La Tania and Lake Annecy Holiday 2013
We've always talked about going back to the ski resort during the summer as we've seen summer photo's on the La Tania website and it looked good...especially as they open up the ski lifts and gondola's during July and August so you can get your mountain bikes up there. And we always say how nice Lake Annecy is each time we pass it on our way to/from La Tania...so seemed like a good idea to have a two week holiday splitting our time between the two.
Here's what we found...
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We stayed at Les Peupliers in Le Praz (Courchevel 1300) on recommendation from Jamie and Jenna at Come-Ski. It was a great hotel....here are a couple of shots from our balcony. The lake here can be skied over during the winter and you wouldn't know it was there. In fact, you walk across it to get to the gondola. The old multi coloured gondola's have gone now though.
These gondola's were working and had fittings to take your mountain bike. We used them a few times as you'll see later...
The red tape you can see coming down in the distance actually marks the red run that comes out of Courchevel. (Amoureux).
La Tania from Pub Le Ski Lodge.
Pub Le Ski Lodge - bit different in the summer!
These pools are behind the Chrome bar (where Janet hit the pole on the sledge). You wouldn't have known it was there!
Looking up the green Plan Fontaine that comes down into La Tania
The bridge we walk across every day - strange to see a dirt road running under it
Kev's cliff - the dangerous cliff that still hasn't been marked off so anyone could still fall over the edge and kill themselves. (OK - it's not that bad but it felt like it at the time).
La Tania's nursery slope from the top of the drag lift.
Pen wanted to take a picture of our new walking boots!
Plan Fontaine as you come down into La Tania
Torrent - where we stayed on the first holiday
And this is the reason why it's called Torrent - this is right next to the chalet.
Evelyne in the summer - walking around these chalets was like walking around a ghost town. All were shut and there was no-one around. It was so quiet.
This is the cut through we normally use to get onto the red run when we hit the slopes first thing in the morning. (Moretta Blanche).
Looking up Moretta Blanche - with the familiar stone cottage used as a landmark to know where to go back through the trees at the end of the day.
Looking down Moretta Blanche
The gondola's at the bottom of La Tania. These were free to use - this one has someone in with his mountain bike. You take the bikes inside the gondola's...but others had assistant's who would take your bike and place them into brackets/holders on the side.
The drag lift in the left of this picture is being replaced with a chair lift (known as Gros Murger). On the piste maps, this is denoted as a difficult surface lift...but should be a chairlift for 2014.
La Tania from the gondola
Need to explain this....do you remember coming up the gondola from La Tania and when you first get out, you would do a right hand turn, down a short hill, under a tunnel and then onto the second chairlift that took you to the top? Well that yellow dumper truck in the photo is where the tunnel used to be! It's been removed...and a new chairlift is being put in place as well. This place is known as Bouc Blanc (white goat).
Bouc Blanc chairlfit
We decided to get the mountain bikes out and ride down Plan Fontaine
...and here we are...
When we got to this bit, it was very rutted and boggy and it was impossible to continue on bikes so we had to pick our way across to the nursery slope
I'm not familar with this place but apparently this is the turning point to go back for the runners who go out in the morning....you just didn't realise there were loads of picnic tables there!
The main hub of Courchevel 1850 (you can see the bridge to the right which goes down Trovets (the blue that's really a red))
Looking up the green 'Verdons'
In the Verdons gondola
This is the huge telecabin (just over Penny's shoulder) that takes you up to Sailure (right to the top). It wasn't running but Viselle was which takes you almost to the same place.
We cycled down Verdons - they had a dedicated mountain bike trail called 'Funny Track'. Penny didn't find it funny....
The family park!
Penny 'having a moment'
Yes that really is a Verdons green run marker and yes that really is a golf course that people are playing on. Who would have known that we were all skiing over a golf course. And where did that lake come from? It was a bizarre site.
I believe this is the drag lift that runs near the top of Verdons green run called Sources and Rocher De L'Ombre
A lake that we didn't know was there...you would only see this if you get the bus from Courchevel back to La Tania - it sits in one of the bends of the road.
Great views from our balcony
What a bike looks like hanging from the gondola!
Top of Sailure - we came right to the top today
Yep - we actually ski down that slope - it's one of the reds (Combe Sailure) as you come out of Sailure Telecabin (building on right). Building on left is the top of Pas Du Lac 2 (brings you up from Meribel/Mottaret 1750) - this pic was taken having just come out of Vizelle
The red 'Combe Sailure'
Down and around the corner to the right to get to Meribel.
Some may remember the rock in the middle as the turning point between Meribel (go right to get onto red run Niverolle/Marcassin) and Courchevel (turn left to go onto red run Creux)
Looking down into Meribel (but not the village)
Brave Pen sitting on the edge!
A typical mountain bike trail
Meribel village - we picked up the gondola coming up out the other side and headed over to St Martin de Belleville
Penny coming dow the mountain bike trail - somewhere near the blue run (biolley). In fact, this was a great run.
The tunnel you have to go through just before you reach St Martin de Belleville.
And here's St Martin de Belleville - unfortunately, the restaurant that sells the best chips in the world was not open - but we found a restaurant that sells the best burgers in the world :-)
Verdons again after a long day on the slopes/gondolas. This is taken from a small track up on the left of the slope that you would never guess is there normally!
Loze Est green run (runs under Verdons gondola) - with Courchevel just coming into view.
Les Peupliers hotel
Oops - Penny's knee after it met unexpectedly with a stony path (bike moment). And yes, it was the 'bad' knee.
If you get in the car and drive to Courchevel Moriand (Courchevel 1650) there's a lake that can be found down the bottom of a road that drops out from 1650 - called Lac Rosiere. There's a walk/trail that follows along the mountain range - a fantastic scenic valley. In fact, look at any ski piste map and look to the far left and you'll see a mountain called Dent du Villard (near the Chapelets red run). Here's pics fom our walk up and back down...
We bumped into an English couple, one of which worked over here. She said this area has become popular for off-piste skiing because it becomes so nice a flat at the bottom of the valley...so much so that they are beginning to piste it even though it has no chair lifts.
The white peak of Mont Blanc
If you look closely, there's actually a chair lift on the ridge on the left of this picture. As far as I can tell, it's the top of Signal out of 1650
We saw quite a few Marmot's. Quite big as well!
Back to the lake - it was amazing blue and later we saw people standing on this wooden deck fly-fishing
A quick visit back up to 1850 just to have a walk around. This is the bridge that goes under towards Tovets.
Taken outside where we always tend to meet for lunch
There were a few people walking about...but not many. Time for a glass of wine :-)
La Tania - the famous bridge that we all cross so many times each year.
Now we're in Lake Annecy. A fantastic place to spend a week. It was hot here - 25 - 30 degrees most days
The famous 'old town' area of the lake.
Loads of really good restaurants to choose from
We ate at the restaurant just up the path - they do excellent steak
We took a walk on the other side of the lake - there are a few trails marked on the local guide map and this is one. Takes you to a waterfall
Great view of lake Annecy
We took a dip in one of the many areas allocated to sun bathers and swimmers. Bit cold when you get in but you get used to it. You can't come to such a wonderful lake and not jump in - especially in the lovely weather
Whenever we go past Annecy towards La Tania in the minibus, we always comment about how people are cycling along a path that looks like it might have been an old railway because it's so straight. It seems to go all the way to Albertville. So today we decided to get on our bikes and search it out. Turns out it is a dedicated cycle route and goes go all the way...and further. We spent all day on this route. If there was a top ten cycle paths in the world, this would be in it! There were so many serious road bikes as well - Cannondale's, Trek's, you name, we saw some lovely gear
They have even got a special tunnel for the bikes. (Bit blurry as I'm taking a lot of these on the move)
This photo shows the road (not that you can see it but follows the power cables) - this is the road we always look at the cycle path from on our way to La Tania.
Proof that it really did use to be a railway line!
We stopped at the Carrefour and got lunch. Just the other side of the road is a lake and a picnic area with a stream (we took a dip but it was blooming cold).
On our way back
A well deserved couple of beers in the hotel garden
Breakfast in Annecy (and market day)
We ate here one night as well.
We took a pedalo out on a couple of days...couldn't resist as the water was so blue and the weather was fab all week
We had an evening tour/meal of the lake on a large cruiser
A trip up to the top of the mountain near Annecy. We followed the road that the Tour De France took. I seriously admire those cyclists now - the hill was hideous and went on for miles
That white dot in the picture is a plane..and yes it is actually below us
There were loads of these around....and they were big buggers
Back on the lake taking a swim...well, it'd be rude not to
A large posh hotel on the lake
And on our way back to Blightly, we just had to take an overnight stop in the champagne region. These are the Moet-Chandon cellers
Miles of bottles of wines
Our tour guides
On our way....
Back home - but not before trying to catch a helicopter that was flying right next to us for a few moments...it then darted across the road in front of us. It was really low.
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