This morning I got up at 5 o’clock to drop my beloved off at the airport, he’s off to the warmer climes of Israel for a dental meeting. As I drove back home the discussion on the radio centred on whether France was under prepared for snow – several departments are on “orange” alert with snow imminent. I had to laugh as I’m sure the self-same conversations are being had on UK television, radio and in the press as Britain also prepares for snow.
As we left for Italy last week, there was snow at the side of the motorway as we drove through La Turbie. Obviously it had snowed overnight but there was little evidence remaining on the surrounding hills and roads. When we drove back from Italy yesterday the Dolomites already had a dusting of snow and I assume the southern Alps will be getting theirs today. It was just a bone-chilling five degrees on the coast this morning so it’ll be zero or less in the surrounding hills. The snow’s arriving not a moment too soon as the ski stations typically open for business in early December.
We do get snow on the coast but it rarely lasts longer than a day and yes there’s usually a spot of chaos on the A8 motorway at La Turbie and at the airport. But, it’s only temporary. I can’t, of course, speak for the rest of France. My beloved has in years past been stranded several times in the UK due to snow and bad weather causing flight cancellations. He has gotten back home in a variety of ways but generally once on French soil at Calais he’s found all forms of transport to function well despite the weather.
I’ve already given up cycling in the hills around Nice on account of the chilly descents. I generally eschew Col de Vence from November to at least February, sometimes even March. Instead, I confine myself to riding up and down the coast with the occasional venture inland for more undulating terrain. With the temperatures having plummeted this past week, I shan’t be venturing out on the bike, well muffled, much before 11 o’clock.