Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Chalet Shenanigans Chapter 2
For one year, after we arrived in Switzerland and got the lay of the land, we searched for the perfect “dream” spot for the chalet just for fun. Last year, we got serious. Now, those of you in North America who might think an Alp is an Alp is an Alp, no, no, no, messieurs et mesdames. The Alps stretch from Slovenia to Italy into Austria, back into Italy, then into Switzerland and France. Every valley has its’ own personality. Some valleys are so isolated that only locals go there and tourists are either “verboten” or “interdit” according to whether you are in the German-speaking Alps or the French-speaking Alps or whatever the word is in Italian. Last year, we limited our choices to the French-speaking Alps because my German sucks and Mr. Big’s German is completely made-up.
Riiiiiight. OK. For those of you reading this who think we are the Rockefellers, you need to think again. We are regular people who have chosen not to die with one stinkin’ penny to leave to our children. They can make their own durned money. (At this point I need to explain that I have many, many Mormon relatives, my own mother included, who read this blog and they do not swear. Ever. So I try to tone down my heathen language. Feel free to insert your own dirty words wherever you see fit.)
With my experience with service people and estimates in Switzerland, I knew that we would be in well over our heads before even one bathroom or bedroom was finished. Hence, France. Vive la France, here we come!
Within this one valley, there are three villages: Chatel, La Chapelle d’Abondance and Abondance, itself. Period. That’s it. At one end of the valley is the Swiss border near the town of Morgins and at the other end is the main road which leads to Thonon-les-bains and Lac Leman. At this point, I’m sure some of you are confused. Here’s how it goes, geographically:
• Picture the outside curve of the croissant as Switzerland. Picture the inside curve of the croissant as France. There are two big cities on the outside curve: Geneva and Lausanne. There are two big cities on the inside curve: Thonon-les-bains and Evian. You’ve all heard of Evian. They were the first ones to capitalize on bottled water.
• Just inside the French curve are the Alps. We are in the first valley on the right-hand side of the INNER curve. Google map it. Look up Chatel.
Much to our delight, “Sam” finds us Chalet Ruisselet. And, now, you have to wait for the next blog to find out what in the heck a ruisselet is.