I have just got back from a fabulous week in the northern French Alps.

We flew from Luton on Easyjet. It was a beautiful summer day in England both when we left on Saturday 23rd May and when we returned on Saturday 30th May. Easyjet is like a higher-class Ryanair. One great advantage of flying from Luton is that you don’t have to stack, or have air traffic-control related delays. You just taxi, take-off, have a holiday, then land. No stacking, no waiting, no hassle. And the car parking is half the price of Heathrow.

This is Lucienne (my daughter), Anna (my partner) and Isaac (my son) on our way to board:
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This was a family holiday, for Anna’s mother, Jenny, who turned 70 this year, and her father, Edward, who turns 75 in June. We rented a fabulous chalet in Morzine, where my sister (Rachel) runs a ski business and lives with her partner, Dean, and their daughters, Nancy and Isabel.
Rachel helped us find a wonderful place to stay, Chalet Symphony, which has 6 bedrooms, all en suite! It also has a hot tub, in which we spent many happy hours (both daytime and nighttime!):
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We were joined for the week in the chalet by Anna’s parents, her sister, Camilla, her partner Andrew (H) and their daughter Hebe. Anna’s brother, also called Andrew, and his family also joined us for 2 days, although they stayed in a hotel.

On our first day, the sibling adults and their partners went for a walk, organised by Andrew H. This was a loop from Le Lac Des Mines D’Or (gold mine lake), to Col de Cou. Col de Cou is at the border of Switzerland and France. Here’s Anna posing [i.e. looking gorgeous] there:-

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Anna’s parents and the four of us also took a ferry trip on Lake Geneva from Evian-les-Bains (home of the bottled water),to Lausanne:-

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Lausanne was gorgeous, expensive, and full of pretty women.

We also took a trip to Annecy one day, via the beautiful and spectacular Col de La Colombiers, a sometime route of the Tour De France. Here’s Isaac at the summit:

5 It’s 2000m (over 6000 feet), and you can feel the breathlessness.

Annecy was hot, sunny and beautiful We had a wonderful lunch by one of the river channels (it’s a bit like a clean version of Venice!)
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We also spent two marvellous afternoons at the fantastic outdoor pool at Thonon-les-Bains, right next to Lake Geneva. It was wonderful. The highlight of the holiday for me!
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It also had a marvellous slide down into a plunge pool – much joy ensued.
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Fortunately (thanks Avis!) we got a free upgrade to our hire car, and ended up with a Volvo XC90 4 wheel-drive, diesel turbo automatic. Marvellous for going up steep hills. Full of comforts and most importantly, could hold 7 of us, which saved Jenny and Edward a huge amount of driving, as they could always come with us.

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On our last full day I hired a road bike from some friends of Rachel’s, Sam and Gareth, and tackled a couple of climbs, as part of my training for the Etape Du Tour. Here’s a view from the early stages of climbing the Col de Joux Plan out of Morzine, which I started at about 6.30a.m..
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We also managed some shopping in Thonon later that day. Isaac and Lucienne loved the out-of-town sports and toy shops respectively.

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Thanks to Camilla for her help in organising the trip and also to my lovely sister for her help and welcoming hospitality. Here she is with Isabel on her lap and Dean with Nancy. We loved seeing so much of them during the week.

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It is a bit grim having to come back to work.

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