certain that this plane should not have tried landing in the mountain side. The crowd of people seemed to be trying to figure out exactly what they were going to do with it.

This is the group on the front porch of our house in Meribel. The house was ski-in/ski-out and was large by European standards.

The house we were staying in came with a most wonderful couple as our caretakers and hosts. Regan was the chef and his fiance' Ome handled most everything else. They were from New Zealand and were working for an English company called Ski Cuisine.

We had dinner served at the house on every night but one. They were incredible!!

OK, the food was so good I included another night's fare.

Oh, we the meals included all the wine you can drink, and it was good. That is a scary offer to make to a couple that owns a wine store and their friends. They said we drank 18 bottles, the first night.

In Paris, we did some sightseeing and I did a bit of photography. One neat thing about Paris is that the Eiffel Tower shows up from almost anywhere.

My favorite building is the Notre Dame cathedral.

Oh, did I mention it was my favorite?

It was a dark cloudy evening, looking down the river.

This is the Arc de Traffic, or something like that.

Our only museum stop was the Musee de l'Orangerie. About half the museum is specifically designed for Monet's Water Lilly's, but there was a surprising amount of other works on display.

A most wonderful trip with a great set of people.
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