From tomorrow, Britons will be allowed back into France for non-business, non-vital reasons – for fun, in short – and about time, too. Talk about over-reaction – as, I’m sure, those deprived of the slopes have been doing ever since President Macron slammed the door on December 18. Certainly, potential hosts were irked beyond measure. I was in Val d’Isère when the red light lit. The wailing and gnashing of teeth enveloped the Alps.
So, good news for the skiing milieu, the more so that this year’s snow is apparently spot on in the Alps and Pyrenees but also in the Jura, Vosges and Massif Central.
And then there’s everything else. France did not get to be the planet’s number one tourist destination by skiing alone. A key element is the country’s diversity, by which I don’t mean it contains lots of different peoples and all main sexes (though it does). What I mean is that it contains most of Western Europe within its frontiers, from German and Flemish influence in the north to Spanish and Italian down south, via Celtic in Brittany and the Frenchest of French in the Loire Valley. Great cities – Strasbourg, Nice, Bordeaux – reflect great differences.