The French Alps

We are back from our…dare I say it…best holiday ever. I do wonder how many times I think it is the best, but this definitely ranks up there with the best. We loved it and whilst we were there it lasted forever, which was good. Now we are back it feels like ages ago, which is not so good.

I don’t know what defines it as one of the best and maybe it is really a huge collection of perfect moments. The kids were fantastic, Andrew was relaxed and so was I. We were in familiar territory and the mountains do really feel like home. We settled quickly and so enjoyed the entire time.

The drive….was fine. So long, but fine. The kids are getting older and can be more easily entertained. Since they have been travelling since they were young anyway they are used to the long drive. Setting up camp…was fine. We took the larger tent this time, which is not a pop up one and it has been ages since we had to put poles into the tent. We were fresh on holiday so there was no arguing and just excitement that we were here and could sleep on an airbed rather than a car (which to be fair was actually alright for one night).

So the one big regret is this…the holiday had to end.

And one the greatest feats…climbing Le Grand Mont! We climbed 1200m to an altitude of 2685m and it was a distance of 17km there and back. We were shattered and even with no view because of cloud coverage we were over the moon. The summit was a little scary because it was much smaller than we were used to and so we didn’t stay too long up there. We got a couple of photos, said a family prayer and then we were away back down.

Now, I don’t know how we manage it as we do generally follow signs, but we managed to get lost! We were lost on a mountain with the clouds coming in thicker and thicker and the evening drawing in. Andrew was trying to get a GPS signal so we could find the route down, but it was intermittent. It all felt very dramatic, but the reality was that we were just over from the intended path, needed to take a slight detour down the side of the mountain and then we were back on our way. To the kids it was dramatic and I like to think of it that way too. A little more adventure for the Hiking Hughes.

On the way down the boys had a little more energy than the girls so they went ahead whilst we wound down the mountain and jumped over a lot of little streams. There were definitely far more streams this year. I cannot express properly the feelings that were generated from our chats and our encouragement towards each other. We had ‘Hughes Girl Power’ and we were chatting freely like friends rather than shattered Mam and less shattered daughters. Being in the mountains gives our family a new sense of purpose that we don’t always feel in the busy hectic life we lead.

The next day we had a slightly quieter day although I think it was more Andrew and I who needed to rest. In resting we discovered we weren’t quite as harmonious as we had been on the mountain and therefore resting time changed to Mam and Dad resting whilst the kids swam in various lakes. Harmony restored!

Annecy Branch was fantastic and if ever we moved to France that is definitely a Branch I would want to go to. They were very friendly and Andrew met a friend from the MTC. It took a while for them to figure out how they knew each other, but when they figured it out it was great to see. Andrew was really relaxed and that was even better to see.

Well, Elizabeth is wanting to continue the tradition of the holiday and play phase 10! You can’t say no to that.

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