Busy Busy Busy!

I feel like we have been to so many places in so little time. Yesterday we climbed Mount Saleve behind the school.

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This is the mountain in mid afternoon and at sunset. The little dots in the photo on the left are little people parachuting. We aren’t allowed to do it while we’re at the school because of insurance matters, but I really want to try it! Although I got a whole new view of it from the top.

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The hike was about 3 miles I’d say, and it was really steep. At one point we were walking through a tunnel in the rocks where the steps were to our mid thighs. We sweated like crazy, but there was a breeze so that was nice. The view at the top and the feeling of accomplishment were worth it.

The photo on the left was the view from the front side, down towards the campus, and the photo on the right is of some snowy alps behind us.

 

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There were fields of wild flowers in pinks and purples and yellows. Dandelions the size of my fist were littered everywhere. While the sight was breathtaking, it also took my breath away in the form of sneezes. My allergies kicked in quite readily and my eyes and nose were bothering me for the rest of the day. Well, you can’t win ’em all, can you?

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This is my new friend Njord from Norway. He wanted me to take a picture of him blowing a dandelion, not on the stem, but out of his mouth. He popped the whole thing in and then tried to blow out gradually. After about seven attempted tries, this is how it turned out! He wanted to caption this, “Breathing Nature.” It was more like spitting nature.

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Here’s a group picture of a few of us who made it to the top first! Starting from the left: Maddi, me, Njord, Max (from Australia), and Rachel. Max has some charcoal smeared on his face for a wild jungle look.

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This was genuine. Rachel had just finished saying we looked like soccer moms. Apparently soccer moms are sweaty and look like a mess?

Once we reached the top, there was an added distance we could walk to the point where the parachuters took off from. From the air they graceful and carefree. But it’s not that easy. The person going to parachute needs to be on a cliff that’s windy. His cords can’t be tangled or the wind could pick him up and smash him against the rocks. He has to jump when a gust of wind comes, taking a running start. As soon as he is in the air, he adjusts his cords and the backpack apparatus he wears, and tucks his legs in. There are over a dozen parachuters flying at any given time, so he has to be alert of his surroundings. Seeing the take off process firsthand made me want to try it a little less. I never saw anyone land on the top, but I’m assuming it would be trick and somewhat frightening. Still, they look so beautiful up there.

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That wraps up our hike to Mount Saleve. We got back to the campus Saturday evening and were so exhausted we went to bed at 10. But we were up bright and early the next day.

Every Sunday there are full-day excursions planned for us. Today we went to La Clusaz, (a small mountain town), and Annecy, a town on a lake. You know how they say in Southern California you can go to the beach and the snow in the same day? Well, that’s true in parts of France as well! First we visited Annecy. We had a couple of hours of free time so we lounged around the lake and ate our sack lunches the chefs made for us.

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It was quite nice, but really warm after a while. I think we all got a bit too much sun. Light headaches followed.

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Maddi looking out at the water.

Okay this is getting really long. So we drove up to La Clusaz and went on a luge! It was really cool actually. Then we walked around the little picturesque mountain town and ate ice cream while listening to a live band. They were having some sort of annual music festival so there were different bands playing. It was nice.

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We took gondolas to get to the top of the luge run.

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The girls at the bottom of the course.

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This is me being way too excited to ride it. Let’s be honest. I was being really cautious and using the breaks way too much.

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I love mountain towns.

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Our coffee and coconut ice cream to end our outing. We arrived back at the school, ate dinner, and then did homework. It’s after 1 a.m. here and I’m gonna crash! Bonne nuit

 

 

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