The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 16

Bringing you the best of France including captivating towns like sunny Montpellier, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the antiques capital of Provence, Gascony, Chateaux of the Loire Valley, Paris, Lyon, a long lost cheese story, mouth-watering recipes and a whole lot more.

It was to be a combined

It was to be a combined holiday of skiing for my children (aged 11, 10 and 9 - total beginners) and dog walking. When you own two huge hounds, Leonbergers, the youngest of which weighs in at 75 kgs, putting them in kennels isn’t really an option and anyway, they’re part of the family. Luckily we found a ski company that accommodates all your family - even the furry members. Two days before we left, the husband fell down the stairs at work and cracked his shoulder bone. I tripped over whilst walking the dogs giving myself concussion. As we pulled out of the Eurotunnel in the early hours, packed to the rafters, I couldn’t move my neck and was still seeing stars and he couldn’t move his shoulder. Things could only get better, couldn’t they? Arriving in Saint Gervais Our apartment was on the third floor so that was the first challenge. Leonbergers in a lift! They may be mountain dogs but they don’t do stairs and perhaps unsurprisingly, I’d never tried squeezing them into a very small space before. To their credit, they weren’t at all bothered (although some of the other residents might have been - we tended to exit at speed) but we did have to travel in two shifts as there wasn’t room for all of us in one lift. Once settled in, I think the dogs rather enjoyed eating their dinner on the balcony with views across to the Alpes and Mont Blanc. Day 1 – Taking it easy We had a plan. Being a particularly mild spring, snow was scarce, so our plan was to ski in the mornings and walk in the afternoons. We booked 5 days of lessons for all of us but spent the first morning just mucking about up the mountain on a small piece of flat but snowy space. After an hour, my kids declared they were now of Olympic standard (despite not yet having gone down a slope) and we returned to the resort for a dog walk, relieved to find the dogs hadn’t eaten the apartment. The temperature in Saint Gervais for our week averaged at 18 degrees, so I felt a little over dressed in my thick sweater and woolly hat as we headed down to the Thermal Park – a well-known local spa. The spa sits in a valley, at the end of a tree lined driveway. Cherry and apple blossom welcomed us against a background of the snow tipped mountains and the sound of a river. Was this really a winter break? We walked along a woodland path which runs behind the spa. It was my challenge number three as in places the path is steep, rocky and narrow. Not so much a path, more of a goat track, and full credit to the very elderly lady we passed on the ascent, they make them tough round here. The path takes you over a slender footbridge across a waterfall. I’m all for an adventure and a beautiful vista but I don’t ever see the need for there to be holes in a footbridge with a gapping chasm below. Especially when I’m still vaguely concussed. And did I mention that I’m scared of heights.