Sunday, 10 February 2013

Savage Myrtilles

It's been time for the annual trip to the ski slopes and in a major departure from the norm - a new resort! Or at least new to us! Unlike the  Three Valleys Serre Chevalier is at least built around a genuine old  town and on the France/ Italy border does have some charm of its own.

Firstly apologies for the picture quality. I left the camera at home so these were all taken on the little Cybershot  - it was also so bright that I had no idea what I was actually taking. It was very much a case of point the camera in the right direction and hope for the best!

This is a shot of Briançon, the highest city in the EU...  and a world heritage site for its fortifications and history.  I can't say we saw anything of the town though other than the ski lift!

It is a very pretty resort, lots of runs through the larch woods but it was bitterly cold. Too cold to be enjoyable at times thanks to a biting wind that even multiple layers of high tech fabric failed to keep out.

What a difference a day makes! That is the sun trying to break through in total whiteout conditions. The wind was whipping up the snow and throwing it every which way.

Add in low cloud and falling snow and it was hard to tell where "down" actually was. This was no fun at all and we decamped as quickly as possible to another part of the mountain.
And thus to the reason for my punning title. The run down the other side is known as "Myrtilles". Mrytille Sauvage is a well known type of French bilberry jam and it's a family joke to refer to it as "Savage Myrtille".  I was half expecting to be ambushed by irate bilberries seeking retribution for the countless millions that are turned into jam each year but instead of angry fruit  we found this  - a "nomadic" village. Situated just off the piste  it represents  a very French view of assorted nomadic peoples.

 This is the "mongol" hut. It had a fire going and we were tempted to seek refuge from the terrible weather but we were afraid we'd be trapped into having to listen to the history so we skied on through and down in search of the Station Bar and warming glasses.

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