La Montagne et Moi – Promenade de l’Arve

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Jessica reading her blog – in case you don’t know how to pronounce some of the words.

Depuis bien des années‘ (for many years) I’ve squeezed myself in to my ‘combinaison’ (ski-suit), and braved ridicule (you have to SHOUT your weight out in the ski shop so that they can ‘régler‘ (adjust) the skis), sarcastic ski-lift attendants “Et SI vous arrivez en haut de la piste RENTREZ CHEZ VOUS!” (IF you manage to get to the top of the slope GO HOME!) and the fear of certain death on anything more challenging than a blue slope. But I ‘enfin’ (finally) admitted that skiing, together with ‘les huitres’ (oysters), are simply elements of French culture that ‘ne me conviennent pas’ (don’t agree with me). And so this year, I accompanied my family ‘aux remontées mécaniques’ (skilifts) and then ‘je me suis évadée’ – I escaped!

On the first day, I had ‘aucune idée’ (no idea) where I was going. I bought an ‘hors de prix’ overpriced bottle of water at the café and set off on the empty road. ‘Un poteau indicateur’ (signpost) for La Promenade de l’Arve assured me that it was a 2-hour walk back to Chamonix. About half way down, ‘mes baskets’ (my sneakers) ‘me faisaient trop mal aux pieds’ (were hurting my feet too much) so I cheated and hopped on the bus home, where ‘je me suis écroulée’ (I collapsed in a heap) with a glass of rosé ‘bien mérité’ (well-deserved). ‘Le lendemain’ (the next day), ‘mieux équipée’ (better equipped) with sunscreen, a hat, ‘des chaussures de marche’ (walking shoes) and a picnic I took ‘le même chemin’ (the same path), all the way to the end in ‘2 heures pile’ (in 2 hours exactly!) I stopped to eat by a stream where ‘je me suis trempée les pieds’ (I dipped my feet). J’étais aux anges! (I was in seventh heaven)

Each day I ventured a little further up the valley, until ‘le dernier jour’ (the last day), I stopped at Vallorcine (vally of the bears) and climbed up to the Cascade de Bérard. I inched my way up a snow-covered ‘sentier’ (path), aware of my solitude and the sheer drop ‘précipice’ between me and the water below. The climb ‘valait la peine’ (was worth it). ‘ Un arc-en-ciel double‘ (a double rainbow) danced beneath the ‘cascade’ waterfall.

Spending our holiday apart, actually ‘a rapproché la famille’ (brought the family closer together). I was ‘zen’ (relaxed) and they had their ‘montée d’adrenaline ‘ (adrenaline rush) – and we actually had ‘des choses à se dire’ (things to say to each other) in the evening! Besides, with the money that I would have spent on a ‘forfait’ (ski-pass) we managed to ‘manger au resto’ (eat out) a couple of times, so no cooking and no washing up! Que demander de mieux? (What more could you ask for?)