Christmas in Europe - Christmas & Skiing!
Finally, the Alps! We celebrated Christmas with a delicious dinner prepared by Melissa's mom. All told, we spent nine days in Courchevel skiing. Well, intending to ski at least. Pretty much everybody was sick at some point or other. We'd come back from skiing to various folks passed out in the chalet. I took Thomas skiing a few times, and we put him in lessons as well. He ended up having fever for a few days, so missed out on most his lessons :( Despite the fatigue and various interbreeding viruses, the skiing was fantastic. Remember that rain we had driving on the way up from Geneva? That meant lots of fresh powder just for us! The scenery was beautiful! The chalet was quite nice too. Poor Martin was cooped up in there most of the time though :( At the end of the world! Nat, Jeremy, Mel, Pam and I decided to ski all the way to the edge of the 3-valleys one day. Near the bottom left of the map is a place called "Courchevel 1300 Le Praz." That's where we were staying. If you wake up early, and ski really fast, you can make it all the way to the far right hand side of the map and back in one day. We made it up to the top of the lift called "Bouchet" lift, which is 3230m above sea level! The picture above is going up the "Peyron" lift, and is looking onto the slope behind the "Cime Caron". Click through to the full sized image and you can see a bowl full of moguls near the top. That was a lot of fun to come down! The "Cime Caron" lift itself is quite impressive. It's this bus-sized lift that carries about 50 people at once up the hill. We didn't quite make it back to the chalet before all the lifts closed though :( We got as far as Meribel, and then had to take a few buses to get back to Le Praz. We didn't suffer from a lack of eating here either. One night we went out with Natalia and Jeremy and ordered a dish called Raclette. You get served a giant half wheel of cheese under a heating element, along with some meats, pickles, bread and boiled potatoes. The cheese melts and gets all bubbly and crispy, which you then scrape off and eat with all the other goodies! All in all, Courcheval was amazing, and I'd go back in a second!