Fresh air in the Alps

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

It is our last night in our cozy chalet in Switzerland and have just sipped our last glass of wine following a day of trekking around some of the nearby slopes.

One of the things many people have mentioned to me over the years about ski resorts during the spring & summer is their outstanding beauty, something which I acknowledged but never gave a second thought. We have enjoyed many of the activities on offer during the past week at our resort Port Du Soleil, which consists of 8 Swiss and 4 French towns where you can hop on and off chair lifts at each of the different ski villages to play sports, go swimming and more.

However the real treat has been the stunning landscapes and mountain views. I now know what those people were talking about. Even today I was still left gobsmacked when scanning the endless views as we hiked for 3 hours. For nature lovers, hikers or mountain bikers this place is on a different level.

During this past week we had our friends Rich and Jen visit us for 3 nights. Rich, an occasional player of sports and adventurous type, and Jen, due to give birth in 3 months. Naturally we decided upon kids pool volleyball, seesawing on a giant inflatable in the pool and crazy golf for Rich and hot chocolates and rides on a kids train for Jen. It was perfect

As mentioned in our last post we have been using a multi-pass which entitled us free use of chair lifts and various sports and activities. Having this VIP pass as a budget traveller felt good, perhaps even a little powerful. The world was our oyster (well as far as France). We spent our week nipping across to various local towns and, where possible, used our passes on different activities. The rest of the time was spent walking as much as possibly or, once we were sufficiently knackered, being tucked up at home drinking red wine or hot chocolate whilst watching the mist float by our balcony. Being so high up we have had close up experiences with the full range of weather conditions and what better place than here to sit indoors and flick through a good book when the clouds settle in.

Aside from our little sport adventures and hikes, one of the must see events in our calendar, which we had eagerly looked forward to all week, was the local livestock festival held in our very own town of Les Crosets. The town played host to a parade of half a dozen floats and 15 cows with flowers tied on their heads. The parade concluded at the official festival venue - a large car park below the ski lifts. They had half a dozen stalls selling tea towels and cow bells, a food tent selling large sausages and the music stand where choirs and alpine horn players entertained the crowd of about 200.

At some point later they were to judge the most attractive cow but sadly we had to leave early. It was a very traditional and jolly festival. If we had not been so knackered we may well have stayed on and danced into the night drinking the popular wine with all the locals.

With all the entertainment and excitement of the past week, we feel we have got our moneys worth and generally had a brilliant time. Although one thing I must mention is that Switzerland is not ideal for budget backpackers due to the pretty high prices for most things. Shopping is somewhat of an eye opener and they don't mind charging you more than you would expect to pay. One tub of Vienetta ice cream was about £8. Luckily with our free lift passes we managed to do some shopping over in France. It felt as liberating as it would be nipping over to Calais and filling a van full of cheese, wine and beers. Prices though had little bearing on our overall enjoyment. When people are so nice you often don't mind paying that little bit extra.

As the end draws near and we head off further into France tomorrow, I have hope they will be as welcoming to a Brit and an Aussie with fuzzy French phrases as the people of Switzerland have been. They are certainly in my top 3 nicest nations, alongside Ireland and Fiji. I am just pleased I managed to use my pen knife in public on two separate occasions to truly show the country my appreciation towards them.

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