Our snow ski experience in France!

And now let me go into something new to me sort of. The short story of my life is that while living in Madrid by the year 1972, a group of friends took me to ski at Navacerrada ski port just north of Madrid. It was a horrible experience ,and I rolled down the mountain for a scary while until finally somehow stop with the help of some passerbys (if you can call that in the mountains). That was the end of my snow ski experience, once a beach bum always a beach bum I guess lol!

Rolled over several years, and it was my boys turn to try snow skiing! This time in France! We went with school trips into the Northern Alps on the French side. For the boys it was a memorable trip and really enjoyed!! Me and wife ,stay on the sidelines just enjoying the before and after ski crowds, hanging around and trying all those mountain cheeses or say wines.

I like to give you a bried introduction to these two sites; they are tops in France for skiing at all levels. Abondance and Val Cenis, with the latter been more pro specialists.

I rather give an overall look at the history and the facilities with webpages and let you do the reading further. Its a subject of an experience but far from me to handle. However, I wanted it to have a “history” in my blog for family’s sake. Hope you enjoy it too.

Abondance is a town in the Haute-Savoie department no 74 of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. It is located in the French Chablais, and is the capital of the canton of Abondance. It is more precisely in the upper valley of the Dranse, southern and mountainous region of the Savoyard Chablais with notably the Mont de Grange (2 432 meters) and the Mont Chauffé (2 093 meters) mountains.

Abondance

Abondance

abondance

The beginnings of the skiing practice were early as by the year 1930 there was already a ski club for holidaymakers. The club then published the first publications related to local tourism. The telecabin was inaugurated in 1964. Abondance is a tourist town and has on its territory a northern area of the valley of Abondance, as well as a winter sports station, the Essert (20 km of generously arranged slopes) which is part of the domaine des Portes du Soleil ( gates of the sun).

Things to see in Abondance:

The Abbey of Abondance founded in 1108 by regular canons who were settled in the Abondance Valley since 1080. First a priory, it became an abbey in 1140. The decline of the abbey was rapid since the mid-15C due to the Commende system (Someone who was not required to observe the obligations inherent in his or her charge) . The Feuillants relaunched it from 1607 to 1761, the date of its final closure. From 1836, it the town who managed it. The terrace between the city/town hall, the school, the road and the way to the square of the church, with the degrees of access, the retaining wall of the land and the plantations are all protected.

The Notre-Dame-d’Abondance Church was built around 1275. It is the only Church in Savoy to possess an ambulatory and absidiales chapels; Gothic cloister of the 14C presenting a set of murals depicting the Marian cycle, among them the Annunciation, the Nativity, the flight to Egypt or the wedding of Cana. These paintings probably date from the first half of the 15C and illustrate the current art style, but also by many details the local environment. The iconography is part of a late Gothic style reminiscent of the Florentine school. The House of the Val of Abondance: a tour presenting the pastoral, cheese, geographical and historical richness of the valley.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Abondance

Official area Savoie tourist office on Abondance

My fav site for ski info Skiinfo in English on Abondance

City of Abondance on heritage

Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis is a former town in the Savoie department no 73 of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. It merged on January 2017 with the municipalities of Bramans, Lanslevillard, Sollières-Sardières and Termignon to form the new town of Val-Cenis (even thus it was already like this way before locally). Lanslebourg is located in the Maurienne Valley, at the foot of the Col du Mont-Cenis. It is 23 km from Modane and 128 km from Chambéry.

Val Cenis Lanslebourg

 Val Cenis Lanslebourg

Val Cenis Lanslebourg

A bit more of history I like here

During the annexation of the Duchy of Savoy by the French Revolutionary troops in 1792, the Maurienne Valley belongs to the department of Mont-Blanc. The municipality of Lanslebourg is administratively attached to the canton of Lanslebourg, of which it is the capital city, within the district of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. During the administrative reform of 1798 and the creation of the new Department of Lake Geneva, the situation of administrative attachment of Lanslebourg does not change

The emperor erected a new town, ephemeral, Mont-Cenis, in 1807, from the villages of the Hospice (also parish), Grand Croix and the Ramasse, reducing by the same two thirds the town of Lanslebourg.

On June 24, 1940, France signed the Armistice of Villa Incisa with the fascist government of Italy, after only a few days of battle in the Alps, and precarious victories for the Italian Army. Lanslebourg, like eight other villages of Haute-Maurienne (Termignon, Lanslevillard, Bessans, Bramans, Sollière-Sardière, Bonneval-sur-Arc, Aussois, Avrieux) and three of Haute-Tarentaise (Séez, Montvalezan, Ste-Foy), is now under the Italian rule, with locals appointed by the Italian command. The Bando del Duce of 31 July 1940 had indeed passed the eight villages occupied under a regime of annexation. From November 11, 1942, the Italians occupied the whole of Savoy. On September 8, 1943, the Italian occupation ends in Lanslebourg as in the rest of the department, the Nazis replacing the Italians. After , WWII, the Col du Mont-Cenis was ceded by Italy to France in 1947 by the Treaty of Paris.

Some of the things to see here are

The Domaine de Val Cenis Vanoise Winter Sports Resort is located on the town and that of Lanslevillard. The Church of the Assumption-of-the-Virgin, now a baroque space, is a permanent exhibition place created in an ancient church. It is designed to give the keys to reading the Savoyard Baroque Art. It also presents temporary exhibitions on the history and heritage of the valley. The Assumption Church, built between 1828 and 1830 , has a neoclassical-style painted décor. Also, Fort of Bramble near the Col du Mont-Cenis.

Some webpages to help you plan your visit here are

Tourist office of Haute Maurienne on Val Cenis

My fav Skiinfo webpage on ski on Val Cenis

Tourist office of Savoie on Val Cenis

City of Lanslebourg mont Cenis on Val Cenis

There you go if you want to ski these are nice areas of my belle France. Very family oriented and frequent by the French youth a lot. Just be carefull don’t fall off a mountain lol!!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

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