Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label La Clusaz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label La Clusaz. Show all posts

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Sunday 18 January 2015 - A Short Walk from La Croix Fry

Last night's concert at the Salle des Fêtes de Thônes (a nearby village) was excellent. Billed as the 'Concert du Nouvel An' it comprised performances from a number of local orchestras, including at least one of Yolaine's family, a little drummer boy with long hair and a blue shirt. Ginger Baker would have been impressed! Numerous relatives and friends were in attendance (Yolaine has 32 cousins) and we were made to feel part of the family.

Today we rose to a crisp blue sky day that saw La Clusaz and its surroundings full to capacity. With limited time available we drove up to La Croix Fry and enjoyed a walk along the path towards the Beauregard Plateau, admiring the snow laden trees and the views towards Mont Blanc as we went. Sue is pictured on a piste facing the latter, and today's other picture is a parting shot of La Clusaz as we left the village that has been our home for the last week.

Our apologies go to P and Y for not spending as much time as we should have done cleaning the apartment, I'm sure that given the superb weather you can understand why we left that job to Shawn. Thank you for having us and we hope to see you all again soon.

Sent from The Far North (aka Timperley). 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Saturday 17 January 2015 - Snow in La Clusaz

The snow started last night. A late night move from 'Free Parking' to the multi-storey car park saved us from being sealed into our spot by the first snowplough. 

We woke to less greenery than we've been accustomed to - the view from the apartment is pictured top.

Pierre and Yolaine wisely decided to stay in Annecy rather than meet us for a snowshoe walk, so we enjoyed a lazy morning watching the blizzard from the comfort of our living room. About a foot of snow has fallen. 

My photos from last year's TGO Challenge are now finally indexed thanks to this window of free time.

This afternoon we overcame our lassitude and hopped onto the skibus to Les Confins, where most of the Nordic skiing trails are now open and crowded. There has been a massive influx of people overnight.

In a couple of weeks we should be back on our own skis, so today we gave the rented ones a miss and simply strolled back down a 5 km walking piste to La Clusaz. Views were limited due to the continuing light snow; the bottom two pictures offer a flavour of the experience. I doubt that we were on any footpaths - we just followed the yellow marker posts through the fields. 

P and Y are due for afternoon tea (this French couple prefer tea to coffee) shortly and we may be out after that, so in the interests of being sociable this is all from another day of genuine 'holiday' in La Clusaz.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Friday 16 January 2015 - Tête du Danay

Today's hike took us up to 1734 metres, to a summit so spoilt for views that it has three separate orientation plinths. Whilst modest in height by local standards, it's the highest point between a number of valleys that are otherwise surrounded by high mountains, and is therefore home to some wonderful panoramas even on grey days like this one. 

We started from the apartment, passing an obscenely loud great tit outside the front door and heading through the village and past the swimming pool. At the end of the tarmac a red and white tape with a 'snowshoers only - respect their space' sign barred our way. We ignored it and continued past rummaging blackbirds along the woodland path on which Sue is pictured. 

A booming woman's voice from a ski school across the valley accompanied us for a while as we continued along the path signed to Les Confins. 

Eventually we reached an area of sparse snow and awkward bits of ice. Crampons would have been more help than snowshoes, but we didn't regret having neither. 

There was nobody else around. In fact we met one person all day. Gloves were not needed as we continued to climb snowshoe trail number 12.

At the Mouilles de la Perrière Sue spotted a strange object under a tarpaulin (pictured - centre). "I wonder what that is?" she asked. I hadn't a clue but I bet Sheila doesn't ask such questions! 

A few metres after this we turned sharp left with a view to ascending what would be our first hill of the year. The path rose steadily. I'd noticed a point on the map at 1561 metres that I'd planned to pause at - half way up the 400 metre ascent from the Mouilles. This was going to be the first time this week that we'd regret having forgotten to pack our flask.

Imagine our surprise to discover that the building at point 1561 was in fact 'La Ferme du Danay' a restaurant and buvette where we were able to enjoy a coffee and eat our sandwiches in the company of the tenants, Carinne and Mitch. We spent a happy time with them, chatting about (guess what?) a host of outdoor topics.

Then trail 33 led easily on hard packed snow to the 1734 metre summit of Tête du Danay for the wonderful panoramic views mentioned earlier, one of which is shown in the lower picture. (Remember this was a grey day on which rain was forecast to fall all day - the fact that we got any view at all and stayed perfectly dry was something of a surprise.)

Continuing along the ridge, we soon came across the Bellavarde ski piste that we'd enjoyed on Monday from Les Confins. It was open today, and several people were struggling round a steep corner where I'd taken off my skis on Monday.

Snowshoe trail number 32 then took us north for a couple of hours down packed snow towards the Grand-Bornand valley. An easy and enjoyable descent, despite the gloomy weather and a few sheets of ice lower down before the snow completely disappeared. The Nordic ski tracks at Le Grand-Bornand were mostly 'ice rink' quality and were very decisively marked 'closed' in numerous languages, albeit anyone attempting them would have to be crazy.

A short ride on the free skibus got us back to a rainy La Clusaz shortly after 4 pm, after this 14 km outing with around 700 metres ascent, taking about five hours.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Thursday 15 January 2015 - Annecy

Last night the six of us (Sue and I were joined by Chantal, Joël, Yolaine and Pierre) enjoyed an excellent meal at La Caleche, which can be entered from P and Y's apartment without going outside the building. The French chef told us he learnt his art (of French chefery working for two years in Chichester. Chantal told us that in the high season (most of February) the restaurant would be full of English voices, with the locals feeling transported to a foreign land. She also demanded that we provide a name and a recipe for our version of Tartiflette,  and did I hear her observe that it sounded quite good! Next week, Chantal. 

No skiing today. No more 'face plants' on icy pistes. I'm 5 - 0 up in that contest. Unusually for Sue she hasn't come a cropper even once.

Fearing the worst in the Nordic skiing pistes department, we'd returned our skis etc yesterday, with today's visit to Annecy already in mind. 

It's an easy half hour drive to Bonlieu car park in the centre of town, from where we enjoyed a lakeside wander in bright sunshine with the snow clad Tournette massif, which tops out at 2351 metres (Annecy is 450 metres) glittering in the distance beyond the head of the lake.

Our La Clusaz choughs have been replaced down here with coots and black-headed gulls, goosanders and mallards, with cormorants and bigger gulls and divers such as great crested grebes further out on the lake. The squabbling gulls and mallards might have been at Sale waterfront, but for the surprising absence of Canada geese. There were lots of runners out exercising on the walkways by the lake.

Statues and old buildings guided us to the old town to the south of the river. 
Pedestrian streets between tall buildings, with some tourists but not too many, occupied our time until an overwhelming desire for elevenses drew us into the welcoming Bistrot Café Bar Saint Clair. So welcoming in fact that had the proprietor had Ebola she would no doubt have passed it on to all her customers; she really shouldn't have been at work. Rue Saint Clair is near the old prison pictured (top).

Paninis in a small shop were as good as we've had. Even here they were complaining about the lack of snow. They haven't had any yet this calendar year, and feared that tourists would be staying away.

We wandered around some more - a slideshow will reveal more in due course - before adjourning for a scenic drive around Lac d'Annecy on the now very sunny afternoon. 

We paused for a short walk near the impressive but very private chateau at Duingt, from where the lower picture of the Tournette massif was taken. Lounging on a small pier with some other walkers, we all soaked in the bright sunshine.

Neatly pruned plane trees accompanied us on our final stroll near Talloires, before we trundled back up to the delights of La Clusaz for another relaxing, agenda free, evening. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Wednesday 14 January 2015 - Sticky Snow at Les Confins

Lie in.

Lazy morning with rain outside. 

Two hours skiing at Les Confins on tracks sticky with a thin layer of fresh snow. Only 4 km of pistes open, so we went round three times. Deserted when we arrived; full of children and groups training when we left. Snowing there but raining in La Clusaz. 

Back by 3.30 for welcome tea and biscuits and a most enjoyable lazy afternoon until our hosts arrive for aperitifs. 

Top - La Clusaz last night
Middle - this morning's view from our balcony
Bottom - the small chapel next to the pistes at Les Confins

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tuesday 13 January 2015 - Plateau de Beauregard

Another sunny morning saw us up at La Croix Fry (1477 metres) by 10.30. There were insufficient pistes open to warrant a charge - we should have bought our passes by the day rather than for three days. Never mind. 

The route through trees to the Beauregard Plateau was skiable but icy. It sported good views to l'Aiguille Vert (2322 metres) with Mont Blanc in the distance behind (pictured). Once on the plateau, the green Crulets piste was a delight, including the sound of woodpeckers in the trees. 

The longest of the four open pistes was the Lachat, an 8 km circuit. Icy in places but generally good fun. It usually links with other plateau pistes, but today we had to take our skis off and walk to Les Matins Clairs refuge for our morning coffees. There was just one other skier there, and a few walkers and snowshoers. There were very few skiers on the trails, and just a smattering of downhill aficionados on the easy slopes that criss crossed our 'Nordic' pistes.

There is so little snow that we pondered the benefit of snowshoes just now.

After a 'sunglasses and gloves' incident - I left sunglasses at the refuge, they had put them on one side, together with some gloves that I took to be Sue's despite their smart appearance. On return to Sue she denied owning them then embarked on a long dialogue with some French people heading for the refuge who eventually understood that their task was to reunite the smart gloves with their owner.

We then paused for lunch on the steps of a closed chalet that was well out of the cool westerly breeze - teeth jarring butties on which Sue seemed intent on me repeating last year's broken tooth incident. 

Then we continued along Lachat, diverting to enjoy the other open pistes, Colomban and Nant.

By the time we had skied back along the access piste to La Croix Fry, we'd covered a satisfactory 17 km; the sky was clouding over and Mont Blanc had disappeared. 

There followed a long period of supping tea and biscuits and contented relaxation back at the apartment. 

Monday, 12 January 2015

Monday 12 January 2015 - Les Confins

After yesterday's easy drive to La Clusaz, our 4pm rendezvous with Yolaine soon saw us efficiently installed in her and Pierre's studio apartment in the centre of town. It turns out that they have been living here recently due to building work on their home in Annecy, so the loan of the apartment for a week is all the more appreciated. Thank you Pierre and Yolaine. 

After moving the car to 'Free Parking' (keeping it in the main car park would cost us €75 for the week) we unpacked then strolled up to La Trace for dinner with Chantal and Joël, together with Yolaine and Pierre. Pierre came after attending the silent march in Annecy following the atrocities committed in Paris last week. 

Tartiflette a la Chantal was superb, following luxurious starters (it would be unfair to hungry readers to say more) and succeeded by a chocolaty pudding. There was a bemused look when I told our hosts that my version of Tartiflette includes mushrooms and an alternative to the Reblachon cheese that's hard to find in the UK. "That's NOT Tartiflette" they all assured me. 

Returning to the apartment (thanks for the lift Yolaine) we passed a snow machine busy trying to keep the main downhill skiing route into town open. There has been very little snow here, so skiing options are more limited than usual.

Choughs congregated on the roofs below us as we breakfasted on the traditional tasty croissants this morning - somebody must regularly offer them breakfast. By the time we left, the Monday market was in full swing. 

A ski hire shop next to the chapel in Les Confins sorted us out with skis, boots and poles for €13 a day each, and piste passes cost a further €7 a day. Only about half of the Les Confins pistes were open today but we managed a couple of laps (Sue is pictured on one of these) of a 2.5 km route before coffees, then we enjoyed the 9 km Bellavarde route up to a minor summit at 1420 metres.

Given the warm, calm, blue sky nature of the day, we could hardly complain about the icy piste. My Porsche skis dragged me down three times on the descent after our al fresco lunch in warm sunshine. Sue miraculously managed to stay upright on her Ford Prefect skis.

The bottom two pictures were taken from our lunch spot and of our lunch spot respectively. 

Primroses and (maybe last year's) Carline Thistles are evident and other flowers are in bud. Winter seems to have been by passed by Spring.

After our 14 km ski we changed back into our only shoes for this trip (hiking boots) and strolled around Les Confins, noting several groups of walkers under the strict control of their guides. Is it me, or in these times of affluence are more and more people too lazy to organise even a short stroll for themselves? The majority of people we saw today were with either instructors or guides, which must at least be good for the local economy. 

By the way - thanks for your comments, I'm unlikely to reply by way of comment this week as we have to go to an obscure stairwell to pick up wifi from a nearby café, and the phone signal is variable.  

Right, I'll try to transmit this from the stairwell, on our way to give the 'huit to 8' shop a bit of custom. 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Sunday 11 January 2015 - A Short Walk in the Jura

Saturday morning's five km Parkrun in Wythenshawe Park was about the muddiest on record. With no spikes on our shoes the simple task of running alongside a couple of football pitches seemed more like treading treacle. 

So with the aid of Mike's Taxi and a little nudge from EasyJet and the dreaded Budget/Avis, we soon found ourselves noshing smoked salmon tart and supping excellent wine at Alistair and Laurence's hideout in Cessy, near the large Hadron Collider.

That set us up for today's short stroll in the Jura, virtually from their doorstep. Just 4 km, with Laurence nursing a headache at home (there were quite a few empty bottles lying around this morning) and lively Lyra, the golden retriever, joining us for the walk.

It was muddy after thrashing overnight rain and warm weather that had melted earlier snow. A bit like Wythenshawe Park if 'truth be known. We wound our way through stick rich forestry, emerging eventually onto a rounded summit topped by an ancient obelisk. Sue, Alistair and Lyra are pictured here. 

A nearby viewing platform helpfully pointed to a panoply of locations, including an invisible hill called Mont Blanc. At least it was quite warm, and not raining. 

Then, after more food, Sue and I jumped into Cleo and sped off to La Clusaz, pictured from where we abandoned the car in a lay by. 

Friday, 24 January 2014

10 to 18 January 2014 – La Clusaz


Here’s a typical view from the Beauregard Plateau.

If you would like to view more photos from this trip, there’s a slideshow with 50 images here, and a larger show with 160 images here.

The various postings from this trip can be viewed (start at the bottom) here.

Sue practiced with the video setting on her Canon G15, the results of which have been loaded by mistake onto my You Tube feed, the links to which are below:

Martin on the Beauregard Plateau A
Martin on the Beauregard Plateau B
On the Rennes piste A
On the Rennes piste B

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Friday 17 January 2014 - Last Tango in La Clusaz

Overnight snow deteriorated to rain whilst we enjoyed our croissants at the start of a leisurely morning.

Our bag (there is only one for this short trip) was packed and the apartment cleaned and progress made with our current reading matter and Sue's Facebook adventures, as well as a walk up to a local viewpoont, during which the above picture was taken, before Yolaine appeared at 12 o'clock. 

Lunch at La Trace was excellent (thank you Chantal) and was followed by a trip to Col des Aravis, passing on the way a large information board advertising a local Via Ferrata route and featuring a picture of a youthful Yolaine; she has been looking down on passing motorists at this point for the past fifteen years. The pass is a high spot, with good views towards Mont Blanc. 

Snowshoes were duly donned and the five of us made our way to La Tête, from where we enjoyed a fine view of the Aiguille du Midi and other high points, but sadly the summit of Mont Blanc remained cloud bound.

Hot chocolate at La Trace and a lift from Yolaine back down to La Clusaz saw us waving goodbye to the last of our Bueso/Collomb-Patton hosts before being picked up a few minutes later by cousin Alistair for a lovely, if somewhat indulgent, evening near Geneva with him and Laurence and the ever playful Lyra.

Sent from Timperley after an easy journey home - more photos will follow

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Thursday 16 January 2014 - Gollet and Bellavarde

Gollet and Bellavarde are the highlights of the Nordic ski pistes on the Plateau des Confins, to which the number 2 skibus delivers us efficiently from a bus stop very close to our front door. 

Despite heavy cloud and wandering sleet showers, we enjoyed our final romp in the snow that the French have allegedly stolen from Austria, covering around 20 kilometres on the above pistes. The trail took us from about 1410 metres to 1650 metres, where we lunched behind a barn in the company of a group of jolly snowshoers.

The descent was lovely, though we'll be pleased to replace the waxless skis with some that have a better glide for our next adventure. 

The 14.43 bus was again utilised to return us to the comforts of La Clusaz,  where five and a half days of ski hire amounted to only €65 for the two of us.

We have secured a huge round of Reblochon de Savoie Fermier cheese, so it's a proper Tartiflette for Mike when he calls for his dinner on Sunday. 

What does tomorrow, our last day on this little trip, hold in store? We have no idea, Chantal and Yolaine have been left in charge of that, and it'll depend on what greets them when they draw their curtains in the morning....

Today's pictures show the view that we have when we draw our curtains on a sunny day in Pierre and Yolaine's studio apartment, and the sad state today of a picnic bench that was so accommodating on Monday. 

Sent from La Clusaz after the pleasure of a visit from Chantal and Joël for afternoon tea

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Wednesday 15 January 2014 - Plateau des Glières

Overnight snow (pictured as we left the restaurant last night) and colder temperatures left the commuters to this Alpine village with icy roads to negotiate this morning.

Meanwhile, Joël would have been in his office by 5.30 am to orchestrate the safety of today's skiers by detonating avalanches on some of the pistes in order to make them safe for people on this initially sunny day. 

We, of course, enjoyed our now customary lie in whilst waiting for Yolaine to fight her way up the road from Annecy. Having introduced only two newcomers to the world the previous night, she couldn't offer the 'tiredness' excuse. Anyway, she arrived bang on time and whisked us away to the Plateau des Glières for another 17 kilometres of Nordic skiing. 

The weather was fine, albeit the sky slowly clouded over, hence the rather dull image of Yolaine and Sue in front of the memorial to French resistance forces who grouped together on this plateau in early 1944 and contributed greatly to the liberation of this part of France before the Allies arrived. 

The Dran and Frêtes pistes gave us a nice varied route before our excellent lunch at Chez Constance, where some ten years ago Pierre and Yolaine enjoyed a gathering to celebrate their marriage. So the place holds good memories for Yolaine. 

We were last to leave, at around 3 pm (did I say we enjoyed a superb lunch), and after repeatedly tangling with a large group of children who were faster than us but kept stopping, we left the Les Rennes piste in favour of the day's highlight, Les Mouilles piste.

The conditions were excellent even though the snow was a bit sticky for our waxless skis, and there was a fine sweeping descent to end the day's exertions at around 4.30pm.

A day of icy roads, superb skiing on both open ground and amongst beautiful snow laden trees, Yolaine's excellent company and chauffeuring, afternoon tea in the studio, and an early night after a light supper. 


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Tuesday 14 January 2014 - A Walk from La Croix Fry

Wet, light snow continued to fall until after 10am, allowing us the luxury of another lie in before catching the eleven o'clock bus up to La Croix Fry. 

By the time we disembarked the cloud had lifted sufficient for occasional beams of sunlight to sear into the fresh white deposits. The trees responded by dunking their overnight burdens on any passing shadow. 

For a while we enjoyed fine views of the crète leading towards La Grande Balmaz (2616 metres). The ridge is pictured behind Sue. It has no footpaths. 

The Mont Blanc massif poked its head out of the clouds for a short while, but soon mist descended again to around 2500 metres, with swathes of cloud lower down at various levels. 

We left our skis at home today, in deference to some slightly irritated and rarely used muscles. Nor were the snowshoes borrowed from Chantal and Joël deployed. It's debatable as to whether these would have made our walking tour of the Beauregard Plateau any easier, but we managed fine without them so long as we kept to the piste reserved for walkers,  where the 30 cm or so of snow that had fallen overnight had been nicely tamped down.

There was hardly anyone about, just some sweet singing birds to keep us company - a huge contrast to the hordes of folk we saw up here on Sunday.  But with no picnic bench to be found, and with picnickers not welcome at the mountain huts, we were obliged to lunch on the piste. Very nice it was too, until the last bite of chocolate removed one of my front teeth!  Just a razor sharp stump remains, but at least my sympathetic dentist can see me at 9am on Monday. 

From the plateau, we took the easy path down to La Clusaz, on which snowshoes would have been a hindrance. Two children on skis flew past, giving us quite a fright - we saw very few others on today's trails.

Back at base by 3.30pm, after our 13 km stroll, resulted in plenty of 'down' time, during which I was pleased to be able to move on from the Hunger Games trilogy.

Tonight we are treating our hosts to a meal at La Cordée. I hope no more of my teeth go awol!

Sent from France

Monday, 13 January 2014

Monday 13 January 2014 - Plateau des Confins

Today's excursion with our skis involved a short bus ride past a gigantic English rose to the chapel at Confins.

We'd enjoyed a lovely evening at La Trace, where Sue correctly guessed Pierre's Vanoise loppet time as being three hours for the 42 kilometres. He made it to dinner in plenty of time though, whereas Yolaine was delayed by five babies, a long sleep (having babies is tiring for all involved) and a car crash blocking the narrow road to La Clusaz.

At around 1400 metres, Plateau des Confins is over 200 metres lower than the Beauregard Plateau we enjoyed yesterday. Today was warm and overcast, with the cloud slowly thickening to produce light snow that rapidly turned to slush down in La Clusaz. 

We skied all the green and blue runs, totting up another 17 kilometres before adjourning for hot chocolate and the bus home. There were not so many people skiing today, and some of those we encountered on the easy trails made us feel positively expert. This plateau is obviously a favourite place for beginners to Nordic skiing. 

An afternoon in the apartment has seen me scything through Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games whilst Sue is meandering along with The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

For dessert: Rummikub.

Sent from La Clusaz

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Sunday 12 January 2014 - Beauregard Plateau

A blue sky day saw us on a gondola heading up to the plateau by 11am, after a long lie in and a productive visit to the chocolate croissant shop.

Our waxless hired skis worked fine over the zigzaggy course of 17km we enjoyed today. The Mont Blanc massif was visible for much of the day,  seen in the centre of the above picture taken from near La Croix Fry, where we enjoyed an al fresco lunch on a picnic table in a temperature of about 15C and no wind. Quite a contrast to our lunch stops in Gatineau Park!

Once we got our 'ski legs' the blue trails we covered proved quite easy, the only wipe out being due to Sue installing her skis before actually reaching the Nordic Skiing trails that had clearly been groomed overnight.

Hot chocolate in La Caleche, on the ground floor of our apartment block that used to be a hotel, gave us a wi-fi opportunity. Sue is now the proud owner of an ipad and joined Facebook a few days ago, so she was drooling over her Facebook activity whilst slurping her drink. 

Our hosts, Chantal, Joël, Pierre and Yolaine entertained us tonight at La Trace, where we enjoyed a fine raclette meal. Thanks everyone - it was great.

As perfect a day as they come. 


Sent from La Trace

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Saturday 11 January 2014 - La Clusaz

La Clusaz is apparently one of the most popular ski resorts in the French Alps. It's more a bustling alpine village than a purpose built ski resort, situated in the heart of the Aravis in the Haute Savoie region, a dynamic yet laid back destination. Or so we are told. 

Chantal and Joël, and Pierre and Yolaine, are numbered amongst these dynamic yet laid back residents. They have welcomed us into their homes. 

We woke this morning in Geneva with rather fuzzy heads. Nothing to do with yesterday's EasyJet 1953 from Manchester that arrived 30 minutes early, though I suppose that did give us more time to down a few bottles with Alistair, Laurence and Lyra. Though Lyra didn't help much. She was too sensible, apart from being preoccupied with teasing us with a rubber pig.

The boulangerie soon sorted us out, and by lunchtime the five of us had made our way to join Chantal's team in a nice restaurant in La Clusaz. I think Lyra would have preferred to play in the snow with the other children, but she soon settled down to licking a few shoes.

Then the Geneva team then went to Annecy, where Lyra enjoys a swim in the lake. Thank you, team, for your hospitality and transport service.

Joël went back to work as La Clusaz's mountain rescue service manager, on what seemed to be a busy day. Yolaine had to deliver some babies in Annecy, and Pierre left to prepare his skis for a 42 kilometre loppet (ski race) that he's booked on tomorrow. 

We've hired some skis, collected some passes from La Trace - Chantal and Joël's HQ - and are now happily installed in Pierre and Yolaine's lovely studio apartment in the centre of the village.

All very sociable - let's now see how the rented waxless skis perform tomorrow. 

Sent from a lovely studio apartment in the Alps

Friday, 10 January 2014

First Trip of 2014

Despite our frailties, Sue and I are bravely embarking on our first trip of the year. It's the only way to prevent her from working! 

We know that the company will be good, and we hope the weather is likewise. 

Sue is currently shopping for a third pair of sunglasses. That's a bit optimistic perhaps as I would think the cost of reaching some sunshine should be rather higher than our outlay of £30 a head for this journey.

Still, even if injury prevents much exercise, we should get some nice views....

Sent from a random UK airport