Every winter the mountains start calling and I begin to yearn for our trip to Morzine Avioriaz in the Portes du Soleil area of the French Alps. There’s a whole host of reasons that I love a week in the mountains, none more significant than any other, it’s all wrapped up together; a feeling of being at one with nature, insignificantly small in a vast mountain landscape and more alive than I feel anywhere else. Here’s some of the reasons I’m drawn back each year…
1. The Views and the wide open spaces. White-topped peaks, soft, billowing drifts contrasting with rocky terrain and the bluest of skies I’ve ever seen. I’ll let the views speak for themselves…
Looking down on Avoriaz
2. The Air is cleaner, fresher and more invigorating than anywhere I’ve ever been and it’s the only place I can really breathe properly – I have allergies but the air is so pure in the mountains they all seem to disappear.
3. The peace and stillness. It’s so, so quiet at times with just the faint sound of skiers schussing through the powder, a muffled laugh in the distance, the breeze, and the sound of my own breathing and I want it to last forever.
4. ‘Jubilee de Neige’ is a french term which I heard for the first time this year which describes the sparkles of sunlight dancing on the snow in the sunshine. Lovely.
Ski Tracks, Avoriaz
5. Hot Vin Chaud. You knew that was coming didn’t you!
6. Evenings cosied around a roaring log fire with friends, wine, comfort food and feeling like you’ve really earned it after a hard day’s skiing.
Back at the Morzine Chalet
7. Ski lifts – I love the journey to the top of the piste – time to really soak up the views and that fresh mountain air.
8. The fact that you can just ski over the border to Switzerland without checking-in or going through security. No passport required.
The top of Avoriaz
9. Cheese, oh yes the cheese! The alpine shops are full of gorgeous, tasty, gooey, smelly cheeses! Comte is my favourite.
Alpine Cheese Shop
10. I love the sense of achievement at the end of the day when I’ve kept up with all the others who’ve been skiing for 10 years longer than me!
There’s an interesting photography post doing the rounds at the moment called ’7 Super Shots’. HostelBookers.com put out the call to select 7 of your favourite photographs, one each for the following categories, then tag 5 bloggers that you would like to take part. I was really pleased but slightly nervous when Travel with Katnominated me – she sets the bar high! I’m still very much a beginner having made the jump to DSLR last year so most of my photographs below are taken on a point and click, one on the DSLR and one on a mobile phone – any ideas which one – you might be surprised…
1. A photo that…takes my breath away
Just outside Poitier, France in July are field upon field of sunflowers and we arrived when they were at their most stunning. Not only did they take my breath away they made me smile too. I was captivated and took loads of shots but I like this one from a less obvious perspective.
2. A photo that…makes me laugh or smile
Smiling’s infectious don’t you think?
3. A photo that…makes me dream
I dream of being able to keep up with the others! I was a late starter to skiing and it still slightly terrifies me – in an exhilarating sort of way! We’d stopped for a vin chaud when I noticed the bright colours and lines of the skis against the backdrop of the mountains. Taken in the Alps on the French, Swiss border.
4. A photo that…makes me think
This old woman was selling clay whistles in Hoi An, Vietnam. I was quite intrigued by her. She didn’t let anything on about herself. She didn’t speak and her expression barely changed with just a vague smile playing about her lips; I’m really not sure what she was thinking. She didn’t seem to mind me snapping away and if you’re wondering, yes, I did buy a whistle…
5. A photo that…makes my mouth water
My favourite fruit is raspberries and I have a bit of a penchant for puddings so this summer-fruit cheesecake is right up there in the mouth-watering stakes. It tasted as good as it looked. Thanks Beccy!
6. A photo that…tells a story
Technically this is just a snapshot but I like this photo because there’s so much going on; The woman selling trinkets, the colourful saris but my favourite part is the monk taking a peek at the young women…
7. A photo that…I am most proud of (aka my worthy of National Geographic shot)
I have a few favourites but I keep coming back to this one. I think it’s the bird’s nest that does it – the fact that there’s a chance for new life in the middle of all that dust, sand and heat. I like the tones of the sky too – no idea how that happened!
Thanks again Kat for nominating me; I thoroughly enjoyed going through my photos and I hope my five nominees below enjoy compiling their ’7 Super Shots’ just as much.