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  • Laura 25.3.14

    Hopping the seasons in Annecy

     

    Watch for more from the Three Valleys over the coming weeks –

     

    Venturing down the mountain on our day off this Wednesday we skipped forward to

    high summer, enjoying 22-degree sunshine in Annecy.

    Annecy_4

    Sitting on the edge of famously beautiful Lake Annecy, the spectacular

    views of the town were out in force for our visit, with the turquoise lake

    framed by the snow-capped mountains we have grown used to over

    the last few months.

    Annecy_1

    The third largest lake in France, Lake Annecy offers a vast array of water sports

    and a chance to relax. It gets busy during peak season, but with the crowds yet to

    arrive for the summer months we had the pick of the best sunspots in town. Taking a

    stroll through the pretty old streets and indulging in a pastry or two, it felt like we’d

    reached a little holiday oasis in a desert of cake baking, cooking and chalet cleaning!

    Annecy_2

    Back at the lake, we decided to use our expert bartering skills to hire a motorboat.

    Feeling the wind in our hair and enjoying a picnic whilst bobbing peacefully in the

    middle of the near-empty blue lagoon, it was a strange sensation getting used to

    not having our jumpers on! Fancying himself quite the Captain, Andy took the

    wheel – though Dani was less impressed when a sudden u-turn sent her flying a

    little too close to the boat’s edge.

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    An afternoon stroll brought more stunning views, and as Annecy residents started to

    filter out into the hazy sunshine it felt more resort-like than ever. There were even

    some dedicated sunbathers – brave enough to bare nearly all – on the

    beach to giggle at.

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    After a day soaking up the very highest of French culture and cuisine, the visit could

    only be capped off in one way – a stop at Buffalo Grill to pack in some tasty ribs

    for dinner! It hit the spot though, and we returned to the mountains and winter again,

    ready to take on the next week.

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    Continue reading →
  • Ice One Meribel!

     

    Watch for more from the Three Valleys over the coming weeks –

    It was victory for Meribel this week, as our local ice hockey team skated their way to a win against their Val d’Iser counterparts.

    Taking place every Tuesday evening in the Olympic Centre, the ice hockey is a great evening out for families – or anyone who enjoys cheering along their team whilst taking part in the odd Mexican wave!

     

    Ice Hockey_1

     

    With the Winter Olympics not long finished, it was exciting to be able to see some live hockey, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Fast-paced, skilful and at times more than a little aggressive the local teams gave the international players a skate for their money. Meribel were on fine form, scoring goal after goal to keep us entertained.

     

    Ice Hockey_2

     

    One thing that surprised me in particular was that both teams were mixed, with girls and boys playing alongside one another. Indeed, both goalies were ladies – not that it’s easy to tell with all their armour on!

     

    Ice Hockey_3

     

    The crowd included as many visitors to the resort as locals, and at just five euro a ticket the ice hockey is well worth a visit. There’s also a very reasonably priced bar for those looking to warm up with a hot chocolate in the chilly arena!

     

    Ice Hockey_4

    Continue reading →
  • Laura 3.3.14

    Husky Hellos

     

    Watch for more from the Three Valleys over the coming weeks –

    On our way up the mountain this week we heard a real racket coming from under

    the chairlift – the unmistakable sound of howling huskies having fun on the

    mountain. Having missed my own dog for the last few months, the chance to say

    hello to a new canine friend was too much to resist!

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    There were several huskies out to welcome us, all very friendly and inquisitive.

    Their coats were extremely thick and you could tell how strong they are,

    perfectly built for the winter here.

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    A quick look online tells me the name husky originated from the word Eskimo,

    as they were bred by Inuit people to pull sleds. Here in Meribel, they’re upholding

    this tradition with lots of places offering husky sled rides, and even the chance

    to control your own sled on an organised trip.

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    What with sled-pulling and howling to get on with, it’s hard work being a

    husky, and in their down-time the pack we met were just like my dog at home.

    Lounging on the snow and rolling over for a belly-rub, they looked as soppy

    as your average pet!

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    Continue reading →
  • Laura 26.2.14

     Winter Walking

     

    Watch for more from the Three Valleys over the coming weeks –

     

    The Three Valleys have some of the most extensive pistes in the world, and it’s

    not just skiing and boarding enthusiasts who have the opportunity to enjoy them.

    There are vast arrays of winter walking trails in the area, which along with the

    pedestrian lift pass give non-skiers the chance to take in the views and mountain

    air too.

    Walking Trail_1

    In Meribel, the Altiport area is a great place for walkers to start. There are plenty

    of signs around showing you the way to maintained trails – along with signs

    suggesting skiers and boarders are best to stick to their own routes, making it nice

    and peaceful for a stroll!

    Woven into the trees the trails have a real fairytale feel, and you can wend you way

    around for hours without encountering anyone except perhaps the odd squirrel

    or mountain hare.

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    If it’s height and majestic views you’re after, then the pedestrian lift pass gives

    access to lots of cable cars and chair lifts to take you to where the scenery is at.

    Available from 1 day to 7, you can pick the best of the weather and visit some of the

    cosy restaurants high up in the mountains before taking a stroll.

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    Those planning a walk can take a look at the free Winter Walking Trails map available

    from the Tourist Office in town or to download here. Merinet website’s walking page

    also has lots of useful information to get you started.

     

     

    Continue reading →
  • Laura 25.2.14

     Kidding Around – Part II

     

    Watch for more from the Three Valleys over the coming weeks –

     

    In addition to the animals of ‘Moon Wild’, the Altiport area is home to another set

    of inhabitants. The arctic dwellers of the ‘Piste des Inuits’ seem to be rather shyer

    than the Moon Wild crew however, giving little skiers a host of challenges to

    overcome before finding their camp!

    Visible from high up on the Altiport chair, the Inuit camp looks very intriguing.

    Inuits_1 (1)

    Hidden in the trees though, arctic explorers need to start from the

    beginning in order to discover the fun.

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    Obstacles include icy archways to ski through, and pillars of rock to avoid.

    Inuits_3

    Little skiers will enjoy testing their ski skills as they make their way down. Round

    the next corner, you meet the ultimate slalom course, as emperor penguins

    stand tall amongst another set of boulders.

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    Weave your way in and out and the penguins soon seem less scary – they

    might even let you give them a hug!

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    Just when you think you’ve made it, there’s one final Inuit defence in the form

    of a great blue whale, looming out of the snow ready to swallow you up!

    Mr Whale’s big wide mouth is his downfall though, and explorers can pass

    safely through his smile to the other side…and straight into the Inuit camp!

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    The reward, snuggle up in a cosy igloo and feel like a real Inuit hiding out

    from the arctic weather.

    Inuits_7

    Continue reading →

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