This week kicked off where we left off on Sunday. In the Alps.
When I’m home, I always go into the garden to have a look outside. Especially on a cold, crisp day.
The morning was a simple affair, we had breakfast and planned the day. Catherine helped mum with a family tradition, Christmas cake, which mum makes every year (and took on from my English Grandma).
After an early lunch of quenelles, a French dish we headed up the mountain to see some more snow and have a quick walk. I drove us up and braved the ice covered road (on the mountain, it was thawing at the house), but with grippy snow tyres on mums car it was a doddle. We got to the top of the Revard to find it blanketed in a thick fog. It was also -6 degrees with a bitter wind that cut at our faces.
We wrapped up warm and revised our plans for an hour long walk down to a more manageable 20 minutes.
After slipping about on the ice for a while we completed the little loop we were on and made it back to the car.
In the return journey we chanced across a chamois, looking confused on the road. I was weary there might be more so revised our speed down some. Then we got back and made a tea, helped mum with a few more things such as putting up the bird feeder and got a tour of the recently redone garden.
Then it was time to pack and head to the airport, but not without stopping at the supermarket for a few provisions.
I’ll miss the mountains and the snow and the simple pleasures that come with them. Such as a warm thermos of tea, or watching the fireplace go from a burning match to a raging inferno. But that’s what makes it special every time we go back.
The weather was dismal on Tuesday. Icy cold rain and strong blustery winds. Still, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad preparation. I can confirm this is correct, cycling without gloves in those conditions counts as bad preparation. In fact, I felt colder than I did Monday atop the mountain getting seared by the wind at -6! Coincidentally, I chanced across this article, which basically confirms that making an adventure out of bad weather makes everything all right (just remember to bring gloves).
Other than a run on Wednesday, we took the opportunity to relax a bit.
Thursday night we headed over to Matt and Helens for some good food and the opening of our beer, which Matt and I brewed a few weeks ago!
I was honestly expecting a disaster. But was enjoyably surprised to find it sufficiently carbonated, and beer-like. A bit sweet and not the Weizener it claimed to be on the packaging. Regardless, it’s available on Untappd!
And for your viewing pleasure, here are our first reactions in raw, unedited footage.
Friday evening we had our friends Judith and Bart over for a meal. On this occasion, red wine and chorizo risotto followed by sticky toffee pudding. We think it went down well.
Saturday we got up early and I left to the station to catch a train to The Hague. As per Mike’s suggestion, we went to Red Bull KnockOut on Scheveningen beach (we went to spectate, not participate 😦 ). The weather stayed good throughout the day though the strong wind sure bit into our faces and hands! The craft beer bar on the pier got a good amount of our cash as we could warm up by the fireplace.
The race itself was typical Red Bull, loud, crazy, slightly dangerous and accompanied by the usual selection of machinery. About 1500 motorbikes, a Dakar rally truck, a Hum-Vee and a helicopter, all in RedBull livery. It would have been cool to get closer to the action but for obvious reasons, spectators and motorbikes doing 130kmh on sand do not mix well. Nevertheless, I put the GoPro to work and captured some footage, hopefully I can distill it down into something entertaining to watch.
As for Sunday, well we wanted to go to a museum, but decided to get Museumcards, so instead we’re doing a city outing to The Hague (yes, again). Before setting off I took time to do the dishes. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a dish after breakfast, wonder no more:
We found The Hague to be a very pleasant city, slightly more so than Amsterdam if I may say so, on account that it’s a little quieter and more spacious. The Embassy district is worth a detour as is the St. Jacobus church. Otherwise we loafed around and made a special detour to Marks and Spencers to look for some English stuff. Then off home, dinner, movie and bed, refreshed for another week!