Monday, January 08, 2007

there was a little village...

Once upon a time there was a little village in the Alps, it was called Saint Martin and looked like taken out of a fairy tale, just like this:
It is however part of Europe's largest ski area The Three Valleys :The Three Valleys are home to eight ski resorts that are linked together by a unique network of ski lifts and ski runs. The Three Valleys is the largest ski area in the world with 600km ski slopes and 200 ski lifts. And here is where we spent the holidays, this is the view of the village from our condo. And below is the very center of the village, the condo complex is right above the pine tree on the left (see it? and you can even see the gondola -which took us up, up, and away- right behind the complex if you click to enlarge) and here you also find the local church.
Whose tower was engraved on every appartment door of the place where we stayed at, very nice handwork:

The local celebrations for Xmas and New Year's include a "Descent en flambee" (excuse my French, forgot to write that down) at 6:30 pm by the ski instructors: they traditionally ski down to the crowd with torches (sorry about the pic quality but my night pictures come out very often like this...) . Due to lack of snow at 1,400m (4,500 feet if my math is correct... but the slopes up above were groomed and got plenty of fresh snow exactly on Jan 1st!) they walked down the hill instead of skiing this year!! we have never had such a thing during the past 14 Xmas-holidays we have spent in the snow - but this is a very special year, I guess!
Posted by Picasa There were fireworks displayed, music played and also plenty of vin chaud ( mulled wine) for the adults and hot chocolate for the youngsters .
And allow me to include another blurry picture just because this is how I remember both evenings. No, I wasn't drunk, I am talking about the lights while the ski instructors walked along the main street!! Each celebration was followed by cheese fondue in our case and then we all kissed good night since we knew the ski slopes were going to call our names early in the morning. And we are always happy to get some rest after intensive and fun skiing!

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  1. What a wonderful place to spend Christmas and New Year. It looks beautiful! I have always loved snow and Saint Martin looks quite magical. The pic of the mountain on your last post makes me want to get up and go ski-ing right now!

  2. it looks like you had a marvelous time! The village is so picturesque!

  3. Oh ha, the only time I hear "flambe" is in reference to flaming desserts like Bananas Foster. SO, I thought maybe they were skiing down carring flaming desserts for you all. ha ha haha

  4. Okay.... well... you are WOMAN, here you ROAR!!! But since I can not really even IMAGINE me skiing down even the tiniest portion of THOSE humongous mountains... I think I will opt to sit in the chalet and sip that mulled wine while you romp and play! I will watch you out the window -- and occassionally come out to take some pictures!

    Honestly Mar... how on Earth did you ever convince yourself to come home??? I most certainly understand why yesterday you were wishing for "just one more day"... and one more and one more after that...

  5. Looks like a fantastic place to spend the Christmas season.

    Interesting what you say about less snow lower down. My friend from Sweden was in town today and commented similarly that he couldn't remmeber the last time there was such little snow in his ski-ing area of Sweden.

  6. Nice pics! Going down in flames? Or descending the hill with candles? My French is fuzzy...LOL!

  7. Oooh, pretty little place! I didn't get a chance to comment on your photohunt after you so kindly visited me and left a comment, so here's a little bonus one before I find your photohunt entry!

  8. Wow! No if it wasn't for the snow I reckon I could really love it there. Glad you had a great time Mar.

  9. Those are stunning pictures, MAR! I can see how your holidAZE must have been so MARvelous!


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