New story from our regular author Evgeny about the last days of open Europe amid a flaring coronavirus.
No, I'm not at all a thrill-seeker and not one of those, who is willing to risk health, despite the global threat. I found out about a coronavirus outbreak in a suburb of Milan when I was at Malpensa airport, 22 February. Then it was a few dozen cases, somewhere south of the city, and we decided not to change plans, traditionally renting a car and heading for the Alps.
This time we go to the French Alps, to the famous resort of Courchevel. Not because we have a lot of money and we wanted luxury or surprise everyone, but because it’s in the French Alps that we have never been, and the resorts are there, rumored, beautiful.
In general, the goal was not specifically Courchevel, and the integrated ski area "Three Valleys" (fr. The Three Valleys), of which he is a part. The journey from Milan took several hours, and so that he is not so tiring, we made a night stop in Turin. Quiet hotel, somewhere outside the city. The next day we arrived at La Bathie, about 30 km from Three Valleys. Here we rented a small apartment, as all those do, who didn’t save up on luxury chalets near the Courchevel ski lifts, whose rental price, in some cases, exceeds millions of rubles.
Интересно, that my knowledge of languages was hardly useful here… It seems the French have little admit either, except french, and sometimes I felt like once in China, when you finally stop trying and just switch to sign language. But time is running out, technology has gone ahead, and this time we were saved by an online voice translator in the phone.
So, about 30 minutes on the way and we are at the Three Valleys lifts. Ski pass to all valleys costs 61 euro per day, which is about 10 Euro more expensive than the rest of the Alps, and this really makes Courchevel one of the most expensive resorts, I've ever been to. But of course it's worth it – many great tracks, with special abundance for those, who rides, so to speak, Caution, like me.
This year was marked not only by coronovirus, but also lack of snow at many famous resorts, including the Pyrenees. All of Andorra, apparently, rushed to the Alps, including french. The crowds of some lifts sometimes reached 40 минут ожидания, even on weekdays.
Rolling around 40 km per day, we came home almost without strength, and of course there is no way to do without lazy rest.) In almost every alpine resort there is a place, where tired bodies can immerse themselves in thermal springs and be saturated with minerals all day, drinking expensive cocktails. – In Courchevel, Aquamotion was such a place, what's up 1600 meters, where the 30 euro you can lie all day on the waves of relaxation and catch snowflakes in your hands.
And of course, one way to get away from skiing – it's changing shoes in cross-country ) True that day, when we decided to run back a couple of tens of kilometers, snow avalanches fell right down from the sky and all the cross-country trails instantly failed.
We passed, я думаю, five kilometers, well maybe seven, before they began to lose track and climbed into the snowdrifts… Overall, beating snow, we went back to La Bathie for about another hour in 3 Day. On the way back we had the pleasure of dressing chains on summer tires, tk. Italians, похоже, don't know what winter is. All rentals give only summer at any time of the year.
By the way “Three valleys” – not the only ski resort in these places. There are many in the Alps, and the famous Courchevel coexists with the more modest, but no less well-prepared resorts. Before leaving, for half a day we stopped at one of these, and got no less fun than at the most popular locations, while paid significantly less. Ski pass here cost in 2 times cheaper, and perfectly prepared tracks – as many as 200 километров! Для сравнения – in Sochi Krasnaya Polyana they are almost three times less.
Honestly, all week we monitored the news, because we fly away from Milan, and we are in France. The border could be closed at any time.. But for our happiness, then this measure was considered unnecessary, and people quietly rode from country to country, with the resort at resort (and with them, apparently, and the virus). But the hostess of our next home was more careful, and refused to say hello to us, motivating, we, возможно, infected. Что ж, pleasant note before returning to Milan )
We crossed the border of France and Italy without problems, no one even stopped. In Italy, went to the supermarket and bought cheese. There wasn’t much tension in the air., although some still managed to dress up in masks.
But at the airport in Milan, anxiety became clearly visible. It became especially noticeable with me, when a crowd of Chinese people in harsh masks and gloves plunged aboard with us, and a diving Pakistani sat nearby. But a caring airline gave everyone a mask, presumably, it was supposed to save us
Who knew, that in just a couple of weeks Courchevel will stop working, and the European Union will practically close the doors behind us. And set off 1 quarantine march, I'm still at home, because after personal quarantine, immediately came the public. I do not know what travel will be next, but I know for sure, that they were not all in vain. I managed to visit many countries on three continents, and now it's time to wander, leafing through bright albums, collected for more than 10 years of travel.
This virus showed perfectly how quickly and suddenly everything can change.. Do not put off life for later!
P.S. Previous Evgeny Articles