I will post some pics and comments on the best skiing vacation I've ever had the coming days. This is the first part.
I started early (9:20) in Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) and arrived at Lyon St. Exupéry Airport (LYS) at 13:00 with a stopover at Munich Franz Josef Strauss International Airport (MUC) (I am interested in Airports. I think they are great indicators of the well-being as well as philosophy of their respective countries and cities , through their various property from their architecture to little details such as their toilets to ornaments. Unfortunately my collection of pictures of the airports I've been to were erased with my hard disk burned recently.) Berlin Tegel is very 70's style airport, with the one-time favorite circular format, which does not allow any extensions. Although very practical and effective in terms of boarding and public transport, it is ending its life as an international airport as it leaves its way for Berlin Brandenburg Airport to be (hopefully) completed by 2010. Munich Airport on the other side has a linear combination with plenty of expansion space. Being one of the two international hubs of Lufthansa (with Frankfurt) it is one of the airports I visited the most. I find the architecture very sleek and modern, yet it lack spirit and feels distinctively machine-like more for Cylon rather than humans.
Lyon Airport was not any special, except for its high-speed train (TGV) station, which is built like a fish bone. I met my parents there who flew from Ankara. We had to spend 3 hours on the airport until the train. Contrary to the culinary joyride my time in France turned out to be, the food in the Airport sucked big time. What sucked more was the train service. First the automate did not accept my credit card, because my credit card did not have a chip. Then they changes the name and the time of the train without telling us, the guy on the ticket counter did not speak any English so we had to communicate with primitive sounds, then the train had a 45 minute delay. After getting in the train it was quite alright, and after 3 hours we arrived in Moutiers, the gateway to Savoyarde Alps...
I spent 1 hour bus trip up the mountain looking out the window for snow. One of saddest things that can happen to me is to go up a mountain and find it without snow. At about 1100 meters there was snow, yet it was old and melting snow, which is not good for skiing. I was very disappointed. My disappointment took another turn with the SMS' I received from my dear friend Ozan, about the Besiktas-Trabzonspor game. I had to live the agony of going 2-0 ahead and loosing 3-2 in 8 minutes in a matter of 4 minutes when I received successive SMS'. I tried to elevate my morale by eating, and was successfull. I ate the best creme brule ever and a very well cooked basil pizza at Pizzaeria Mottaret which I can recommend.
I woke up to the great surprise of heavy snow the following morning. Our studio was quite nice with enough sleeping and living space for 4 people, and was next to the slopes. It took 4 minutes to gear up and go on the pistes. I had a hearty breakfast and hit the slopes. Most of the easy-skiers, like my parents, stayed in so the slopes were not so busy. There were not many snow machines on the mountain during the day, so it meant that it was possible to try some powder skiing as well as moguls on the red slopes.
The weather was changing rapidly, a trend that continued throughout the week, so I skied under snow, winds and even sun on the same day. I had rented very hard skis (for those interested in cars its just like the suspension, with harder skis you go faster, but it feels bumpier, so it is easy to lose control), which were making tight turns at high speeds possible, and turning my day to a very pleasurable experience. Still the warning signs and the fact that my stamina, which was much better compared to previous years, not being at its peek made me to decide to buy a helmet.
In the end I was able to cover the high part of Motaret Valley:
and to make some movies of myself skiing and commentating: