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Two things

This week my enthusiasm for creating new and exciting things for my students to do has been kind of waning. Really I just want to play games, feed them pineapple lumps and get them crazy on sugar highs. But, for the sake of teacher’s sanity and the kids learning I have restrained from causing raucous havoc, and instead made a darn cool work sheet.

It is so cool and I am so proud of my artistic abilities I am going to share it with you. It made me very happy.

Guess who?

I think most of the finer details of the characters which I had painstakingly hand drawn were slightly lost on the children. I noticed afterward that Nancy seemed to be the only one truly happy and thought this was clearly due to her gravity-defying air-hostess hair style. Tim and Sharon are crying precious jewels which must be a gift in financially challenged times so I am not sure why they are so unhappy. Tim may be mourning the loss of his hair… Sam is unsure of his hair style which clearly his mother did for him and sorry, Georgina, but you are just one angry lady.

I think it is clear that I either have too much time on my hands or need to be committed that I am creating individual personalities within my teaching materials.

In other news, tomorrow I am taking my suitcases to Yssingeaux. Sophie and her family are very kindly looking after them for five weeks while I go exploring. I have no idea how I managed to accumulate so much stuff… I have gone from this:

luggage coming into France...

to this:

luggage leaving France...

plus a back pack and a satchel…

Help.

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I had a taste of nomadic-on-a-shoe-string-backpack traveling last weekend.

And I liked it! All I needed was a floral hippie head scarf and I would have been set.

I will explain… Elle, Pippa and I set off from Annemasse early Saturday morning for our big bob sleigh adventure. So early in fact, that we nearly missed the train. It was 8.30a.m. Our bob sleigh was due to take place near a ski resort in Savoie called La Plagne at 18.45-and finish approximately 1 minute later.

It was a complicated journey. Our 35 hour weekend getaway felt more like a traverse of the entire European continent. From Annemasse we took a train to Annecy, then a train to Chambéry, where we missed our next train by 4 minutes and were stuck for nearly a hour and a half. Fortunately there was a wonderful Saturday morning market. We bought apples and strawberries, eating them straight from the punnet as we strolled past stalls of fresh flowers, cheese, saucisson, honey and bread.

Chambéry to Albertville. After staring directly at the Albertville spot on the map of France in my french room at Uni for a year and a half, Albertville feels strangely dear to my heart, like I have visited it many times before. I was glad to arrive here and to see that it appeared a very pleasant town. But the journey was not over yet.

We walked through Albertville in near scorching heat to find our sweet little bed and breakfast. After a brief chat with the lovely woman who ran the “gîte” we were off again, back to the train station. A la gare, we discovered that the train we had intended to take was reserved for passengers only from Brussels… A strange rule indeed but, this break in trains did allow us to have a long leisurely lunch. Creamy salmon and spinach lasagna pour moi and while I sat aching over the richness of the lasagna, delicious chocolate ice cream was being consumed next to me which I had to try…

Back on the train, a little siesta, ready for our next mode of transport. Slightly less luxurious than the TGV, we took a bus up through the winding mountain road towards La Plagne Centre. This is a custom built ski resort town and in the late afternoon spring sun, skiers wandering around with bare arms, it was lovely.

At 6.00pm we took a taxi a little way back down the mountain to the bob sleigh place. The excitement was truly beginning to take hold as we saw the track and realised what we were about to do. Thirty minutes later we had signed the release forms, donned our helmets and were strapped into a slick blue bob sleigh. Photos were taken, au revoir was said to the children standing on the side watching us and the rope was released. We built up speed at a cracking pace, soon reaching a maximum of 120km/h. For the first few seconds I could hold my head up high enough to see around the driver and anticipate our movements. I was giddy and in the in between stages of laughing and crying. But soon, I could make no noise whatsoever and my mouth was just filling with air. Nor, could I lift my head up: the intense forces took hold of my neck, pinning it to my chest. At the bottom we stepped out with slightly wobbly legs and goofy expressions on our faces, looking at each other but the words weren’t coming.

We took some more photos deciding photographic evidence would come in handy later as we were still unsure how to describe what we had just done. Once we had recovered, received our certificates and eaten about 5 chocolate biscuits to re-stock our blood sugar levels, we began our next challenge: getting back to Albertville.

We followed the track along the side of the bob sleigh to the bottom of the hill where there was a bus stop. The next bus wasn’t for another hour and a half so we contemplated calling the taxi company again or hitch hiking. Dad, you will be pleased to know we decided against the latter. The taxi’s were all booked so wait we did, munching on a very nutritious and sustaining meal of more chocolate biscuits and jus de fruits. 8.45pm, darkness was truly upon us and the bus was due to arrive any minute now. It came and it went. It didn’t stop. Momentarily stunned, all we could really do was giggle. What were we going to do now? Stuck in the mountains on the side of a road, freezing and now with no means down to the train station to catch the last train back to Albertville in an hour… Hitchhiking suddenly seemed a good option again but as we couldn’t see who was in the cars in the dark and the cars were becoming less and less frequent this wasn’t going to work.

Just below the road was a car park, the bottom of a ski slope and a bar. There appeared to be people in the bar, so leaving Elle and Pippa on the side of the road to practice their car-hailing abilities, I went to the bar to see what help I could find. As I walked through the car park, quickly trying to think in french of how to explain our current situation, comedic road trip movie scenes were playing through my head. I stepped into the bar and discovered that I had stumbled upon the bob sleigh workers end of season soirée. They all seemed to remember me, I am hoping because we were a group of girls doing a bob sleigh and not because, at times, I appear to have written on my forehead “I am not French!” The men had drunk sufficient amounts of alcohol that they were both overly helpful and extremely unhelpful, in the way only slightly drunk people can be. A fair amount of pigeon English was thrown about, lifts from drunk men were offered and then taken back when they thought their wives wouldn’t approve, and meanwhile, the bar woman just stood in confusion, wondering what was happening in her bar.

Elle and Pippa gave up trying to hail, and suddenly we were three lost English speakers in a bar, in the mountains, in France. A taxi was called and the bob sleighers found new interest in their drinks. We jumped in the taxi and quickly explained to the driver that we had a train to get. She didn’t need to be told twice; we were even early for the train. When the train arrived we were delighted to discover that it was an overnight train to Paris so, like children, we silently ran through the sleeping carriages, darting into spare rooms and taking photos.

We arrived back in Albertville near 11pm. It had been a long day but one I am not likely to forget. I will tell the tales of my nomadic back packing days to my children. And like the stories of my father’s travels where the snake’s head gets bigger or the mountain ridge gets narrower every time it is told, perhaps the bob sleigh will be faster and the men in the bar falling over drunk.

I like to think I have become somewhat of a macaron connoisseur during my time in France. I most certainly judge the quality of an establishment based on their macarons. Does the person behind the counter use white cloth gloves or tongs or only their bare hands to serve them? Brown paper bag, cellophane bag with a ribbon or a box? Are they too crunchy, too soft, too much filling or of indistinguishable flavours?

(I work less than 12 hours a week: I have a lot of time on my hands to ponder such matters.)

I like the perfect symmetry of a macaron and the smooth, unblemished surfaces. But mostly, I like feeling like Marie Antoinette.

I also love that macarons hold the same cheering-up qualities as a square of good dark chocolate. I think that’s quite impressive for a biscuit, albeit, a biscuit steeped in history and cultural icons. After I spent €250 on a pair of beautiful Italian leather boots and left the shop in near hyperventilation, the only way to come to terms with my gross over spending was to buy 6 macarons from the nearest patissière and eat them one after the other while I waited for my train, looking like a girl on the verge of a mental break down. I felt much better after that.

I remember the first time I tasted a macaron. I was 17 and on holiday with my family in Paris and blindly unaware of celebrated French institutions like Fauchon, Ladurée and Pierre Hermé. We treated ourselves to a box of Ladurée macarons and ate them walking around Place de la Concorde. I remember the pistachio flavour the most clearly as it was like nothing I had ever tasted before: salty and sweet and the most unusual shade of green.

At about €4 for one macaron (compared with the average .80c elsewhere) I will have to content myself with only taking photos of Ladurée...

Macaron tree anyone?

At Angelina's in Paris

I include the above photos as an apology to the macaron forefathers for the confession I am about to make. Last weekend I bought 6 macarons from a McCafé. And I admit I was pleasantly surprised: clear cut flavours, bright colours and they even came in a box. It is true that the romantic luxury of Marie Antoinette had diminished, but maybe I should stop being such a macaron snob…

Sometimes I have rather romantic or idealistic visions of how I think my traveling life should be. A part of me would like to be the nomad back packer, following my nose and seeing where the tides take me. I would wear a huge Lowepro backpack with maybe a small billy strapped to the back and ankle hugging mountain shoes. Instead of hair products and make up remover in my toilet bag I would have hand sanitiser and water purifying tablets.

However, I prefer to know where I am staying each night, to have a warm shower ready and carry a more orthopedically sound roller suitcase.

Though I do prefer the comfortable traveling life, that is not to say I don’t enjoy the excitement of turning up in a new city (with my booked accommodation and warm shower) and roaming un-guided. I like the challenge and I feel the potential for discovery is greater if I haven’t memorised an entire Google Maps itinerary.

I’m not sure if this makes me a good, adaptable and resilient traveler or a stupid one, but my latest weekend in Strasbourg took the more un-planned route and it was one of my best trips away yet.

We arrived in Strasbourg late Friday afternoon after a very pleasant 4 hour train ride through the western part of Switzerland. As a side note, Switzerland looks lovely and is going on must-see travel list. Our accommodation in Strasbourg was a great find: hostel prices with motel facilities as well as clean towels each day and only a 10 minute walk from the old town centre.

Friday was the warmest day we have had in a very long time and we were even able to eat dinner outside. Elle, Pippa and I went to an Italian restaurant where we met some of Elle’s friends and fellow language assistants in Strasbourg. I ordered a mushroom and sun-dried tomato risotto. It was creamy yet not overly rich and of a far more manageable portion size than the whole pizza that we so regularly end up with in Italian restaurants here.

Saturday morning we woke to a slightly overcast and cooler day but this did not deter us. We set off to find breakfast/lunch, or whatever meal we were currently due; the best holidays are always when they follow a trail of delicious meals rather than tourist sights. We walked around the old town stumbling across markets of every kind and squares of every size. The architecture was beautiful again; I am beginning to very much like the Germanic style. We found a quirky little side street pub with a french waiter wearing a kilt. For the very reasonable price of €5.90 I had une quiche lorraine avec salade et une orangina.

Cathedral and really really old restaurant...

One of many squares and courtyards

In the afternoon we bought pretzel shaped sugar doughnuts and ate them by the river as we waited to board our boat tour. The boat tour began with interesting and amusing information on the history of Strasbourg and the various events that had occurred on and by the river Ill over the centuries. We were told of the apparently humane change in torture techniques at one bridge. The House of Regret where people about to be hung could get a meal and a glass of wine on their last night was pointed out, as well as former brothels turned war-time barracks turned boarding school. We went through two locks, all the while the river over looked by blossom trees with fresh green tips. However, the dull and, at times incomprehensible, Irish accent of the narrator seemed to run out of interesting and relevant information.

We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around; a stroll through the Cathedral; two different encounters with Charlie Chaplin street performers; a rose-sculpted Gelato here and a hot chocolate there. It was all quite lovely, the perfect way to be a tourist I feel.

A night out is very hard to come by here in Bonneville so we decided to treat ourselves in Strasbourg. We started off our night at a Mexican themed club on a boat and finished in a converted cellar fittingly called Underground Club. The best part of the night was walking home in the wee hours of the morning through the deserted streets of Strasbourg playing camera wars and generally seeing who could make the biggest fool of himself.

A brief stop for postcards and we were back on a train early Sunday afternoon. I absolutely loved Strasbourg. It has a wonderful feel about it that I can’t quite describe but I think I would be quite happy to live there… No, I don’t think the nomadic traveler is quite me.

A thousand leaves…

I realised that I have not written about any delightful pastries of late. I conveniently came to this realisation as I walked past the boulangerie… Some super human force sucked me in and, in the name of cultural and gastronomic research, I bought a millefeuille.

Also I have a tingle in my throat, spring daffodils are here, I have 4 weeks left of work, it is pay day next week and a multitude of other excuses, all warranting a millefeuille.

Golden flaky pastry, butter yellow custard, pastry, custard, pastry and sweet swirled icing. A thousand leaves of happiness, of ambrosial delight, of sickly goodness. Is it a bit much?

You have to be prepared when eating a millefeuille. Don’t expect to look dainty and delicate gently nibbling at your pastry. In my books, a millefeuille is not nibbling material, it is messy and you must be prepared to catch globules of custard in your hand and pastry flakes on your chin.

There is a strategy here. You will need a big plate and a sharp knife. Chop the millefeuille in half. This is not so you can save half for later, what kind of wimp are you?

As you lightly bite down on the pastry, the custard will begin to squirt out. At this stage, move quickly to the side and clean up those messy edges. Alternate this action from side to side, trying to take time to chew in between mouthfuls.

Take a short break in between halves, maybe have a sip of water, or wipe the pastry from your front (see big plate above.) Savor the cream and the crunch and the slightly cloying icing with the mellow custard. Now it is time for part two. Devour it wholeheartedly, do not worry, the slightly ill feeling will pass…

I sometimes see sparrow-like women eating these in the salon de thé with a tiny cake fork and I wonder how they do it. Maybe it is genetically encoded and if I lived in France long enough I would develop the same poise and skill. But, I ask myself, are they having as much fun? Are they feeling the rush that all too soon the pastry could end up on the floor?

A millefeuille is probably my favourite item in the patissier’s cabinet, partly for the taste, but mostly for the fun of eating it. For fear of extradition from France, I would never eat a millefeuille in public. Instead, I confess, I have become a closeted millefeuille eater.

I am sure there is a group for that.

Eat, Drink, Ski

Ma aventure française has been full of “double take” moments. Moments when I seem to stop what I am doing, step outside of myself for a minute and wonder how I possibly came to be where I am.

These moments occur without warning and in the strangest of circumstances. Walking through the streets of Bonneville, baguette in hand, watching the old men gossip on benches in the town square, I double take. Spending New Year’s Eve in an Irish pub in Barcelona with Australians and French, I double take. Eating confit du canard on the foot-path terrace of a Parisian restaurant, I double take. Running alone through Bonneville late at night during the first snow fall with my face to the heavens, I double take. Drinking vin chaud at 9p.m in a restaurant in the Austrian alps, preparing myself to go whizzing down the slopes, I double take.

These moments often occur in a heart beat, sometimes during the most mundane of situations, but they are the moments that make this experience so special.

So when I spend an entire weekend marveling at everything I am doing, everything I see, everything I eat, I know it is going to be a weekend I remember.

Our weekend began at 4.30 on Saturday morning, eating the first of many muesli bars and walking through the dark to the ski club bus. Four hours and a coffee croissant break later we arrived in a tiny village at the base of the mountain in the Alpe d’Huez resort.

We followed a little muddy path, across a rickety bridge, skis over our shoulders, to the chair lift at the bottom of the village. On the slopes the weather was worse than we expected: rain, snow, -6 degrees and the thickest fog I have ever seen. Or failed to see: we had no idea of the enormity of Alpe d’Huez or of the stunning views that were beyond the cloud cover. We skied for most of the day, taking whatever pistes we seemed to stumble upon and hoping that no major obstacles were more than 10 metres in front.

Saturday evening we bonded with the gentlemen of the ski club as we watched the rugby: England vs. Ireland and Wales vs. France. Rugby conversation led to the All Blacks which led to our loss against France at the last World Cup. I felt like a fraud as I tried to defend them, realising I could more successfully contribute to a conversation rating their good looks rather than their game scores.

We wined and dined on raclette and côte du rhône with boiled potatoes, salad and a charcuterie platter. It was the perfect meal to end a day skiing: rustic, homely and so very french. In a wooden chalet in a remote mountain village in France scraping creamy, golden raclette off the heated round and with crème brûlée for dessert this was definitely a double take moment. Though, more than one person commented after the meal how much raclette “les anglaises” had eaten.

Before...

After....

Later that evening we played Foosball and partook in a rum tasting… When I was poured a tasting glass of ginger rum I decided to call it a night.

noix de coco, vanille, citron, gingembre, canelle, piment et banane...

Sunday morning we woke to clean, clear skies and once on the slopes I could not believe what we had been missing out on. The views were simply spectacular. Sunday was most probably my last day skiing for a very long time and it was not a wasted day. The snow was better and I went higher and faster than I have ever skied before. 3330 metres higher to be exact. And the only way down from such heights is a black run, the highest slope grade in Europe. What a way to finish my first season skiing.

From the top of Pic Blanc 3330m

We piled back on the bus Sunday evening, aching and tired and desperately wanting to be out of ski clothes. Less than an hour into our journey we stopped for une petite pause. Pulled from the back of the bus came 2 huge brown paper bags of baguettes, platters of charcuterie, whole rounds of reblochon, comte et tomme, red and white vin de savoie, genepi liqueur and, eventually, out came the rum… Food just seems to appear here in France. I feel I will not be judged for planning my daily schedule around meal times or finishing breakfast and immediately thinking what I can make for lunch. Maybe I am more of a francophile than I realise…

A crazy, unbelievable, wonderful weekend! We left Alpe d’Huez with goggle tan marks and sore stomach muscles from laughing. With only a few weekends left in this part of the world I am so glad I got to spend one of them at Alpe d’Huez.

It is always slightly unnerving to arrive in a new place in the dark. My mind never tries to fill in the blanks or create an overall picture from the sounds, smells and vaguely street-lit sights; a blank canvas for the morning light.

And what a morning sight it was! I woke up in Innsbruck (capital of the Tirol region in Austria) last Sunday morning for the first of six days of perpetual sunshine, an alpine skyline and beautiful buildings, that, dare I say it, rival Paris.

Most ski Sundays here in Bonneville involve getting up at 6.30, throwing together a ham sandwich and eating a boring bowl of oatmeal: by Sunday my fruit supply generally consists of one bullet hard kiwifruit and a lemon. Ski days in Innsbruck are a much more leisurely affair. Wake up at 7.15, stroll to hotel restaurant for breakfast, sling your skis over your shoulder (like a pro) and hop on a bus at the perfectly reasonable hour of 9a.m.

And the breakfasts, oh, the breakfasts! Eggs, bacon, tea, toast, yoghurt, fresh tropical fruit, croissants, doughnuts, ham, cheese, pickles, juice, coffee, cereal, nuts, seeds, fresh bread and the best bircher muesli I have ever tasted. I was in breakfast heaven…

Our first day we headed to a resort called Schlick 2000. The variety of pistes was somewhat lacking, but for a first day it wasn’t too bad. The real adventure was getting home. Not wanting to risk pulled muscles and broken bones on the first day, we left the slopes early and went to find a bus stop. Instead we found a tram station and after waiting on the tram for 45 minutes we wove through the countryside of Innsbruck, at times, appearing to only service a horse stable.

hot chocolate and apfelstrudel break at Schlick!

Day two Elle and I, fueled by a fantastic breakfast, took the bus to Axamer Lizum. Day two was Monday and the day I discovered the wonders of week day skiing: empty slopes and no queues. Bliss. We found the snow better than the previous day and the views still offered something spectacular. Lunch was an interesting meal: meatloaf which was really large slices of luncheon ham, potato salad and mustard sauce… From our lunch time loungers we had a wonderful view, possibly one of my favourites of the trip, of a bright red cable car traveling above the mountains.

After two nights of Italian we were all keen to sample the local Tirolean delicacies. We found a large, rambling, medieval tavern only metres from our hotel. I felt there should have been jesters dancing in one corner and the tables adorned with pigs heads and barrels of wine. I ordered roast pork in an onion, carrot and beer sauce served with sauerkraut and a pretzel dumpling. The standout piece here was not the perfectly cooked pork, or the hearty sauce, or even the Austrian red wine, it was the pretzel dumpling. I have decided that this really is the only form in which a dumpling can be eaten.

The lovely thing about not staying in a ski resort with the mountains directly at the back door of the hotel is that you can see a different resort everyday. Our third day we headed to the nearest resort just 20 minutes out of Innsbruck called Patscherkofel. This mountain was slightly unusual as, while not very high, the summit offered more routes for walkers than pistes for skiers. In the name of research, we decided to take the tiny one-man bucket lift to the very top and ski down a walking route. This track was not to everyone’s liking as it was snow-plough all the way but, the views! “Breathtaking” is a rather stereotypical, clichéd word to describe a vista but I really am at a lost to describe it in any other way. It was like being on top of the world: layer upon layer of mountains stretching away into the distance, clear blue skies and green valleys below.

2248 metres

Across Europe at the moment is Carnival week: saying good-bye to winter and hello to spring. So coming off the mountain on Tuesday afternoon we were greeted by fairies, witches, buzzy bees, silly string, hippies and caterpillars. The revelers had taken over Innsbruck and when we returned to our Tirolean tavern again that night we were seated in a separate smaller dining  hall. The atmosphere was not amazing, nor the service particularly outstanding but my meal did not disappoint. Wild game ragout in a mushroom, celery and carrot sauce with cranberry jelly and homemade spinach spaetzle noodles. With wonderful colours and a sweet cranberry sauce in its own cracker cup, this meal was bright enough to distract me from my fellow diners asking for brown sauce, ketchup and vinegar to go with their steak frites.

Topfenstrudel mit Sahne

Loosely translated as cheesecake on the menu, this dessert may have won over the dumplings for crowning delight of this restaurant. Creamy, yet light and tangy, almost savoury with the occasional hidden raisin, it was far from the traditional cheesecake.

Day three was a long day, a day where we spent about as much time on the slopes as we did in a bus there and back. And there and back again. For those of you who know me well, no, I did not leave my skis behind, or my boots. We returned to Kuhtai resort for a bit of tobogganing by moonlight.We arrived at the resort, a thin crescent moon hovering above the mountains, and piled into jeeps.We were driven halfway up the slope to a restaurant where we quickly downed a plastic glass, or two, of vin chaud, then after a brief left-right-brake lesson off we went! I’d like to say I could feel the wind in my hair and the rushing noise of smooth wood on snow. But, always safety conscious, I was wearing my helmet and my toboggan had a tendancy to veer to the right… But 2.5km of pure adrenalin nonetheless.

The skiing during the day was well worth the hour and a quarter trip: the pistes were long, expansive and challenging. As always, the view was incredible. Even after living surrounded by mountains for 6 months it is a sight I don’t think I will ever get over.

Kuhtai Resort

Lunch was also worth mentioning. (Isn’t it always?) Two potato and herbed cream cheese rostis buried under layers of smoked salmon. I would ski everyday if this was always on offer.

Erdäpfelröstikrapfen gefüllt mit kräuterfrischkäse dazu norwegischer Räucherlachs...

Thursday we took a break from skiing to see what the city of Innsbruck had on offer. A star attraction of this beautiful city is the Golden Roof: small and unimposing but impressive nonetheless, this building houses a history museum of Innsbruck and the Tirolean region. I found the history of the Golden Roof building the most interesting, especially the photos of the street during WWII.

The Golden Roof today

The Golden Roof WWII

With a keen eye for gastronomic delights, I had noticed an indoor market hall on our first day in Innsbruck. When I think of indoor market halls I think of what les Halles in Paris would have been like in its hay day. I was hoping for complete sensory overload: bright, clashing colours of flowers and fruit; stall owners and customers bartering and jeering; the overpowering scent of strong cheeses, fresh fish and home cured meats. Vibrant, bustling and slightly jarring to the senses. The Innsbruck market did not play along with my fantasy but the stalls were beautifully presented and the produce was vast, colourful and fresh.

During the afternoon we took a sightseeing bus to the base of a hill overlooking Innsbruck. At the top of the hill is the famous Bergisel ski jump centre built in 1964 when Innsbruck hosted the Winter Olympics. The tower was completely redesigned in the early 2000s and is now much more of a tourist attraction than a concrete ramp. The ramp is dauntingly steep and how anyone could bring themselves to fly off the end I don’t know. Personally, I’d prefer to sit in the restaurant overlooking Innsbruck eating pretzels and drinking vin chaud, which is exactly what we did!

A fine Austrian lunch...

Thursday evening we thought why not try Cantonese banquet in Austria? This was Chinese like I had never had it before: Chinese take-away in a Styrofoam container does not even begin to compare. A multitude of flavours reached the palate-not just sweet and sour or soy sauce. At the end of the meal, the waitress bought out a tiny tea tray with 6 miniature tea cups full of hot liqueur. Watered down port is the closest we came to identifying this liquid.

Friday we woke up, the weariness of 4 days skiing beginning to register in our muscles. Today we were heading to the very end of the valley: Stubaier Gletscher. This was a ski resort like nothing I had ever seen before, like a shopping mall on the slopes. The resort was magnificent with kilometres upon kilometres of wide, well snow covered pistes. Our very last run for the day was about 100 metres wide with a gentle slope in the cradle between two mountains-a truly great way to end the week.

Stubaier Gletscher

Saturday morning we were up early for our very last breakfast. I was tempted to ask the chef for the secret of the bircher muesli but, instead we stole ham rolls… Innsbruck is a wonderful city where history, sport and art all come together under a stunning mountain backdrop.

Thank you Elle, Julie and Phil for taking me on your wonderful holiday.