After two years of being able to stand on ski, it was time to switch the winter destination. It was also our first year living in Germany, and we were exploring the European ski resorts. What helped us the most was a website called snowtrex. It is actually an agency that operates in Europe and has different options for most of the ski resorts. Few filtering clicks after, and some flight checks, the finale was between Livigno in Italy and Chamrousse in France. Yes I never heard about the later one either, but based on a trip that we could make we decided for the second of the two.
The trip looked like this – train – plane – bus – airbnb – bus – ski – bus – airbnb – train – plane – train.
This is when I fell in love with EasyJet’s on board magazine and with the budget company as well, afterwards I heard that on some flights passengers were having no seat to lean on, not cool at all.
We arrived at the airport in Lyon, pretty empty, and straight on the bus to Grenoble, pleasent ride in a spacious bus from the OUIbus company (now known as BlaBlaBus). In Grenoble we stayed for one night, in one of the favorite AirbnB’s I’ve stayed.
The city was nice, I can easily imagine how nice it must be in spring and summer, as all the bars, had outside sitting area, and there were so many of them. We ate eclairs from bakeries, waffles in traditional cafe’s, and were just enjoying our sunny day in the city. At night we ended up in a very French bistro, eating dishes that we didn’t know what exactly they are, except tasty, but we definitively didn’t choose to eat foie gras. Snow Equipment shopping was also present.
The next morning, after croissants and grocery plus wine shopping,we took the bus to Chamrousse.
The two places are around 30km away, and the bus ride took around over an hour, as it stops in 3 places in Chamrousse. Our home for the next 7 days was Villages Bachat, apratment complex at 1700m.
There were mostly french tourists, here and there there would be some English or Irish group, but not such a high percentage. The days were following the same schedule, croissants, ski, lunch, ski, walks and dinner. What we learned on this trip was that you can’t have lunch or dessert when you like, there is proper timing for every meal in France. Sometimes we would stay hungry, sometimes out of protest we would leave the restaurant, and another type of protest was buying eclair instead of proper lunch.
Some of the Skilifts are not connected so there is a bus in the area that brings you for free in the place where you want to go from 1700 to the 1650 point and so on. Looking back and comparing to the other trips that we have done, there weren’t that many mountain huts. The one that I remember had restaurant and canteen part, and after desperately wanting to eat in the restaurant, we couldn’t get any language help, os we had to opt out and go to the canteen where you pick yourself from the buffet in front of you.
Another thing that i remember is that even though it was end of season, there was constant snow, blue sky, and the ski resort, never disappointed. To date I do not know why did it have lower rating compared to Garmisch Partenkirchen. But I guess i need more experience in order to judge.
What I can say with great confidence is that every eclair, croissant and baguette were always great.
And lastly my favorite part. Lyon. I was not expecting I will like the city so much. Maybe because I came without expectations. We were welcomed by very sunny day and blue sky. As google maps was not implemented for the city transport here, we decided we will walk everywhere. First we started in the area around out hotel, because i was really excited about a restaurant that I found. We were in the area called St. Michel-Maire, and just few minutes away from our hotel we came to Le Kitchen Cafe, and guess what, we were 15 minutes late for the official lunch serving hours, and then we got dessert plate, and exiting the place, there was a bakery, and that is how our lunch went.
Entering the city center it was soo full of people, that I cant imagine so many people in one place nowadays, colorful houses, shops, bakeries everything. Next stop was the top of the town, the Notre Dam Basilica, after that we went to the first, and to the forth arrondissement, and the love for the city was born. We decided that we will come back in this area for our next meal, until we saw how the places were getting filled with people with the speed of light, and we had again conflict with the french outgoing eating way. We ended up with savory crepe and traditional pink praline brioche.
This area and the food market that I skipped the first time might be one of the greatest reason why we chose to come back this year to Lyon, until a very famous cause, made our trip cancelled.
Now every time I see a place in Lyon my hear melts, I map it on my list and dreaming about going back as soon as possible.