Monday, 15 February 2010

Adventures at La Dôle

When we moved to Nyon one of our main concerns was that we would be moving away from the Alps, where we had so much fun snowshoeing, skiing and hiking. Luckily for us we soon found the Jura mountains behind us, while not having the same altitude as the Alps, had plenty to offer themselves.

A couple of times now we've been up to La Givrine, from where you can set out on a number of different snowshoe walks.

One time we walked from La Givrine through to the La Dôle ski area, where we stopped for a drink at the little restaurant at Cuvaloup. This was a lot of fun as we'd basically hiked across the border between Switzerland and France.

On another walk we went in the opposite direction, walking down the hill to Saint Cergue and catching the mountain train back to La Grivrine, where we had hot bowls of soup and some of the delicious home-made Jus de Pomme.

A note about the snow at La Dôle - it's the first time we've really noticed the snow falling in individual snow crystals - normally it falls in clumps. It's fascinating to look at the crystals that land on your glove or bag, and when you look at your car after a day parked in the falling snow it looks amazing covered like this.

The other day I also took the day off work to go skiing and, given the weather was quite poor and I had to spend part of the morning working, I decided La Dôle was a good place to go. I'd been once before with Linda but only for a short time and we didn't explore the whole area.

At first I wasn't very happy; it was really cold, the visibility was poor, and my new ski boots were making my feet numb. After taking a break and letting my feet recover a bit, I finally started to enjoy myself.

The weather cleared a little and my boots started to feel more comfortable, but most importantly I discovered the joy of skiing in the trees!

I spotted some people skiing down a small path into the trees and followed them in. It was really challenging and fun to be zig-zagging through the trees away from the piste.

I then started making my own tracks through the trees - through fresh powder and between trees covered in snow. It was really amazing, although I at times I was certainly glad to have worn my helmet...

Anyway, between the snowshoeing and the skiing, we're very happy with what we have only 20 minutes drive away at La Dôle and I'm sure that will continue all the way through Summer also.

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