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28 February 2009 @ 11:33 pm
Skippet's little holiday was fun. I don't want to do a full recap, because a) flickr kind of does it prematurely these days before the words can form to frame what we saw, b) this is LJ not blogspot and I'm being less wordy here and c) it was really just a week of friendship and gentle fun, not something to write up at length, but a few highlights and memories deserve a mention in the eternity of the internet (for some dimension).

Keppet gave me what I think may have been a Proper Birthday, with cake and candles and a shiny Bonne Anniversaire sign. I don't normally give birthdays much special attention in terms of decorations etc, so that was nice. There was also a fried breakfast and QI and a walking tour of Grenoble with fun things that were photographed and a gruelling climb up many many steps to the Bastille. That was the only day we didn't use our little bright blue hire car at all, staying purely in Grenoble and using the trams. On Monday, we went to Annecy, which is a pretty little medieval town which we felt should be filled with Hobblings - there were so many character-filled old buildings and some excellent streets and squares for the having of fairs and parties. You could almost actually imagine Hobb's characters living there too, which was great. On Tuesday, we drove an insane road through a gorge, which photos cannot do justice to because we couldn't stop to take any, but there were huge rock overhangs and giant icicles hanging over us like frozen swords of damocles (thankfully, none impaled us). At the end of the road were the caves at Choranches, which were surprisingly impressive for a place we only found by noticing them on a leaflet in a local museum. There were stalactites and stalagmites by the thousands, and I am going to have real trouble picking photos for this day. On Wednesday, we drove to Geneva (about 2 hours away) and met up with Nadine. We enjoyed a nice (if cold) wander around the city centre, chattering and playing with her shiny camera. We went for dinner in a restaurant which claimed to be 'typical Swiss' but was of course just an excuse to gather tourists and steal their money. The food was pretty good though and much entertainment was derived from the yodelling, bell-ringing, spoon-playing and coin-in-a-bowl spinning that came as part and parcel of the place. We stayed at a hotel in Geneva that night, and the next day collected Nadine again (or rather she came to us, bearing breakfast pains au chocolat) for a road trip up to Chamonix (just below Mont Blanc). On the way, we stopped off at a frozen waterfall and had much fun struggling up snowy paths to get to it and photograph the icicle overload of it. At Chamonix itself, we took a little railway up to a glacier which had had a few caves carved into it (yes, Hobblings and caves does seem to be becoming a theme) and did our very best to photograph bubbles trapped in ice. It's harder than it sounds. Keppet and I held nadine's hand in the cable car we had to take at the top, since she doesn't like them, and apparently we can play on that favour for years to come. I'll let you know if I figure out how. Sadly, the day ended and we had to drive back to Grenoble, although not before stopping off at nadine's apartment for tea and biscuits. Figaro the cat hissed at me, but I'm not still hurt about that, no not me. On Friday, we couldn't find anything specific to do, so we just took the car and drove south-east of Grenoble, taking in some savoury pancakes (and a little girl doing her piano practice in the cafe) in La Mure and then driving over the pass of the Col D'Ornans to Bourg D'Oisans, getting gorgeous views and another good helping of snow as we did. And then it was today, and we watched BSG, and I came home.

In less tangible measurements... my french is abysmally non-existent and I was very glad we had nadine with us when some officious border guards stopped us near Geneva and wanted to know exactly who we were and what we were doing there. Watching BSG as skippet totally works and we really enjoyed both the last two episodes probably just because of bouncing them off each other... I have since seen harsh reviews of both online (well, harsh compared to what we thought of them) but I think being able to just speculate in real time with someone else makes any show better. On the other hand, Dollhouse hurt our brains with the sudden inclusion of Middleman actor(s). The chocolate cake lasted all week, and we drank tea quite often. Our various aches seemed to infect each other, so if one of us had a sore knee then so did the other. I made casserole, except we couldn't find allspice and had to make do with cinnamon and ginger. Keppet's idea of fun is to wait at a place where she slipped over and take photos of other people slipping over. Icicles are cool, and so are stalactites. I love seeing sunset and sunrise behind snow-capped mountains. Having Keppet peer at me from the top bunk to establish that we were both awake became a slightly odd ritual. Prodding also occurred often although I am amazingly bruise free. Keppet has a leaky kitchen tap, and the French for leak is 'fuite.' Thanks to Jane Espenson's comic writing of Adama, we may have overshared information about toilet trips during the week.

And that'll do, I think. Skippet is still good friends, 5 years or so after we first met each other. That feels a little amazing, to me.