Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

It was great to be back at Chalet Balaena where the snow was deep and crisp and even - a positive start to the ski season.

Chalet Balaena

Chalet Balaena with the mountain towering behind...

... and the chapel in the old village, just down the road from us.

While Wink took her new tenant, Will, to show him the slopes I warmed up with a few gentle skis at Outalay

before pausing for a vin chaud!

The next day was Christmas Eve so we went down to the market in Grand Bornand to buy vegetables,

ham and saucisson (I'm not sure about that one in the middle),

as well as gazing at the seasonal specialities of foie gras, snails and Grand Bornand smoked salmon.

As always the cheery M. Bozon jnr looked after us.

To Champion supermarket, where we appreciated their best wishes for the season.

We enjoyed the cornucopia of shellfish

and bid farewell to this fine lobster.

To complete our trip to Thones we visited the Christmas market

where we were warmed by the 'ritual burning of the pallet'

before enjoying a vin chaud, warmed above this unusual log fire. Using a hollowed green log, the fire consumes it slowly throughout the day.

Cheerily served - everyone is imbued with the Christmas spirit.

Back home, we decorated the Christmas tree and strewed presents around it.

Christmas Day and the forecast was promising after a cloudy start.

We set off for the slopes and, having arrived at the top,

fortified ourselves with a hot chocolate and rum!

We skied and snowboarded till lunchtime which we enjoyed up high with Will and Hazel.

Boxing Day was even brighter and we set off again to enjoy the snow, sun and blue skies

as well as great views

with Wink in front of Pointe Percée

and me!

We rounded off our morning with lunch at La Taverne with a bottle of Apremont, the essential mountain frites, endives au gratin

and the company of Yvonne and Juliette as well as Phil.

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