End of the ski season

(March 24-26, 2017) This is the last post of the winter 2017 (I hope). We ended the skiing season 2017 in Bessans, in Savoie department, watching the French championships in Biathlon and Nordic skiing. We actually wished to do some skiing ourselves but it did not work out.

Bessans is a small town with the population of 340 (in 2014) in Savoie department. It is renowned for Nordic skiing and biathlon.

And The Devil

You wish …

We arrived on Friday afternoon, and despite the continuous rain, took a stroll around the quiet town. But at the dinner time the things got interesting. It was hard to find a place to eat since all (three or four) restaurants were reserved for the athletes and their teams. Eventually, we got to “Le Paradis — Bar Restaurant Pizzeria” in between the sittings, and their kitchen was able to process our order.

One family tragedy (they had deceased in an avalanche)

In the afternoon we watched the puddle in the front of our hotel room to grow and grow …

We skipped the Saturday morning’s youth and junior races, and went to scout the conditions of the nearby running trails. It was a nice, albeit somewhat wet walk, but the effort turned futile since after the next night’s snowfall no trails could be found.

The afternoon started with U19, U21 and senior women’s biathlon mass starts (all biathlon races were mass starts).
Next in the program was U20 and senior women’s skiathlon in Nordic skiing (5km in classic/5km in skating).

Because of the low temperatures, the spectator area was muddy/slushy.

The last race we watched on the stadium was U21 and senior men’s biathlon mass start.

The penalty loop was quite tiny.

While walking back to our hotel we followed the U20 and senior men competing in the first rounds of skiathlon (7.5km/7.5km).

The scenery was quite different when we woke up on Sunday morning.

Hard to tell the difference between the mountain and the sky. Women’s biathlon relay under way.

Soon the sky was clearing and the mountain appearing. Women’s Nordic skiing relay under way.

Eventually, when the sun came out the scenery was the most lovely.

We skipped the final race, which was senior men’s relay and went to find food in the town. We found ourselves at one of the places that refused us on Friday night, Le Mont Iseran. We chose two Savoie specialities: raviolis with various meats and red wine sauce, and …

Farci de Bessans, which is a Savoyard version of Japanese Okonomiyaki.

As we drove towards Isère, the wintry landscape gradually changed into summer.

Like on our way out, we stopped in Modane for a quick toilet break. Thank you for this facility, Modane!

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