Drove Bristol to Dover, Eurotunnel and then Calais to Arras. Stopped in a cheap hotel (near a Pizza machine that was surpisingly good) and then on to a place near Dijon. We arrived in Morzine and were shown to our apartment. Wow! Stunning views! Met the rest of the Alpine Generation crew and spent a week training, cooking and cleaning our chalet (Les Lanchettes).
Then it began … guests!
December: 1st and 2nd set of guests were lovely but Fran fell ill with shingles. The workload was immense, Andy’s skiiing wasn’t going too well (place was heaving and the slopes were busy) and it was all a bit much. Extremely exhausting. 3rd set of guests was a couple of familes … hard work, noisy and the men were kind of arrogant but one mum and her daughter were really nice (“I wish I had grandparents like you” Gulp! Didn’t see that coming!)
January: Slopes were quieter and we too some lessons which helped a lot. Guests were the Finns (one particularly miserable woman!), the 50-milers (not particularly inclusive … called us ‘staff’), ‘Ski Friends’ … jesus! Some really fussy people and not particularly inclusive either and finally a lovely bunch of Geordie lads – really nice blokes. Very friendly.
February: Busy again (half term). We had a Scottish family … model kids, great parents and a nice but quiet grandad, a mother and son (short stay, great fun!), father and son (short stay … weird kid!), the Accenture consultants that stole my cake, father and daughter (short stay – lovely people), 4 families from Sheffield (nightmare – disrespectful and fairly rowdy) and finally 3 Dutch families – 2 of which were really nice and we had a lot of fun.
March: A really nice guy that paid for the chalet but Coronavirus put off nearly all the people he’d invited. Ended up with just him and his wife – which was actually great – they had a nice time, we had a very easy week. Our second group of Finns arrived (14 of them) amid Coronavirus outbreaks throughout Europe. Italy ski resorts were already closed, Switzerland closed while they were there and finally, as we were dishing up dinner on Saturday evening, we got the news that the French were closing all ski resorts. That’s it. Game over.
Living in the mountains is magnificent. The weather is dramatic (be it snowing or sunny), the air is clear, the scenery is utterly gob smacking drop-dead gorgeous and it’s great to feel part of it all long-term. The slopes are fabulous when no ones around and it turns out skiing is actually good fun when you can do it! Favourite places? Nyon, Mont Chery, St Jean D’Aulps, Switzerland and a soft spot for the slopes near the Zore lift (and Stade)
We saw our guests off on Sunday with sadness. It was suddenly all taken away from us. We spent the next couple of days deep cleaning the chalet and then that was that…