Sunday, January 13, 2008

Chamonix: Skiing and Scenery

After a week of intense cultural, historical, geographic and nocturnal sights (not to mention the amount of food consumed), it was great to have a week of fresh air and exercise (and some more nightlife) in Chamonix.

For the non-skiers amongst you, Chamonix is an ancient and famous ski resort nestled in the French Alps below Mont Blanc. It is close to the Italian border and is about 45 minutes from Geneva.

Ariel & I headed there from Israel, and spent a week skiing Chamonix's four resorts, having a great time. While the weather alternated between perfect sunshine and miserable cloud/rain/snow, this at least gave us fresh powder on the sunny days and a couple of magical days on the slopes. Cam was keen to get back into skiing shape in preparation for heliskiing in Kamchatka in April so spent most time off-piste, but it turns out Ariel was the gnarliest skier- he so badly damaged one of his skis that he actually had to purchase it at the end of the week!

Off the slopes, Chamonix was a mix of great food (fondue, baguettes, patisserie), and typical ski resort nightlife (super casual, 300:1 guy/girl ratio, 2-stage Apres & After-Party scene), which was a change of pace from Moscow and Tel Aviv! Ariel was keen to maintain the language advantage after Israel (he speaks fluent French), but it turned out that 90% of the people in Chamonix were either Swedish, Russian, or Aussie, so Cam staged a little bit of a comeback!

Our final evening was spent in Geneva, just to confirm that there is, in fact, no reason to spend any time in Geneva (although we had an entertaining time doing our best to prove otherwise).

After 2 great weeks of travelling (hurray for Russian New Year/Xmas break, not hurray for conference calls & work interruptions), I am excited to head back to Moscow, although not quite certain I'm ready to go back to work!

The photos are here.

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