After skiing three mornings in a row during our Christmas break, we decided to call it quits early one afternoon so we could get a hike in before sunset.
Let me tell you, that hike sounded like a fabulous idea until we reached a steep path up the mountainside. My calves were barking after all that skiing, which I’m still not that good at. Oh well! We had blue skies and really couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon!
We hiked up behind our small village of Servoz, about 1 hour from the Geneva Airport, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France. This village, population 935, has long been part of France’s mountaineering and mining heritage and is familiar to climbers everywhere. You’ll find the most darling historical water fountains that horses, hikers and mountaineers have used for perhaps a few hundred years.
Once we had hiked up behind Servoz and another tiny hamlet, we were greeted with a near 360° view of the Fiz Mountains, the Pormenaz, Le Prarion and the magnificent 'Big Brother', Mont Blanc – the tallest mountain in Europe! The views are always worth it!
Atop an empty, grassy hill, we plunked our tired bodies down and settled in for a pre-sunset snack of French fromage, sliced saucisson and crackers. The late afternoon sun cast a warm glow throughout what is known as the “sunniest village in the Chamonix valley.” I reflected on what a perfect day it really was. Earlier I skied the best I’ve ever done, without falling once, and with the help of my husband who normally has the patience the size of gnat! He had been such a good sport as he would probably have preferred to be skiing on the more advanced black runs. We were gazing at a beautiful view and we were on vacation!
But I said, “You know what would make this day even better, if a herd of goats went walking by right now.” After all, we were in the French Alps.
The afternoon winter light was fading fast so we quickly made our way back down the mountain. Lo and behold, we both started hearing bells in the distance. I started almost jogging down the hill to find the source of the bells. I couldn’t believe my luck! A herd of sheep, each animal adorned with a tinkling bell, were grazing in an open pasture.
I guess sometimes your wishes really do come true!
|A magical moment with sheep grazing in the French Alps!|