Savoie · Travel

Chapter 38. The Alpine Treehouse

 

So those of you who know me, know that I love to travel and see the world. When Marc asked me a few months ago how I wanted to celebrate turning 30; I knew I wanted an experience (instead of a thing), so we ended up planning an epic adventure where we would spend three weeks in Nepal trekking to Everest Base Camp. Unfortunately at the moment, the state of my immigration is a little tentative and I’m not allowed to leave France (or, more accurately, I’m not allowed to come back in if I do leave), so that plan was put on hold for the time being.

With all this going on, I changed the scale of my birthday wish rather significantly….I just wanted to go somewhere with Marc and Murphy and see mountains and SNOW. And while this might have been a secondary plan, a ‘Plan B’ if you will, it ended up exceeding every expectation….we had SUCH an amazing time!!

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So. Much. Snow.

Marc did his research and came across an amazing company called Entre Terre et Ciel (between earth and sky/heaven), which had three treehouses available for rent in the French Alps near the (super posh) town of Megève. It is about a six hour drive from Paris, so we knew we wanted to go for three nights, which would give us two full days of mountain fun (and a nice break from driving). In order to get the rental for three nights, we had to agree to move cabins for the final night, as they were juggling various bookings. We spent the first two nights in the Cabane Mont Blanc, which was utterly beautiful! The interior was really charming and rustic- we didn’t have a kitchen but there was a cool bar area with a coffee machine and kettle (necessities covered!), there was one bed downstairs and a couple mattresses in the little loft, and a really nice bathroom. The only odd thing was that the cabanes were equipped with dry toilets…something I had never experienced before coming to Europe. They are basically toilets with a pail underneath filled in sawdust, and once you do your business you cover that up with sawdust (there is a bin and scoop beside the toilet). The people running the place would come every day and empty/replace the pail. I guess it’s an alternative to having the cabins fitted out with sewage tanks? It wasn’t unpleasant or anything, just a little odd!

The selling features for this Cabane were the jacuzzi and sauna on the balcony….they were sooooo nice in the evenings after big days playing in the snow!! Murphy was not sure AT ALL about the jacuzzi, he would spend the whole time we were in pacing around us and looking very concerned. It was cute how worried he was!

While our second cabane didn’t have a sauna or jacuzzi,  it did have a sofa, an amazing net for reading in the loft, and a slide. It was a little larger than the first and we ended up preferring it- it was the perfect location to relax with a book. Oh, one thing I didn’t mention- none of the treehouses were equipped with wifi….which was a really nice touch in my eyes! It was amazing to be disconnected and enjoy our time in nature.

When we first arrived in the Alps, I was really concerned about the lack of snow. Driving along the valley through Megève there was NOTHING but brown grass. Not very promising for a vacation that was made for the sole purpose of seeing snow! The treehouses were located a lot higher up the mountain, and happily there ended up being quite a bit of snow up there; even though it was a bit old and crusty, I was happy. Well, as we slept the first night in our amazing treehouse, the snow came dumping down! We woke up to about 15cm fresh snow and it was still pelting down. It was paradise!!!

After our playtime in the snow, we headed back to the treehouse to wait for our breakfast. Le petit déjeuner was included in the price of our stay and was comprised of our choice of viennoisserie (a choice-or both- of croissant or pain au chocolat), baguettes, butter, an assortment of jams and honey, freshly squeezed orange juice, and milk to make hot chocolate with. All of this was brought up to our treehouse at a predesignated hour in a beautiful basket….I thought it was the most amazing service! The quality of food was superb as well, everything easily lived up to our (rather high) standards for French baking. Honestly, the breakfasts were one of my favourite parts of the whole experience; it was such a treat to have this wonderful food brought to your door- talk about the ultimate lazy morning!

Each afternoon we would head out and go explore the surrounding mountains. On the first day we went to the mountain town of Megève, which was extremely pretty, but also touristy and expensive….it reminded me a lot of Gstaad in Switzerland. There wasn’t really much there for the three of us so we moved on pretty quickly!

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Horse & buggy in Megève 

After wandering around town a little, we decided to head back up near our treehouse and take advantage of the sun and walk around. It was so warm in the sun, we were both sweating like crazy by the end of our little hike. We also forgot the snowshoes for this one, so the going was pretty tough!

We didn’t see the sun on our second afternoon, but we still had a very epic snowshoe. We chose a trail a little further up one of the neighbouring valleys, and when we arrived it was snowing like mad and crazy windy….it was a full on blizzard! Thankfully the wind died down pretty quickly, but we were still the first people on the trail after a huge amount of snowfall, so we had our work cut out for us breaking trail. The snow was so deep that the poles marking the trail were nearly completely buried; making it rather tricky to find our way in some parts! Murphy usually likes to be way out in front, but he got so tired after the first half hour that he was content to walk behind us and let us do all the hard work.

He was so tired that he sprinted the last bit to the car and lay down beside it to wait for us, it was so funny to see our energetic dog so beat!

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Ok guys, I’m ready to go home now….

Dinners were pretty chill affairs at the treehouse; as we had no kitchen, our options were very limited! The first and last nights we did really simple (but amazing) french food in the style of the apéro: baguettes with butter, charcuterie, fromage, paté, etc.

I love this series of photos of Marc showing Murphy what we’re eating….Murphy definitely knows what he would like to sample!!

For the second night we decided to take advantage of the meal service offered by the company and we ordered a fondue aux cèpes (mushroom fondue), which was brought up for us by the lovely people managing the place. It was so wonderful….exactly the type of food you want to be eating in a cabin in the woods while it’s snowing. I generally prefer the cheeses used in a Swiss fondue to those of a French one, but the addition of the mushrooms gave it such an amazing flavour that I was completely sold.

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YUM!

Anyways, I think I better wrap up the blog here….it’s been a long one already, and I’ll never manage to finish it if I decide to include all the stories/photos/adventures. We had quite a time driving back to Paris in the snow- it ended up taking nearly ten hours instead of the six and a half we took on Wednesday to drive the other direction! Happily most of the drive was during the day, and we split it between the two of us (though not evenly- Marc ended up with the lion’s share!). The long drive aside, this was one of the best holidays I’ve ever taken. It was the perfect mixture between relaxed and exciting and between active and restful…. and the accommodations were amazing beyond belief. I think we definitely will be heading back sometime!!

Until the next one,

M&M&M

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The cat at the check-in ‘office’. I think he’s a little cross because Murphy ate all his food when we arrived! 

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