Saturday, March 5, 2016

Curing the winter blues in France.

As I might have mentioned before, Denmark does not have any real mountains.  Its highest point "Sky Mountain" tops out at 147 meters, and there are certainly no ski resorts.  But that doesn't mean the Danes don't know how to ski or snowboard.  I may have lived next to the Rocky Mountains for almost 6 years, but most of the Danes I met on our ski trip to Val Thorens, France have been skiing or snowboarding longer than I have.  So much for Colorado street (or slope?) cred.

Two of David's co-workers invited us along on a ski trip during the first week of February.  A big busload of Danes made the 24 hour drive down to the Alps in France for a week away from the Danish winter.  I was a little skeptical about this bus ride, but I ended up sleeping better than I expected and it didn't smell too bad at the end of the 24 hour trip.  And it was certainly worth it for the rather cheap ski trip which was made cheaper by sleeping 6 people per apartment...for a week.  Luxurious, it was not.  But who spends time in their room when they're in the French Alps?

I've missed this kind of view.

We were based in Val Thorens which is part of Les Trois Vallees and was certainly the biggest ski area I've ever been to.  The village was intentionally built as a ski resort so it wasn't quite as charming as the village we stayed at in Austria last year, but what it lacked in charm it definitely made up for in snow conditions.

Getting ready for a sweet jump.

Despite being in France, we actually spent most of our time with Danes (David's co-workers and their friends) who drove down on the bus with us.  In keeping with the cheap theme, we shared dinner-making and beer-buying duties with some of the others which was great.  Well, great until the cases of beer got locked outside on the balcony, and the door wouldn't open, and 9 engineers spent way too much time trying to solve this problem.  (In the end, it was maintenance to the rescue.  A day later.)

After the darkness of January, the sunshine, fresh air, and mountain beauty of Val Thorens certainly made winter a little brighter.  Maybe that's why so many Danes go on ski holidays.  You can't be depressed about winter when you spend a week like this.

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