The view down the valley from the Le Tour ski area
We arrived into Chamonix yesterday and it was a “work day”. We got moved in, did our grocery shopping, things like that. We’ve had a few issue with the Airbnb and we’ve been working to resolve that. We took a break and had lunch at a restaurant we had lunch at last year.
I’ve been to France many times and I like France. We’ve always been treated well and have never encountered the stereotypical French attitudes we’ve all heard about…….until today. At the restaurant, that we went to last year, and returned to this year, we were ignored, treated badly, Laurie received her lunch and was finished with it before they brought mine, AFTER we asked 3 times for it.
View from our apartment balcony
The waitress would ignore us when we asked for things, walk away from us to wait on French speakers, and when we would ask for things she wouldn’t bring them. She treated others quite well while treating us quite poorly. I’m usually a very good tipper in the states. While I realize that tipping etiquette isn’t the same in Europe, in this area, a ten percent tip is appreciated for good service. In order to make a point, I left 20 cents on a 50 dollar tab.
I was pretty disappointed in this behavior. I thought that perhaps it was because we were here the busiest week of the year and she can just treat us how she wants. I was concerned that we would be treated like this our entire visit. We headed back to the ski rental place we rented from last year to pick up our gear. We hoped that we wouldn’t be treated this way by the rental folks.
I like my new Go Pro!
We arrived to the rental shop, to find the exact same crew that set us up last year. We walked in and the guy in charge said “Ah! The Americans! Welcome!” They were cheerful and fun, were incredibly helpful in setting up our gear, and were as nice as they were last year. I showed them the blog from last year and pictures of them.
While there is a ski rental place in the building we are staying, we walked about ¼ mile to go back to this shop because of the quality of equipment and how we were treated when we were there last year. It was a fine choice. If you’re in Chamonix, I wouldn’t rent from anyone else. See the gang at Chamonix ski. Their website is : http://www.chamonixski.com/
Laurie's new goggles work great!
We go to the nearby Spar grocery store and stock up on things. We get French baked goods, a few things for dinner in one night, coffee, and breakfast stuff. We drop this back at the apartment and go out to walk around a bit.
We stop in a shop and purchase something small. The older woman behind the counter is kind to us and very helpful. The people we have encountered since our lunch are exactly the opposite of our waitress. Since then we have been well treated and people have been quite nice. We just happened to find the one bad apple in all of Chamonix it seems.
Bill's new glacier glasses work well too!
We get up this morning and are not in a hurry to get going. We get here and we kind of slow down. We got to the hill late and were greeted by pretty healthy lift lines. It turns out they weren’t as bad as we thought and they moved pretty quickly. The snow in the valley is sparse if there is any at all. There is pretty decent snow up on top of the mountain, but nowhere as good as last year. It is what it is and we’ll enjoy it as best we can.
It’s rather crowded but we do okay. The vistas are gorgeous, and we get our ski legs back under us after a year off. We actually only spend about 4 ½ hours skiing, with a break in the middle for lunch. You take a lift ride here and ski for an hour before you have to get on another. So a short day here is like a long day elsewhere. Towards the end I got to play with my new Go Pro which works with voice commands so I can take photos while I ski. We had a good time.
Go Pro shot of the gondola off the mountain to Vallorcine
We have burgers for dinner at a little bistro on the ground floor of the building we are in. It’s New Year’s Eve, but we’re sitting this one out. We’re worn out from skiing as we’re both out of ski shape. We’ve also both developed a bit of a cough. I told Laurie that we both got it at the same time….so that means we didn’t get it from each other. But we’ve been in a lot of crowds….so it happens. Hopefully it will go away and we won’t have to worry about it.
Happy New Year everyone! More tomorrow!