…is that once the tourists have gone home EVERYTHING closes down for a few weeks!
Sunday 25th April was the official winter season end, meaning that as we got up on Monday morning and ventured to the bakery everything had shut up, everyone had left town overnight! The busy hustle and bustle of winter had been replaced by a solitary cat and a lot of closed shutters. And so it will stay until the start of June when things get in gear again for the start of the summer season.
St Jean isn’t actually so bad compared to other villages in the region. One bakery, the 8-a-huit supermarket, the tabac, pharmacy and post office are all open as well as one restaurant. But venture further afield to La Clusaz and it’s a ghost town. There is literally one café, the Belier, open for business in the whole town – if you want anything else, forget it…until June!
Having lived life in London before moving to the Alps I must admit I struggle with the reduced service between seasons. Add to that the fact that during May there are no less than 4 bank holidays too and you really do have to think twice and plan ahead before going out to do your daily errands!
This is the traditional way of life that we love so much during the rest of the year though, so we can’t complain. And when you know where to look there is still the odd café open for a quick coffee with friends, but I am looking forward to being able to buy more than just bread from the bakery, cheese from the market and a postage stamp as long as the wind is blowing in the right direction!