Monday, March 26, 2007

Playing in the snow

The holiday is over and the snow is gone. The rain is back and the job is waiting. Ah well, I really do like my job, but it was so nice to clear my mind while descending from a shiny white slope starting at the top of a mountain.

Anyhow, last weekend I returned from a week of skiing in La Toussuire, part of the French Alpes' Les Sybelles area. Me, my girlfriend and a group of eight other friends and acquaintances stayed in a nice chalet directly at the slopes and ski-lifts. Apparently, La Toussuire is a very quiet and boring little village, but we brought enough supplies (and booze) to make sure that we were going to have a great time.

It was very warm over there and unfortunately, no new snow fell during our stay. Still, there was enough for me to ski for about 4-5 hours per day (including my daily 2,5 hour lessons). You had to get up early because the snow in the valley did melt quite a lot during the after-noon. At one point, we measured a temperature of 25 degrees Celcius in the sun. Yet, even though the weather conditions were barely good enough for skiing, they were great for enjoying a nice cold beer. I can really recommend a local beverage called Monaco, a mixture of beer, 7-Up and grenadine juice.

Half of the group preferred snowboarding and of the people who ski, only me and our friend Chantal took lessons. We initially enlisted for level 1, but soon ended up in level 3, including lots of jumping, off-piste, and a real slalom race on Thursday. I'm definitely going to continue taking lessons next year, because the amount of progress in technique and confidence you make in such a short week is impressive.

We had a lot of fun during our stay there, but somehow, seven people (including my girlfriend) managed to get caught by a stomach flu. I managed to fight it off for almost the entire week, but during the trip back, it caught up with me after all. Luckily, it was only a mild version of it, but it did keep me at home for two more days.

Anyway, it was great fun, and I won't hesitate when we're invited again next year…