Thursday, 12 February 2015

A missed path, but worth the blister…

Yesterday we went for a walk in the La Forêt de Preuilly. We’ve walked there many times and as it was such a beautiful afternoon we decided a walk would settle our nerves. Actually, we were nervous on Rhiannon’s behalf. Earlier in the day she was interviewed for a new job and we were all waiting to hear.

Our starting point…


** clicking on the photographs will enlarge them**

Now Rhiannon has the kind of record which, if not retired, I could only aspire to. Every job she has been interviewed for she has been appointed to.

The call came when we were about 80% of the way around our route. My shriek would surely have woken any hibernating animals! She’d got the job and was excitedly telling us all about the interview as we walked along. After about ten minutes the battery failed, so we finished the call with the intention of getting back to the car and continuing our conversation from Le Pre Vert.


After walking for a few more minutes we both decided we were going in the wrong direction, and decided to cut along one of the tracks to get us back on track. Surely enough we found the marked way and followed the arrows.

It seemed like a long way, but we thought that we’d probably walked further off the correct path than we’d realised, so we trekked on.





Just when we thought we were at the etang car park at Ribloche we noticed the words ‘Etang Neuf’.


Somehow we were now at the furthest point of the OTHER marked path, with quite a hefty trek back!! Our short walk had taken just over three hours including a couple of short breaks for a sip of coffee. As we drove back to Le Pre Vert the sun was just setting…


The successful candidate. Congratulations and well done, Rhiannon. Brilliant news xx


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

You don’t often see…

Icicle bashing. Although if you live in the Alps it could be an frequent event, in winter.


Look closely…



Clearing roof

When did you last see someone sweeping their roof?

Tuesday, 10 February 2015


En route to our ski holiday in Switzerland, we decided to break the journey by staying in Besançon, in the Jura, for a couple nights. When we were working it was usually a mad dash to reach the Alps. The weather wasn’t good, mostly grey with rain, sleet and snow.


View looking down over the rooftops of the old and new parts of the city.


Our ‘space-age’ hotel


The river by day, and by night…


Tea time…




The Citadelle (click on the link for a video) is perched on top of the city. This is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site’ It was designed by Vauban and is considered to be one of the finest in France. The fortifications cover 11 hectares and lie more than 100 metres above the old town sitting in a loop of the River Doubs. The site is encircled by ramparts topped by walkways, watchtowers and bartizans (wall mounted or overhanging turret). The walls are up to 20 metres high and 5 to 6 metres thick. The Citadelle provides spectacular views over the old town of Besançon and the surrounding hills.


Vauban, with the ‘tools of his trade’ around him.

The zoo looked very, very sad, although in fairness it wasn’t the best time of the year to enjoy exotic species. However, the Citadelle was the home of a Museum of Resistance and Deportation, which was an excellent archive and serves as a tribute to the millions who died and those who tried to bring about the end of the occupation. The displays were harrowing to look at, but even in my worst nightmares I cannot imagine what they were like to live through. No photographs, it just wasn’t seemly to take any, other than that of the memorial.


We’ve travelled through many, many times en route to the Alps, but this was the first time we’d found time to look around the town since 1988. At this time Rhiannon was in a pushchair, and we were heading for Annecy with our caravan. I’d like to visit again.

Friday, 6 February 2015

A walk in the snow....

Today Anne and I decided not to ski and let Tim and Stephen whizz down the slopes without any encumberance. They skied to Le Diablerets where there is a glacier, which only seems to be open for summer skiing.

We took a long walk along what in the summer would be the road to the Col de Croix, but in winter the road is closed and it becomes a walking and ski de fond track. The walk and the views were breathtaking - in both senses of the word as it is a fairly hefty uphill from the village. At out furthest point we stopped at a mountain hut for lunch.

Anne and I, taken by a very kind Swiss gent we met along the track.

The mountain hut restaurant.

I think this mountain is called Le Meuveran.

Some of Tim's photographs from the top of the mountain to follow tomorrow...

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

A brilliant day on the slopes...

I feel alive in the mountains, and if money were no object and I didn't have family ties this is where I would be spending my retirement!

Just a taster of the sunshine. Tim is still skiing with the camera, so this will have to do for now. These are just about the best snow conditions we have ever encountered in almost 35 years of skiing, with perhaps the exception of Zermatt.

Also in the past we've always had to ski during school holiday periods, so the slopes are almost empty and queues virtually nonexistent. We also enjoyed a wonderful, typically Swiss lunch on the slopes.

Watch this space ...

Monday, 2 February 2015

Snow on snow...

It has snowed almost non stop since we arrived in Switzerland on Saturday morning. This is the scene out of our chalet window this morning.

A few minutes later...

Sunshine on Lac Leman with the Memises mountains in the background. Where you can se the bank of cloud is the small Chablais village of Thollon-les-Memises where we used to have our apartment.

I haven't haven't ventured out on my skis yet, but Tim and Stephen braved yesterday's blizzards. They look very happy to have escaped their wives!

Tomorrow some sunshine and blue skies are forecast :o) Watch this space...

Blog post created on my iPad. The photograph sizes will be adjusted when I log on with my computer.