Friday thought #82 Ski time!

Yes it’s here, I clung on to autumn for as long as I could, but I have finally given in and embraced winter! Although at this time of year the nights are closing in, the temperature plummets, and the sun retreats into hibernation, the wonderful thing about a place like Innsbruck is that with winter comes SNOW! Last weekend we dusted off the skis and had a fun blast round the busy pistes followed by a superb (and considerably quieter!) ski tour.

A great star to the winter and exciting to be back on the skis. Watch this space…

Stunning views above the clouds
Stunning views above the clouds
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The snow was surprisingly good!
Peaceful touring
Peaceful touring
Atmospheric snowy peaks as far as the eye can see
Atmospheric snowy peaks as far as the eye can see
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Friday thought #36 A weekend in Provence

 France is a wonderful country. It has beaches, mountains, rugged coastlines, fantastic climbing, amazing cycling, brilliant skiing, hot weather, snow, quaint countrysides… the list could go on and on! It doesn’t surprise me at all that it’s known as one of the World’s top holiday destinations.

Taking advantage of a long weekend, that wasn’t a bank holiday weekend (!) we decided on a spur of the moment trip down to the magical land of Provence. Only 3 1/2 hours drive, pretty much guaranteed sunshine, and the prospect of a few days camping, climbing, swimming, and reading books in the sunshine was mighty appealing! The month of May is the time to go, especially if you plan to do any kind of sporting activities, as from June onwards it becomes unbearably hot if you aren’t in close proximity to water at all times! Right now the temperatures are hovering around 28-30 degrees, perfect for a bit of daytime swimming and evening climbing in the cooler temperatures. We sought out some wild swimming in nearby rivers and found some shady crags to climb at, a perfect mini-break!

I can’t ask more from life than waking up to the sounds of birds singing their morning chorus, a nearby cockerel crowing his heart out, the cows gently clanging their bells, and the church bell chiming. Simple pleasures, and long may they last…

The village of Orpierres nestled in its little nook
The tiny village of Orpierres nestled in its little nook
We love everything about Provence, even the forest paths...
We love everything about Provence, even the forest paths…
My all time favourite bridge, wonky, haphazard and full of rustic charm; only to be found in rural France!
My all time favourite bridge; wonky, haphazard and full of rustic charm; only to be found in rural France!
Not a bad spot for some wild swimming
Not a bad spot for some wild swimming
And a bit more...
And a bit more…
This little chap sat with us all morning!
This little chap sat with us all morning!