Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rain, Snow and Fondue

The last full day of our vacation in France dawned gray and rainy, but not too cold.  Still, our plans to go to the Aulps Abbey in Morzine were shot (it's no fun to poke around ruins in a driving rain) so we puttered around the house, organizing our stuff for packing (we had to leave the house at 7am the next morning to make our 10am flight in Geneva) and generally being lazy.

After a clean-out-the-fridge lunch of cheese, fruit, bread, olives, sausage, and rose, we decided we had to get out of the house, so we drove east about a half hour to the village of Sixt Fer à Cheval which is dominated by the Cirque du Fer à Cheval, a horseshoe shaped outcropping of rock that is apparently just breathtaking.  But we could only see maybe about 100 meters up, as the tops (ranging between 500 to 700 meters) were completely shrouded in fog.  But it had its own beauty in the rain, along with the added benefit of being completely devoid of other tourists.

Low clouds along the Cirque du Fer a Cheval
The Cirque du Fer a Cheval and waterfalls in the rain and low clouds
We went back into Samoëns to a cafe to add to the blog using the village wifi connection, watch the rain fall, and have a coffee.  After an hour or so, we had finished posting and the rain had eased considerably, so we drove home.  As we climbed up to our little hamlet, we could see the clouds had lifted at the higher elevations and were surprised to see snow on the tops of the local peaks.  Just a dusting, but still.  The day before in Montreux we had been sweating in the 85-degree sun, and today we could see snow just above our chalet!
Clouds above and snow on peak above Samoens
Snow dusting across the valley, as the clouds lift
Valyn had to have fondue before she left the Alps, so we saved it for our last night.  Really, what's not to like about a big pot of melted cheese with stale bread and a green salad?  Especially after a cold, rainy day!  I make it at home (you can see my recipe here) about once a winter and Craig, not a fan of fondue but a good husband, suffers through it with generally good humor, and humored me again on this trip, as fondue is usually a minimum-of-two order.   We had our fondue at the restaurant at Le Relais Septimontain, at the recommendation of the tourist office, and they didn't steer us wrong.  It was great and Valyn was happy.

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