Memories of ski holidays with the children and a long gone partner brought me to the wish to go together again, without the former partner of course, but with the boys. Girlfriends and current partner were invited for sure but it turned out they were all not interested or able to come. So there we were, the four of us. Pretty special for me, since they haven’t been with me on a holiday since at least 10 years.
The preparation brought already memories back….I wanted to have everything arranged long before departure day and i was the only one. So I knew it was totally different now, they were adults as well and I had to adjust to the majority. It worked out fine. We left wel organized and in time, with packed lunches and a very good mood. We borrowed my parents car, my Aygo can’t house four persons including bags and Yori’s car was too old. Milan took care of some “calming” music, Yori and Jelmar drove all the way and we arrived in time for diner at La Douce Montagne, our hotel for the coming 6 days, very cosy place, run by a Dutch couple.
We left every morning before 9.30 am the hotel and were on the piste approx 10 and one day at 9! They did a good job there, there was no moaning or struggle to get in the car. I was already awake for hours by then, but this was part of the adjustment, part of the game. I am a very early bird, I know….very useful for sunrises.
The fourth day we knew the weather would be bad. I was not looking forward to go on the skies. During breakfast Jelmar decided to stay in the hotel to rest and do some work as well. He also had a kind of injury under his feet, some nerve-inflamation after three days pressure. I start doubting if I preferred a day on the couch with a book, but the €50 skipass got me over the line. The two young ones just wanted to ski! So at 11 we were on the piste, they on skis, me on shoes. I made the best possible decision for me with the black sky above me but wanting to use my skipass : I am gonna walk, on my mountainshoes (not skishoes) with the skipoles (aren’t they the same as hikingpoles?) the pedestrian piste. I wasnot aware that that is a real possibillity? People go up there to hike! I said the boys goodbye, made some pictures in case they would die or got lost for weeks and off we went.
I was a bit nervous. On the backside of my skimap was the pedestrian map, it was printed very small…too small for my eyes. I walked a bit around between all the lifts and found my way. Within 5 minutes I was surrounded by only WHITE. Slowly all the little coloured puppets on skis disappeared. This was amazing! This was awesome! I was exactly where I wanted to be! Silence, no people, unspoiled views, just white. The pedestrian routes were also prepared by the snow machine, you should see the way by the parallel tracks in the snow. A wooden bench here and then half snowed in also helped to keep me on track. I inhaled the frozen fresh air and became immediatly mindfull. Why didnot I know this from the second day? I prefered this múch more than skiing. Now I am sure: I am not a skier, I like hiking in the mountains much more. I could pee any moment I liked, there was nobody around. In my enthousiasm I took pictures of the threathening black sky not realizing that that possibly meant something for me as an pedestrian as well. I found out that you can also get scared without skis. It started snowing, stormy winds around me, my sight got so little, I couldnot see the prepared path anymore because it was covered in snow now and gone. Before I walked on the lines (ribbels van de sneeuwtractor, tracks?) made by a machine, now I had to use my poles to feel where it was safe to put my feet. Very weird not to see anything but white, all around you…no views anymore…and when the thin red poles didnot show me the right direction anymore I …hard to admit…but I got a bit scared… Only for 25 minutes…it seemed longer, but was not.
I made pictures, but there is nothing to see….just white. I made a little video, nothing to see, you only hear the wind. I loved the experience, bit scary but in the meantime special, and thats what I like. Nature can be threatening but I was too close to everything to be in danger. When I heard some noises in the distance i was reassured I was fine and immediately disappointed i was back in the busy world of skiing.
I asked some advice at the rescue office where to go for my next hike this day but they said it was not allowed to hike at that height at this moment, to little sight to be rescued if…Thats where rescue teams are for of course, to warn you. Hiking down to the village was no problem. I did not have to make decisions in this matter because Yori contacted me that their lifts were closed for the time being, till the “storm” was over and that skiing with this hail, snow and wind was no fun anyway , they wanted to go to Jelmar who was waiting with the cards. Hmmmm, i just discovered something really nice, calming, exiting and extraordinary beautiful…but being together with them the last holi-day was also very appealing, so we tried to find each other as quick as possible and huphuphup…byebye slopes…back in the car and……with a bit sadness in our hearts…
We had a long period of games ahead of us. Nice! We played yahtzee (mwah), toupen (yeah!), boerenbridge (better after a few drinks), 31-en (better after more drinks)….and our last evening together had enough laughs for the rest of 2019.
Driving home in the 18 years old car of my parents was a challenge. In the last stretch the motor had some issues and we were very glad we just made it home. We realized the car had never left The Netherlands before…the longest distance it ever made was from Tilburg to Maastricht. So it was a bit of a shock for it, this 2000kms in one week. The garage had to fix it the next morning, parents got a new car back!
Message of this blog: if you do not like skiing anymore, but still want to join them, try the pedestrian routes up there, you will be surprised by the beauty of it! So count me in next time again!