The French ski resort of La Clusaz hosts a special competition at the end of the ski season. In French, it’s called the Défi Foly, which translates to the ‘madness challenge’. Contestants do have to be a bit crazy to participate, as the competition involves trying to ski across a freezing cold lake.
Years ago, whenever we were at the airport to fly back to the UK after a skiing holiday, we were miserable leaving the mountains behind. It just didn’t feel right,” Dave explains. “It was this feeling more than anything else that led us to say, ‘let’s turn this around: let’s try to live in a place that feels more natural’.
So how has a carnival from Venice become associated with a French town at the foot of the Alps? Annecy has a waterfront and a network of canals that has prompted visitors to liken it to Venice. It lacks the gondolas and smelly water … but the old town is arguably as picturesque as Venice, … perfect for a carnival promenade.
Stepping onto French snow in my ski boots for the first time, I heard the snow squeak. Coming from Australia, my skis had only experienced icy slopes or soggy snow hiding rocks underneath. Powdery, dry snow that squeaked was a new sensation, and I fell in love with the rugged beauty of the French Alps and the amazing postcard-blue sky that was such a rare event in the Snowy Mountain range of home.