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Skiing with the French Foreign Legion.

No, I didn’t have to go to the Northern part of Africa for doing that – those days are long gone.
I visited El Aaiun on the Atlantic coast of Africa once – and that’ll do :)

If familiar with the stories P.C. Wren wrote in the 1920s about Beau Geste (the name meaning ‘beautiful deed’, while also referring to an Old French heroic poem ‘Chanson de Geste’), you’ll know the more romantic version of the French Foreign Legion based and serving in North Africa.

Following the Algerian war they became located in Southern France as an international combat unit.
Southern France is a wide notion, and the training of the different regiments takes place on diverse sites, among those a certain Château/Castle in the Pyrenées.

So-o-o, when suddenly I came across a military unit dressed casually, but uniform inside one of our most famous ski stations, I had to ask about them.
When told it was the legion training their younger associates, or what rookies are called nowadays, I was stunned.
Not anylonger big, burly men of dubious past, but more looking like young highschool graduates of medium stature, my curiousity was raised :)
They were taking instructions in the noble art of skiing …. on a somewhat initial level, and as skiing within the boundaries of a ski station is a fairly democratic enterprise, everybody else were in principles free to mix into/go between/meddle with their formations.
And so we did :pirate:
With polite considerations of course :)
Well, we all at some point started from scratch, so we could easily see, whom not to disturb, and whom on the other hand, could be fit for a little challenge :)
We also knew the terrain.
And it became fun … racing some, cheating others with shortcuts, daring them to stretch themselves etc. etc.
I had forgotten how fun it could be playing adversary – but it very fast came back :fat:
- and we, the others also learned a trick or two.


I love it when writing makes me feel like I've traveled some place.

This sounded like a real fun encounter, and skiing seems so exotic. I don't ever think I'll have the guts for it. Plummeting down an icy slope...jeeps.

Pictures would have been nice, fella. It's 2017 :)
Sorry, the system here's only allowing photos from url - no private pics allowed :grumpy:
Hi BoBo

To share photos via your blog.
Go to your profile and create an album.
Upload the photos to your album
Open the album
click on the photo you want to share
in the bottom right hand corner below the photo and above the comment box you will see two boxes. One contains the photo URL and the other the BB code.
Either should work on the blog
I don’t have any pics from that special occasion – didn’t have time to play the photographer too :-"
But here’s a couple showing some pistes



(if wanting to see what the young ones are up to, google ‘snowboard’ or ‘snowparc’ in their images department)

- and one with yours truely


Salaam aleikum :welcome:
Lucky you... I am jealous! When we visit our daughter who lives in France, I love going to the ski resorts just for the Apres Ski (or whatever it is called) I am too old to learn how to Ski now :( Perhaps in the next life!
I started learning skiing when I was a young girl at 60 - I don't think you have reach that far yet :)
After 65 there are ample reductions, and when hitting 70 it's free of charge to go to the skistations for skiing or for a little snack and a nap in the deck chair as you seem to like it - in the Alps it's 73 though.
You can also take a walk on your snowshoes - or a ride with the sleigh dogs, playing around in the snow is sheer fun - and talking to an international public is very interesting.
Just get started !! :cheers:
I think I am going to try snowshoes when we are over in Feb. Last time we went I took a bucket and spade (beach stuff) so I could build a snowman. My daughter nearly died when I pulled them out of my handbag! If looks could kill I'd be dead. I am not going to attempt skiing as I'd be too nervous I'd break a leg. Body or paddleboarding are on my bucket list, but skiing... nooooo. I'd reather take a ride in a hot air balloon. :)
since i have read Albert Camus and the love of Algeria is intertwined with his words...one would like to go there but not sure that part of the world is safe for europeans.....
PIP: rent a sleigh on the place, and take a ride with the children :)
ESC: you may be right, sadly enough - Morocco is considered the most safe of what we call the Maghreb .
Alaikum Salaam, Bobo :)

Oh, that looks so cool. Not as steep as I thought it was...

I would like to hike to the white mountains in the background. Is it actual wilderness out there- like animals and such?
Steepness is a relative notion, depending on your point of view, that is where you stand (in what we call the real world) :)
The pistes come in all declinations - I don't take pics on the most steep ones :)
Yes, there being many wild animals, like bears, woolfs, snakes, and wild boars - but they tend to hide themselves fom the grisly human.
Kamino, don't you have mountains around where you live ??
Hi, BoBo....just found your picture. Sorry missed it before. Nice one, too! I leave to ski Colorado end of month. Best. sas

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