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 irate:
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.