Now I know where the snow gods traveled when they went AWOL around the New Year. They made a beeline for the Alps.

For the past several days we have been in Megeve, located in the Haute-Savoie department, Rhone-Alpes region, southeastern France.

Megeve started its development as a ski resort in the 1910s, when the Rothschild family began spending winter vacations in the region after becoming oh so over  the Swiss resort of St Moritz. Modern-day Megeve is considered among the most beautiful upmarket ski resorts in France, indeed, in the world. And with good reason.

Even more than Telluride, Mageve offers extensive downhill options for all levels of skiers and boarders: 111 lifts, 219 slopes, totaling 445 km. The region has no huge hotels, and for the most part, there are no mass market boils on its face. (However – egads –  last night I spied a MacDonald’s at one end of town.)

The core of Megeve is a charming medieval village with narrowed cobbled streets, but the wake up call signaling you are in the here and now are the numerous high-end designer boutiques flashing brand names like Prada and Hermes. Over the weekend they were packed with well-heeled tourist buying like there was no tomorrow. Hmm….

Over the years, Telski, Town of Telluride and Mountain Village honchos have talked about the possibility of an alliance with Megeve in the form of a “sister city” relationship. So far, no dice.

With all the aforementioned snow, you may be asking yourself if we are skiing. Answer: not so far. That’s coming. Been too busy exploring. And eating.

While many have been hitting the slopes, we have been hitting the table. Hard. Our generous host enjoys entertaining guests at his chalet, aided and abetted by his fine chef. Lunch yesterday afternoon was quiche and salad. Last night, we were among the guests at a banquet straight out of  “Babette’s Feast.”

We have, however, punctuated meals with long walks. Yesterday my friend and I did a four-mile round-trip to town and back, photographing the picture-perfect chalets dotting its mountainsides, horse and carriages trotting along country roads, cheese outlets. The scene was so twee it could give a person a toothache. But I mean that in a good sense.

Now we are off to the ski mountain for a hike up to – guess what – a major lunch at the equivalent of Telluride’s Alpino Vino at an eaterie called L’Alpette, “Little Alp.”

More soon.

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