dinsdag 15 december 2009


Only a few days before high season starts. The weather is great: sunshine and snow... what else could we hope for?

So, do check your gear. Are your skis waxed? Sharp? Fixations checked?
If you haven't enough time at home, you could ask the guys in Les Collons. As Les Masses has no ski shop (yet), I prefer to go to Theytaz Sports (next to the Office du Tourisme in Les Collons 1800).
The ground floor shop sell ski jackets, gloves etc. Downstairs they have a variety of ski's and boards, boots and helmets, for sale and for rent. Weekends (saterday afternoon and suday morning) in high season can be a little crowded, though. So better have your ski's waxed any other day. If you want to rent, you could make an online reservation http://www.theytazsports.ch

zondag 6 december 2009


Every evening we look into the sky above and pray that the heavy rains in Holland transform to heavy snow and cover all mountains in Switzerland.
Well, at least one tiny snowflake fell, the last few days, and it's getting colder as well.
Yesterday, I saw the first skiers on the webcam. The Trabanta-lift is open, as well as the cable from Mayens de l"Ours. And probably you can have a nice 'vin chaud' afterwards in the Tipi?!

Have a look!

vrijdag 13 november 2009


Playing outside in the snow can make you hungry, isn't it? This part of Switzerland has a variety of local dishes to fuel you for a few extra hours skiing. (And promisse that you'll just do that, otherwise you have to go on a diet immediately after you're home).

One of our favourites is a local dish called "croûte au fromage". Literally it means 'crust'.
You have a plain croûte (croûte nature) or topped with egg, ham or both. And of course, all kinds of varieties are possible.

A basic croûte is very easy to make:
use some slices of old bread, a bit of garlic, half a cup of white wine, thick slices of local cheese (hard cheese like gruyère, ementaler or similar will do).
Use an attractive small oven dish.
Roast the slices of bread. Cut the garlic into two halves and rub the inside of the oven dish as well as the slices of toasted bread on both sides. Put the slices in the dish and spread the slices of cheese on top. Spoon the wine in.
Put the dish in the middle of the oven at about 180 degrees, or under the grill for five (or so) minutes.  The cheese should melt and gratin a bit.

Take it out of the oven (be carefull!!) and top the dish with fresh pepper from the mill and 2 or 3 gherkins.
Drink with a glass of local white whine, like a Fendant or Dôle Blanche (a bit of a white rosé).

Bon appetit!

zaterdag 7 november 2009


The forester came with 2 m3 of wood. Here, the forester is working for the municipality, maintaining all the woods around the villages, but also helping with huge trees in private gardens and making fences and wooden bridges. They also make beautiful outdoor garden furniture and wooden sculptures. http://www.conedethyon.ch/  When we ordered the other day, it seemed not that much, but when we saw it in his pickup it was a huge pile.

Taking that all down, a few blocks at a time, was a lot of hard work!
This year we came up with a shortcut, a simple piece of plastic, firmly tight to the stairs.

That made life easier! Why didn't we before?! It still was two hours work, but together (and me with the important task of taking pictures) it was finished before lunch. And by now the winter may come! We have enough wood to make a nice and comfy fire every evening.
Next time I'll tell you about nice local cheese, that goes fine with the local wines, and with the evening fire, of course.

woensdag 4 november 2009


I look at the webcams now and then. And today all of a sudden the slopes in thyon are white!
Not enough to de-dust your ski's. But enough to get exited and long for the lifts to open.

picture from webcam http://www.imalp.ch/webcam.jpg


Can you imagine yourself sitting on the bench in front of Les Bonnets? What you'll see is the view on all these four-thousanders. Actually, the picture in the heading of this blog I made sitting on that bench (and the ones who know me, can picture the fresh espresso within hand).
From left to right at this photograph in the heading you can see famous four-thousanders: 
Weishorn (4505m), Zinalrothorn (4221m), OberGabelhorn (4063m),  Dent Blanche (4357m), and Mont Cervin (4477) on the far right.
The French name of this last mountain probably doesn't ring a bell, but the German name does! It is the Matterhorn. Easy to recognize on its exposure, from this side a night-cap bending to the right.

© picture Tanja Enninga

Explore the mountain tops and beautiful pictures at http://www.alpen-panoramen.de/

zondag 25 oktober 2009

Feel the beat

The King of Mont Fort, their club is called. They make stunning video's like this one.
Enjoy true arm chair skiing!

zaterdag 24 oktober 2009

Ready for take off?

picture © SBB

Today I checked the route description from Sion to Les Masses.

From the UK to Geneva is a popular flight. In less than 3 hours you can fly from the UK to this southern city in Switzerland.  http://www.easyjet.com/EN/Planning/Destination/GVA.html 

You can hire a car if you like. Otherwise, the train will take you to Sion, the capital of Valais in just two hours. Trains go several times per hour. You can check at www.sbb.ch 
From here a taxi will bring you the 18 km uphill. If you ask the driver, he will pick you up at the end of your stay. Even if your French is a little bit rusty, no need to stress. We'll provide you with a route description in French, so the driver can take you directly to the front door.
Imagine, in just a few hours from door to door. Ready for take off?

zondag 18 oktober 2009

Chalet ready for winter to come!

The winter seemed far away. Every morning around eight, the sun came over the mountains just to set the bench in front of the house in a warm and pleasant atmosphere. 
A perfect place for a fresh espresso. As the little shop of Les Masses was closed, the bread was in the oven, giving the house this great and mouth-watering smell. The book stayed in my lap, as the view of the white top of the Matterhorn is so stunning.

We left a nasty and rainy Holland to enjoy a week of hard work in Switzerland. We had to paint some windows on the outside, cut the grass and the herbs on the slope near the house, and do some local business.

picture ©Tanja Enninga

Although we worked hard, we enjoyed every minute of it! We had some spare moments left to go for a walk and enjoy a glass of Dole Blanche, the local rose wine, on the terrace of Hotel la Cambuse.
And the house is ready for the season to come.

In my next posts I will keep you up to date about the house and surroundings, so you all can do a bit of armchair skiing and wet your appetite for the winter to come!