Pedestrian Crossing of the Ski skies..

We just landed in the snow accidently. It was basically due to an unsuccessful day in Epernay and the complete unwillingness to spend the night in Paris – so we caught the first train that would get us out of Paris for a night journey to reach someplace in the morning. So we hopped on to a train to Bourg St Maurice – its a place in French Alps, about 1000 mt high. And reached there – only to find a nice villagy sort of city with a pretty river stream. There were nice marts for saturday, which we strolled and picked up some woolen stuff (we weren’t prepared for the cold obviously). But after a while we realized there was not much to do, the city did not even have a youth hostel to offer a comfortable stay…someone told us that there would be hope of finding snow at a place called Tignes – a place close and accessible by bus. Now me and my friend, we had never seen proper snow except for some in Chamonix. And there even was a hostel..
So we boarded the bus – it is not the most frequent service – not in November for sure. But we reached the place around one in the afternoon – only to realize that there were only 3 different part of Tignes! And we didn’t even know where were we supposed to go. So we took the middle stop – Tignes Le Lac only because I thought I would love to see a lake.
What followed was a bit of a disaster, because the youth hostel was 5 km way down this stop, and we had luggage nicely tucked along. There was no transport available (we were told it might start in december when there is more of the skiing crowd), and we did part walking part hitch hiking. After that we hitch hiked a lot on that road because there was virtually nothing close to the hostel. However the hostel was a very nice one and offered dinner along with bed and breakfast. It had a nice bar and a TV, and dinnertime was this huge community gettogether – so many people chattering away in their huge range of languages..our roommate was a Canadian woman who had come to hunt for job. God I have met so many Canadians here – its almost like its their second home or something.
The next morning we took another hitch to the third stop of Tignes – the place where lifts start for skiing..took a pedestrian ticket and went all the way up – to the ski paradise. And we were the only pedestrians there! Well ok, this was the first time we were seeing snow and with no one familiar around we just didn’t want to jump off to ski. In retrospect, I think we should have at least tried but we were a little hesistant, and that never helps.
But the snow was beautiful. May be most people dont get so overawed with it anymore because they might have seen it way early in their lives. But me, even while I live not very far from the highest mountain ranges of the world, was thrilled with her first sight of snow. We played in the snow, goofed around a bit..and got very very cold. It was also fun to watch people ski, and also to ride the chair lifts. It was great fun actually.
And down in the town, the lake is very pretty. Actually more than the Tignes Lake, there is a huge river mouth (river Isere) close to Tignes Boisse (where we stayed) which is awesome. It was pure nature because you hardly found any people and shops in the area. The tourist office though was quite grand and one of the best I have seen on this trip..
I dont know whether there will be enough time to do a second round of all places I like, but if I do, I think I will sneak this one in. And to think that its not even on my lonely planet book…

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