Le Village de Meribel Les Allues, Les Trois Vallees, France

19 Mar

I brought the snow with me. Yesterday, on my first day of three and a half weeks in the village of Meribel Les Allues, it started to snow in the afternoon and has continued off and on since with more forecast. We’d walked down to Brides Les Bains for lunch on paths covered with dried leaves but those same paths are now under 40 centimetres of snow.

I love the transformational power of snowflakes. Dirty lanes become textured white carpets and trees bedecked with snow take on a magical quality. We’re cosy in our rented top floor apartment above a classy restaurant that at 34 euro for the cheapest menu (and no vegetarian options listed) is more than we are prepared to spend. Tables are depressingly empty. Don’t they know there’s a recession on?

The building was a traditional Savoyarde house so our three rooms under the eaves are in the converted hayloft. The kitchen bench is constructed from wine boxes and the dining table from a sled. From my back window I watch people shovelling snow, throwing snow balls and slipping on their backsides.

I realised today that three and a half weeks is the longest I’ll have slept in the same bed continuously since August 16 2011. Apart from the lack of an electric kettle to make my regular cups of tea and no washing machine it won’t be a hardship staying here. Stuart has been cured of his obsession with downhill skiing (not so me with Flamenco…) so tomorrow we’ll snow shoe hike to a mountain refuge for lunch. The day after we’ve booked a cross country ski lesson and will venture off on our own when the instructor is finished with us. We’re now officially fair weather downhill skiiers and I have no qualms about tucking up in a blankie by the fire with a good book and a hot chocolate when the weather closes in.

Our friends, Michael and Maryse, are coming to stay at different times and hopefully Martyn will ski across from St Martin de Belleville on a fine day so there’ll be sufficient diversion by the M and M’s to stop us strangling each other. I don’t believe people were constructed to be exclusively in other’s pockets 24/7/365, well I know I’m not!

The photos start with the transformation the snow brought and continue through ‘our village’ at 1110 metres and ‘Little Britain’, Meribel Central at 1450 metres. Amuses-toi bien!

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The walk to Brides Les Bains

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Natural ice sculptures

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Signs of spring

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View from back window Sunday

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First snow

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This morning

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Tonight, snow conti

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Our apartment is at the top

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You can just make us out on this postcard

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View from our bedroom at the front

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Les Allues church

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A rare treat

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Lunch at home

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Meribel Central

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