The joys of skiing!



Oh, how I am loving living up here in the alps. Mainly because it has given us such a wonderful opportunity to learn how and to practice skiing! Every time John and I go out it seems we improve and sharpen our skills. And the view is always breathtaking! Seriously there is not a better feeling in the world than standing on top of a mountain and gazing down at the valley below or at the mountain ranges in the distance. Memories/images I will never forget are: skiing on sunny days with clear blue skies, the fresh mountain air in your lungs as you race down a hill, the chairlifts that almost don't stop to pick you up, gaining my confidence and realizing that it wasn't as scary as I thought, having John as a patient and encouraging instructor when at times I felt too afraid to go down and would have given up. :)

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Sunsets in the Mountains



Each evening when the sun sets I find myself grabbing my camera as the sky is just too beautiful not to capture on film. The best thing is that I can open my door and walk out on to the balcony to watch the sun disappear behind the mountains. Here are a few images taken a couple of nights ago.

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Video from today

video

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Roche de Mio, Glacier & Ice Caves

Today I had an amazing and fun afternoon. John had a four hour break today & since I got my ski pass yesterday we decided to go up the mountain to the Roche de Mio to see the Glacier.. Basically in this town you can't get lifts up the mountain unless you have a ski pass so we haven't been able to go thus far. Ski passes are about 750 euros ($1,080 US) which is not an expensive price for an entire season but when your weekly paycheck is paid in pounds and is very very small it's too much to afford.. One of the girls J works with was able to get one for me for 1/2 price so I finally have my own now!

Anyway we took a lift up from the centre of Belle Plagne to Roche de Mio. The bubble took about 15 minutes to travel up and once we got to the landing platform we got off to look around. The view was incredible. It was such a sunny beautiful afternoon that even though it was -12 up at the top John and I had to take our snow jackets off because the sun was too warm. Skiers and snowboarders come up to Roche de Mio to ski down to Belle Plagne and for the most part it has blue-red runs, so I can do it once I have a bit more practice. There is also a black run that we went to take a look down. It was intense!! Black runs are the most difficult runs of all and are really only for experienced skiers. The side down was incredibly steep and there were moguls (basically lumps of packed up snow) all over the run so skiers had to get very low down on their skis in order not to catch a mogul and flip over. From Roche de Mio we took another bubble lift even higher to see the glacier. This ride took 20 minutes to reach the top and at one point we were going straight up the face of a mountain and then dropping down over the side!
































































Up at the glacier we took a walk and saw that there were ice caves up at the top. Of course we had to go in and so paid a 4 euro admission each to get in. I have been in caves before but never an ice cave and it was so awesome! You had to crouch down to walk through the entrance but once inside the walls and ceiling opened up so you could stand. It was incredible because the whole thing was made from ice and at one point a sign said the ice extended for 30 meters above our heads. Sculptures had been crafted into the sides and middle of the cave and it was beautiful to look around at what someone had spent a lot of time sculpting. After the caves we walked back to a restaurant that was perched on the side of the mountain and relaxed and enjoyed the view over a beer and glass of wine. Today was such a fun day and was so important for John and I as it's been pretty stressful these last couple of weeks. Looking out over the tops of the Alps mountain ranges and all your troubles seem to be irrelevant. This is such an unbelievably beautiful place!!














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NYE 2009



















































Wow, it's been almost over a week since I last posted! This week has gone by in such a blur. John's working a lot, I'm learning to ski so we've both been keeping busy. Last night was New Year's Eve and I had an insanely good time! My friends from the hotel, Marta and Jordan, came over around 6ish and we went together to buy dinner and booze.. Had a great dinner together and came up with our 2010 New Year's Resolutions. I haven't made resolutions since I was living at home but Jordan was quite insistive so Marta and I both joined in and came up with our own lists. I'm quite proud of mine. There were a few things I needed to work on in myself anyway so maybe this will be the push I need to do it! After dinner we went to down to meet some friends at another apartment and then took the bubble lift down the mountain together to Belle Cotte where Party on the Piste was being held.. Supposedly there was expected to be around 7,000 people there! We were pretty early, three hours early to be exact, and after about 30 minutes Jordan and I started to freeze.. Maybe it was because we weren't wearing warm enough clothes, but come on it was New Year's Eve! We wanted to look cute :)

John was coming after work, and at first I was afraid he wasn't going to make it in time but he actually got there at 10.30pm so I was stoked! I had a fantastic time! We met up with lots of John's co-workers, danced to live music and took occasional trips to the nearest bar to warm up. I think we partied out there on the ice until about 1.30am and then had to queue up for the bubble lift home. And there were about 100 people lined up!! Jordan got us to the front pretty quickly.. for the little thing that she is..


all of us in the bubble lift

dancing to the YMCA

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Here's to us!


Our 2nd anniversary is next week so i thought I'd make a collage highlighting all our "couple" moments captured on film.
Here's to many many more!! xx
(hint: click on the image to make it bigger)
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The people have arrived!

Okay so I'm totally feeling different about living here.. in a good way.. Since we've been in Belle Plagne it's been sort of a ghost town because when we arrived the season hadn't started.. But this week gradually more and more people have been turning up and then today, people have arrived by the busload! I guess because it's Saturday the official pilgrimage up here has begun until Christmas. I took a walk down to the grocery to buy some things this evening, and it was so nice listening to the different languages being spoken around me in the store. kinda of makes you feel like the outsider, but in a good way because even through the language barrier we are all interacting. maybe not completely fluently but it's enough to know I can get by with the limited French I've learned. It's also nice to get caught up in the "I'm on a holiday" enthusiasm that everyone in the town centre seems to have. Generally families are here only for the week so their apparent joy of being on vacation is quite contagious. Makes you want to smile and chill out too. Not that my life is stressful up here, but anyway :)
In one of my most recent posts I said that I wasn't feeling the Christmasey Spirit?!
Well the town is trying it's best so I'm happy with that :) xx










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