It's been a seriously wild few days for me. Being in Europes viral hot bed on the French Italian boarder has been a interesting life experience. Saturday daytime everything was normal but by the evening it was announced all ski lifts, bars, restaurants and any non essential business would not be allowed to open on Sunday morning. All tourists and overseas staff like myself were advised to leave immediately. As I had no plans to go anywhere until May my car was somewhat buried behind a bank of snow so my buddy and I set out with shovels and pick axes to get it free and running to take us home to the UK. After a solid days work by around 4pm Sunday the car was free and rolling.
The cops and military were out on patrol, constant cop cars rolling by checking up on everyone. The major ski resort tour operator's got everyone out in 36 hour's and the ski town's went quiet. On Monday afternoon I was stood in the street talking with a group of about 15 people and the cop's rolled up and told us to seperate, go inside and close our doors. For this to happen in France, a country that has chopped the heads of its ruling class and gave birth to post modern liberal philosophy and politics it was crazy to experience such a level of social control.
Tuesday morning I made a run for the boarder, 12.5 hours of driving later we hit Calais and the late night ferry back to the UK. I have done this road trip a bunch of times but it felt tense as hell this time, busy road's and heavily laden cars of many European nationalities everywhere. Usually French toll motorways are quiet and easy driving but not this time. The atmosphere was intense to say the least but people at rest stops and petrol stations were all unusually friendly with sympathetic smiles and nods all round. A real sense of community within a dramatic background situation. It's great to see people like this at a time when shit is most definitely going down, it can bring out our best or worst.
Now back in the UK to empty supermarkets and a much less friendly atmosphere I have self isolated in a hotel for fear of bringing this home to my family, even though I feel absolutely fine. I work summer and winter seasons in the outdoor education industry and usually go to see my folks for a couple of week's between the seasons but I'm not wanting to go near my 83 year old Dad right now, they have been safely shut in for some time. With schools and my usual summer job in shut down and having just been made redundant from my winter job I am unlikely to be doing much for the foreseeable future until the unknown time that this is all over. These sure are crazy times, good luck and good health to all.
I had plans to get some shots of this up on the mountain but they were cut short, had to settle for a balcony shot but it still looks cool.