We spent a few days in Les Allues, France over New Year with Jeremy and Kirsty and spent the time snowboarding in Les 3 Vallees. We made use of our lift tickets and spent some time in each of the other 2 valleys, but spent most of our time in Meribel and Meribel Mottaret. We were really fortunate and had 2 powder days – New Years Eve and New Years Day – what an amazing way to start a new year.
We spent New Years Eve (and in fact most other evenings) at La Tsaretta in the village.
A great break, and Meribel and the surrounding area is definitely a resort I could return to.
Whilst I was looking for webcams of some of the ski areas we’re thinking of visiting, I stumbled across SnowEye which claims to have over 3000 webcams from ski resorts all over the world. They’re classified by country and region which makes it really easy (providing you know your geography) to get a glimpse of conditions. Now we’ve just got to hope that the webcams don’t show us huge greeny muddy areas like they would have done of Fernie last year.
If you’re planning a snowboarding trip, and you’ve already installed Google Earth, then take a look at the resorts map. Very useful, as indeed are many things people are doing over at Google Earth Blog.
The Christmas edition of the Economist ran a feature on human evolution. I found one of the sections in particular quite interesting: the suggestion that the brain is like a peacock’s tail. That’s to say, it’s a over-the-top demonstration of the owner’s genetic fitness. It’s clear that brains are expensive (2% of the body, using 20% of the energy intake) and there are a bunch of things we do which it could be argued don’t help us survive, but might help us mate: dancing, painting, music, language.
The article caused me to remember the book Galapagos . One idea in that novel is that brains—when they get to a certain size—are more trouble than they’re worth. The evidence offered to support this is the fact we spent so much time trying to silence our brains with alcohol 🙂
I forgot to say thanks to Karen: when she visited in November she handed over some fairly unusual gifts from the airports she passed through.
We went to Las Iguanas on Friday evening for dinner. The cocktails were good (mohitos), the chips and dips were excellent, as was the starter (duck taquitos). Unfortunately, the main courses (chicken moqueca and xinxim) were dissapointing – overcooked chicken with a bland sauce. The atmosphere was pleasant, the wine was tasty and the desserts were pretty good (although £3.50 for a slice of watermelon seemed a bit steep).
Overall, probably worth a visit for their starters/tapas (they do a tapas menu at the bar), but I wouldn’t bother with a main course again.
What do we want? Monorail! But in fact the Brighton (Area?) Rapid Transport system will probably be a funky looking New Zealand built electric bus, judging by the pictures at the council web site. Should be good for anyone wanting to get into town without sitting in traffic, but I’m not sure of the status of the proposal at the moment.
Anyone looking for rat runs through town could turn to page 24 of the original proposal (PDF), where you’ll find a map of the areas of peak congestion: