Posts Tagged With: sport

Alpe d’Huez – not only for Tour de France bike riders, also for down hill skiers

France 2012

20. December 2012: For updates on this post please visit: http://www.circumnavigator.dk/2012/10/25/alpe-dhuez/

Driving on the road up to Alpe d’Huez you pass through 21 hairpin bends. In each of the bends there is a plate with the name of one of the Tour de France winners on the legendary mountain. But Alpe d’Huez is not only for Tour de France bikers. During winter it is a very good ski resort, both for beginners and advanced skiers.

Hairpin bends at Alpe d'huez         View to Alpe d'Huez from Auris en Oisans mountain

Skiing at Alpe d’Huez

In January 2012 my brother and niece invited me to join them on their annual skiing holiday. They are both very good and fast skiers, whereas I myself is more relaxed about the skiing. I can, if I really want to, go downhill on a black piste, but I definitely prefer a blue or red piste. Even though the need for speed is in my blood, can’t deny that, I guess I’m more for the relaxed downhill skiing where I also take the time to enjoy the scenery around me. Just the sight of the magnificent mountains around me, is something very special – I grew up in a country where the highest point is only 170 meters above sea level.

The Alpe d’Huez with surrounding towns has a total of 250 km pistes so there are plenty of different pistes to explore. I think it great to get up fairly early in the morning and go the furthest out you can in the area and then use the following hours working your way back – going down one slope and up in a lift, down another slope and up in another lift etc. In Alpe d’Huez, I recommend to take the trip out to Montfrais and then return to the foot of Signal going through the villages of Vaujany and Oz en Oisans. Fantastic skiing and scenery.

Scenery near Montfrais at Alpe d'Huez          View to the piste Signal at Alpe d'Huez

Another must do in Alpe d’Huez is the La Sarenne run, but I advise only to do it if you are an experienced skier. The first part is really steep. A very easy but beautiful piste, and perfect for the final day run, is the one going down to the village Huez from Alpe d’Huez. Please click Alpe d’Huez for all information about the resort and a detailed map of the pistes.

French food

Another great thing about holidaying in France is of course the food. We stayed in a hotel with breakfast and dinner included and even though the kitchen was run by Danes, the food was inspired from the french kitchen, so absolutely lovely. If you want to source your own french specialities, I can recommend to visit some of the delicacy shops in Alpe d’Huez. Both the sausages and the sweets are absolutely delicious.

French charcuterie          Cakes in Alpe d'Huez

For lunch on the mountain, I recommend a pizza at the little cosy Chalet du Lac Besson reached by the piste Boulevard de Lac. The food there is excellent and on top the view from the terrasse is fantastic.

Other activities in Alpe d’Huez

In Alpe d’Huez there is also an outdoor swimming pool and a skating ring. Unfortunately I didn’t find the time for any of these activities, but it looked great. I did try out the after skiing but being a little bit “germanophile”, I must admit that I prefer the after skiing in the german speaking Austria. In Alpe d’Huez there are several bars to choose from and also good party vibes late in the evening, but the Austrian after skiing starts much earlier in the afternoon and is full power compared to the French.

Ice skating ring in Alpe d'Huez          Outdoor swimming pool in Alpe d'Huez

A room with a view in Alpe d'Huez          Heavy snowfall at Alpe d'Huez

All together I consider Alpe d’Huez a complete skiing resort. I had a great week there with my family and did some amazing skiing. It is said that there are 300 days with sunshine in Alpe d’Huez. The first days we had bright sunshine from a blue ski – the last couple of days very heavy snow fall, but it also has it’s charm to experience snow fall of minimum 50 cm within 24 hours. Though not really the best skiing weather. My last day in Alpe d’Huez, I went up and down one time only – doing otherwise for me wouldn’t be safe.

Did you try out some great ski resorts? And why were they just perfect for you? Please let me know for inspiration to my next skiing holiday.

Advertisements
Categories: Alpe d'Huez, France | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Denmark beats Bulgaria 2-0

Portugal 2004

20. December 2012: For updates on this post please visit: http://www.circumnavigator.dk/2012/10/14/denmark-beats-bulgaria/

During the 2004 European Football Championship, I was so lucky to be invited from my employer to watch Denmark play against Bulgaria. This was not the first Danish national match I have seen live, but it was the first one during a final round for a championship – truly a fantastic experience. All my colleagues and not only the Danish, also a good handful of other nationalities, were dressed in red and white to cheer for the Danish dynamite team.

Bulgaria-Denmark 0-2 in Portugal 2004          Thanks for a great match Danish dynamite boys in Portugal 2004

On my travels I have attended many other sport events. I think it is a great way to experience another culture, since sports can often be just as religious and important for the nations people as well… religion.

Football

Football (or soccer for my american readers) is one of my favourite sports to watch (I’ve even played it myself when I was a teenager). So where did I go and what did I see – I will here mention some of the more memorable. Stamford Bridge hearing the Chelsea FC fans sing for their football players throughout the entire match. At the Hamburg stadium where I have watched the local football team HSV play several times, but where I also attended a match during the 2006 World Cup – Ecuador against Costa Rica. This World Cup in 2006 was all together a good example of what a big sports event can do to people – the entire Germany was one big party for the couple of weeks the tournament was on. Last year while I visited Barcelona, I got goose bumps when Messi and all the other top football players were running on the field. FC Barcelona won 5-0 over Napoli and therefore the Joan Gamber trophy, so another reason to smile.

World Cup 2006 in Hamburg. Ecuador vers. Costa Rica          Camp Nou in Barcelona

Sport events around the world

Apart from football, I also attended other live sport events. Several handball matches in the best male league in the world. I tell you those handball arenas in Germany can boil and my favourite team is SG Flensburg-Handewitt. I was luckily in Melbourne during the tennis grand slam Australian Open in 2007 and with a day pass it was possible to see some of the worlds great tennis players. Also the evening ski jumping at the FIS Lahti Ski Games in 1996 will never be forgotten. Or the rugby match with one of the best teams in New Zealand – Crusaders.

Australian Open 2007 in Melbourne          Crusaders - Rugby in Christchurch 2007

So I can only recommend to look out for a sports event while travelling. Pick one of interest or choose the national sport. Nomatter what I can almost guarantee that it will be fun.

Categories: Australia, Barcelona, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Hamburg, Lahti, London, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.