Leaving Val d’Isere 22 March 2008

Irena called this “Transfer Day” – when everyone leaves the ski resort and new folks arrive…pure chaos! I now call it “Swear-at-the-Corolla Day”.

condo view 2aThe snow has slowed a bit, and the roads appear to have been largely cleared. We again awoke to the sound of avalanche cannon going off around us. But our car problems have not yet been solved. We have a fairly new Toyota Corolla, with an after-market alarm, and found out when our cute (*I* think) Frenchie ‘Maxim’ came and tried to jump start it this morning, that the alarm key was not working – the alarm went off, so the car could not be started. So I went out and found a new battery. (And asked AGAIN about the postbox, and was pointed AGAIN to the yellow box, to which I said “That’s not for dog poop?” and she laughed! But I didn’t go look, yet.)

Then we spent about an hour trying to get the key fob to work again, and calling Belgrade to find out what to do, only to learn that we had to get the alarm key to work, then attach the cables and wait 10 seconds while the alarm goes off, then press the key and wait for 4 beeps. No brainer, right? So Jim finally got the key fob working – found out it had a bad contact. skis on car It took about 3.5 hours total, and lots of dirt on the hands and ski pants, to get the car started, with the help of some Macedonians that Irena had spotted earlier in the week and had said, we should ask them for help…isn’t that funny how that worked out?

Problem solved, right? Well, when they started the car in Annecy to leave me, the alarm went off again, so they went through another hour’s round of calls to the agency, wrangling with them to get them another car, to no avail. But they made it to back Val Thorens where they will ski this week (which is, incidentally, TWICE the SIZE of Val d’Isere/Espace Killy!!). Sounds like it was an uneventful trip, except that due to all the delays, they missed out on the indoor parking. 🙁

chateau I walked for about 3 hours around the old part of the city, which sits at and on the base of a ridge that comes down into the city center. The cobblestone streets are lined with lovely yellow-paned hanging lanterns, very hilly and narrow, with the buildings again painted in rich sunny colors like in Italy, and covered in vines (and now I recall that we *are* very close to the Mediterranean). vines and mountain Even the roof tiles are artfully done in wave and swirl patterns. I waited too long to have dinner, and was not able to have fondue in the restaurant (L’Etage) on the nearby walking street that the hotel clerk recommended, but I found a charming creperie and had a cheese and bacon crepe with salad on top (very savory – hi Abby!) with a glass of the house red. The decor of the place, and the city, made me think of Joan of Arc – stone pillars, low ceilings, rafters. And of course, I bought two French pastries – for dessert and breakfast. 🙂