Monday, July 18, 2016

Geneva, Switzerland

Since it started to rain in the whole Savoie region, we wanted to get to a bigger city with more to do. Since our flight would leave from Geneva airport on Friday, Geneva was the natural choice and just a quick 40 minute drive from Annecy.

We tried to find a nice Airbnb apartment in Geneva but went for a hotel with a more central location. We didn't know so much about Geneva before coming here. The last three days were spent window shopping, sitting i cafés in between showers of rain and trying Swiss specialties like fondue and chocolates. We took the Mont-Salève cable car for great views of the city. Geneva turned out to much smaller than we imagined. Mont Salève is actually on the French side, but we didn't even notice crossing the boarder.

The last day we went for a great road trip around Lake Geneva with a stop in Gruyères, home of the best cheese. We ate a filling lunch/dinner of Raclette and a local macaroni specialty. Gruyères is just as you could imagine a Swiss alpine village with a castle on top of the hill, sheep and cows around and mountain skyline. The drive home was almost even more amazing driving on the south side of the lake, the French side, through vineyards and one picturesque village after the other all set in a beautiful mountain landscape.

Three weeks packed with amazing views of mountain tops and valleys, mouthwatering cuisine and wine, some of the best trails we've been on, fresh mountain air and adrenaline filled descents and races. We're ready to go home, but definitely not done exploring the Alps. 

"Every flight takes you closer to another trip"


We wanted to have a couple of relaxing days in Annecy, a picturesque town by the Annecy lake. The bikes were stacked in the hotel room and we explored old town by foot. The town was getting ready for Euro 2016 finals, France - Portugal. It was hot and humid and we were pretty beat after two weeks of riding and racing. We ate a terrific dinner with local wine and found a great spot to watch the game ready for a night out. Sadly France lost, so we decided to turn in for the night.

The weather turned and Annecy being a town for sunbathing and strolling the streets we decided to get moving after a couple of hours hanging by the beach enjoying the last bits of the sun before rainfall.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Alpe d´Huez

We had 6 great days at Les 2 Alpes. There are so many places in the French Alps for mountain biking and we had a hard time deciding where to go next. Finally we landed on Alpe d'Huez, just an hour drive to the other side of the valley.  

Again a successful booking through Airbnb. We planned to stay over the weekend so we could participate in Megavalanche. With over 2000 riders, this is one of the biggest DH races in the world. We got to know some other norwegians and had a couple of days prepping before the race. 

We had 6 days here with great weather, great food including Italian pizza at Pinocchio Pizza, local cheesy specialities and a mean entrecôte with blue cheese and fries topped of with créme brulée. Al
pe d'Huez has something for everyone, easy cross-country, insane ascents for road bikers, and for MTB lovers 2500 meters with continuos descent from the glacier all the way down to Allemond.

The qualification run for Megavalanche was on Friday, day after France made it to the Euro 2016 finals. After some hours of sleep I made it down the trails and qualified for the race. Saturday was was spent recovering and on Sunday I made it down the 30 km trail! Happy and pretty beat I took a shower and we ate lunch before heading on to Annecy for some downtime by the lake.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Les Deux Alpes

Next stop, Les Deux Alpes. The scenic route from Chamonix took about 4 hours. We booked our stay through Airbnb and got an apartment with an incredible view of the town, mountaintops like Aiguille de Venosc , Lac Lauvitel, Le Rochail and the Les 2 Alpes bike park. There are a lot of lifts and with a day pass for 25 euro, you get trails from 3400 all the way down to 900 meters.

The first days were spent eating, drinking wine, enjoying our surroundings, biking and prepping for the Mountain of Hell race on Saturday.

The qualification run was on Saturday and luckily it didn't rain until later that day so the trail was dry and superfun! The finals on sunday started at 9 from Glacier de Mantel. This meant waking up at 5 am to catch the lift up at 6. It was foggy and cold. 700 bikers were all going up at the same time for mass start.

Just as we arrived at the glacier, the fog lifted and the sun started warming nicely. Clear blue skies and amazing views, 700 bikes all lined up ready to slide down on the snow. It just made everything worth it.

The ride down was crazy! The smell of burning brakepads filled the air. The ride was long, all the way from the top down to Venosc. I ended up waiting in a queue due to a couple accidents on the way down. Otherwise a successful first mtb race! Want to come back again to crush my record.

We got some great tips for our next stop an decided we would leave for Alpe d'Huez after spending Monday sunbathing, shopping and barbecuing on our terrace. Nice way yo heal sore muscles and end a great stay i Les 2 Alpes.