I remember reading an article recently about the importance of letting children play outside, and it quoted Alfred Wainwright, a man made famous for his books about English topography. He said “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing,” and I quite agree. I hate the idea that something is avoided or not enjoyed due to a lack of improper equipment. Like playing in the snow for example. So long as you have snow pants, plenty of layers, and most importantly in my opinion, warm socks, then being outside in the winter is wonderful.
This is what kept going through my mind during this weekend’s field trip to Valloire, in the Savoie region of France. It was a little chilly, but we really lucked out with the weather. It was sunny most of the day with just a little bit of wind.
Valloire is a town full of resorts and ski rental shops (it’s basically the Sun Valley of France), but for good reason – this place is absolutely gorgeous. We had the option to go snowshoeing or skiing. I opted for the snowshoeing, and it was spectacular. A tour guide led us up some mountains outside of town, and it was a great hike! I couldn’t believe that two weeks earlier, I had been scuba diving in Saba and now I was snowshoeing in the French Alps. We hiked for a couple of hours, then took a break at the highest point and had some tea that our tour guide graciously packed for us. He also brought some binoculars, so that we could see some animals that camouflage into the rocky, high-altitude (we were around 8,000 feet) terrain. The whole day was amazing.
When we got back, my friend, Caroline, and I decided that we need some crêpes to warm up. I know that lemon crêpes are always good, but they are especially delicious after snowshoeing for a few hours. The drive back to Lyon was about three hours and everyone passed out on the way back. There’s nothing like a good nap after a day in the snow.
It’s really difficult to capture just how gorgeous the Alps are, but I tried a number of times, so hopefully you can get an idea of what it was like in some of these pictures.