New Year – Chamonix Without Skiing – Part 3

Whilst it was a strange Christmas, the special day was a really enjoyable one as we highlighted in last weeks Christmas without skiing blog. The days after were equally enjoyable in the run up towards New Years Eve. We always consider it a privilege to be here in Chamonix, and Boxing Day got the week started perfectly with more snow. In fact it felt like the it then never stopped, continuing through to both New Years Eve and New Years Day!

 

It was the picture perfect Christmas and New Year postcard and we lost count of how man times  we said ‘if only our guests were here to enjoy it’. Sadly this couldn’t be so we tried hard to make up for their absence. A little shopping in town, sledging, dog walking, and games galore were the order of the day. The log fire lit each night to create the perfect ambience.

Dog Walks In The Snow

New Years Eve

 

Dogs walked, drop Josh off for his ski training, and then pop into town to pass the time away. Once finished and the dogs walked once again, it was a chance to then cook some hearty food for the evening. Everything prepared and in the oven, we didn’t need any excuses for some fine wine, a few more pieces of the puzzle and more games. As we mentioned in our previous blog, even when there is skiing and snowboarding, it doesn’t stop us filling the rest of the day with such light entertainment!

 

Walking the dogs seems so normal as we still have the same beautiful scenery. And whilst the lack of skiing and snowboarding was strange, what we really found strangest, was how quiet the town itself. We were only in Chamonix town centre for a couple of hours window shopping, but it just didn’t feel right. Chamonix New Year is normally heaving. It was busier than past weeks without question, but exceptionally quiet by normal standards. French nationals had travelled to the alps to at least experience the traditional snowy holidays, who could blame them really, but not to its normal extent.

 

New Year estimates range from 15,000 to 20,000 revellers congregating in the town square at midnight in normal circumstances. And the partying starts early! By mid-afternoon bars start to fill as the slopes empty, but there would be none of this on this New Years Eve. If you had never experienced New Years Eve in Chamonix it may have seemed nice, but to us it felt so strange.

Skiing Chamonix Town

Seeing The New Year 2021 In….

 

Back home, we settled in for the night. Normally we would be getting out our favourite fleeces, jumpers and boots, and heading into town, but it wasn’t to be this year with Chamonix bars and restaurants closed. It is such a shame for such organisations. Ski seasons are short affairs and New Years Eve subsidises the quieter weeks with entry fees and copious amounts of alcohol drunk!

Christmas and New Year, luxury chalet chamonix exclusive
New Year Chamonix, luxury chalet

We tried our best, to raise the tempo, but it wasn’t the same. Year after year we been part of something special. Hoards of revellers, some a little worse for wear, but never anything other than just drunk, the atmosphere electric. From a young age our two children, now young adults, have loved this evening as the photos above show. But this New Years Eve was destined to be pontoon, more wine, and champagne. We would be lying to your to say it was anything other than at best, incredibly strange, despite the Pol Roger that was a nice distraction!

 

We saw in 2021, and hoped for a better year than the last one. But this was not Chamonix New Year as we expect and have known it, and hope to never experience again. The feelings we had felt somewhat disingenuous. So many in 2020 had lost loved ones, but feelings are feelings.

Church Les Praz

New Years Day – Out With 2020 and In With 2021

 

If there was one positive about a restricted New Years Eve, it was the fact that our heads didn’t feel quite s heavy and hazy as the do on most New Years Days! No skiing for Josh, a repos in French, we settled for long walks, and a cosy afternoon by the fire. Deer casserole, a fabulous bottle of red, we were back in the groove in no time after our subdued New Years Eve.

 

Next week we will be taking you through January and February, before our final episode in the series, spring time during Covid! And if you missed our first blog, click here for Part 1 of a Chamonix Without Skiing

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