He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress and for his children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

Monday, March 23, 2015

Refuge in the Alps

I posted a bit about our trek through the Alps last summer HERE, but I never really posted our pics of the fun place that we stayed.  It was called the Refuge which is quite literally what it is especially for hikers and bikers making their way across the Alps.  To say it was rustic would be an understatement, but it was rustic with it's own unique charm.  Charm that included a beautiful view of Mt. Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, home cooked meals using foods from the surrounding French farms, rustic bunk rooms and shared showers with very COLD mountain water.  When we asked the owners about the shower situation and the absence of any hot water, they just shrugged and said, "C'est les montagnes!"  meaning, "It's the mountains!".  My desired response to this, was "duh!  it's the mountains and is FREEZING therefore you should have hot water!".  But apparently that thinking was somewhat backwards...  Let's just say none of us showered during the 18 hours we were there!

Anabelle's reaction to the curvy mountain roads high in the Alps, expressed precisely the way I felt!  I've never in my lift gotten motion sick, but I get SO nervous driving on roads like that!  I think the fact that it was INCREDIBLY foggy actually helped as we couldn't tell how far down we would be dropping over the edge!  

Like I said, it was VERY foggy upon our arrival late in the afternoon.  Good thing we stopped at a sports store on the way up and bought some windbreakers- it was cold!!  Despite the fog, these 2 wanted to go on a hike on the mountain road, so we headed out. 

It was fun being in the great outdoors and seeing the wildflowers along the path but we really couldn't see much else...

We got back to the refuge and settled in for a relaxing evening of games by the fireplace.  We were the only ones staying the night so we kind of had the place to ourselves.  
Anabelle was fascinated by the fire.
Naomi and Abbey found the perfect reading spot...

Our bunk room was very cozy!
Naomi and Anabelle slept on the bed in the left of the below frame.  Abbey and Maddie had their own little "room" seen to the right in the below frame which was more like a crawl space that housed 2 mattresses.  (and I'm taking this picture sitting on the double bed that Jason and I had.  (and yes, there was randomly a toy kitchen in our room....)

It was just right for their silly selves..

The next morning was absolutely beautiful!  The rain had stopped and we were able to truly appreciate the view of Mont Blanc and enjoy our lovely surroundings.  

But first, what better way to start the day than with a bowl of chocolate cereal and a bowl (??) of hot chocolate.  I really don't remember this from our time living in France before, but several places that we stopped served hot breakfast drinks (not coffee but tea or hot chocolate) in bowls...  

No one was complaining!

We had to head out for a morning walk!

The big girls and I went for a more strenuous hike that I posted about HERE,

and Anabelle and Jason headed out for a more leisurely walk through the countryside.

They got back to "the refuge" a bit before us and she enjoyed the coloring table

and somewhat random kid toys...

Most importantly, we made some great memories at our little stay in the Alps.   

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