Each year, I dread the months of December, January and February, in no particular order. Whilst each of these months is littered with the occasional moments of fun and joy (think Christmas and New Years Eve), they also have a terrible trait in common that makes them truly unbearable for a man like me.
They are cold. Cold and miserable. In each of these months, I struggle to get out of bed, I mutter under my breath as it rains incessantly for days, or as I slip on the frost in the street that never quite becomes snow. Don’t get me wrong, living in a big European city definitely has its perks, but it also has its drawbacks.
Yet last year, I decided I wanted a change. I was sick of being miserable each winter, and made it my goal to have a cold weather adventure to remember. And that is how I ended up skiing in the Alps, in the beautiful Chatel, southeastern France.
This list is designed to give all those who like me, despise winter, a ray of hope. There are plenty of activities to part-take in, should you know where to look, and the French Alps are one such example. So without further ado, here are my top three moments from my trip.
- Learning to Ski like a champ – Well, not exactly true, but skiing in the Alps is truly something that has to be seen to be believed. Boasting some of the best year round ski conditions in all of Europe, Chatel offers extensive ski routes and runs for everyone from the humble beginner (me) to the seasoned pro (everyone else, apparently). The instructors I had were hilarious, and really took time to make sure I knew what I was doing, and most importantly, was having fun.
- A room with a view – Whilst it may seem strange to include this, the ski chalets in Chatel, were honestly second to none. My own place not only boasted majestic views of the towering Alps of the French Swiss border, but also came fully equipped with a hot tub, sauna, and my own personal chef who prepared my meals for me! For a winter skeptic, this was seriously living the dream, but I had a lot of help from great websites sich as www.allchalets.com/chatel, who provide extensive details to help make dreams a reality.
- Friends for life – My final moment came from an unexpected place. During my ski lessons, I was lucky enough to meet some fantastic foreigners from across the globe, who became my best friends for my fortnight away. We would all head out together for a hard day on the slopes, then dine at one of the amazing French restaurants in town (or organize for my chef to whip up a fondue for us all), and follow it all up with delicious beers at one of the many local bars. The combination of winter fun and social activities made the trip one to remember.
A quick note on the subject of friends. Andy, a New Zealander who quickly became one of my best friends, made me promise to mention Les Gets Chalets as well, which was where he was staying, making day trips to Chatel. He said the accommodation he had was to die for, and he too found his place through www.allchalets.com/les-gets. So wherever you end up this winter, I hope this article has helped you to consider getting more out of your winters. Best of luck!