One of Salvador Dali’s signature images, “Persistence of Memory, ” 1931, inspired three of the nine sculptures currently on display throughout Megeve: “Persistence of Memory,” “Profile of Time,” and “Dance of Time II.” All three works of art feature melting clocks. And “melting” became a metaphor for the day.
Melting is what happens to time on memorable vacations such as this.
Melting is what is happening to the snow in Megeve, though a new storm is forecast for the weekend.
Melting is what happened to the crowds in this alpine village – amen – leaving in its wake, the Megeve that got lost in the crush. And today, with the help of Michele Loviny, assistant to the mayor, we discovered that Megeve.
The Megeve of medieval back streets paved in cobblestones, where streams crossed by old bridges run adjacent to picturesque buildings, a number of which have been recently restored.
The Megeve of warm, friendly people who welcome guests with open arms.
The Megeve that seamlessly blends the new with the old, the work of the Catalan master juxtaposed to an ancient church.
We started off at the local pharmacy to pick up some necessities. Who cares you say. I only mention the stop because the pharmacist (manager?) set the tone for the rest of day. I needed a moisturizer, but since I am about to fly home, I am restricted by the three-ounce maximum. When I explained, the woman went out of her way to find me some samples. No biggie, but still…. Both press agents I met later in the day, Charlotte Nuques and Stefan Laude, were equally open and eager to help.
(Charlotte spent two years in Telluride working at La Marmotte. She sends regards to all her Telluride friends.)
Then the mayor of Megeve, Madame Sylviane grosset-Janin, went out of her way to greet my friend and me. This is high season and Sylviane’s schedule is packed, but we chatted about Megeve and Telluride for 15 minutes she did not have. She even offered us ski passes. (We had them already; nevertheless….)
Several of the major Dalis stand outside the mayor’s office in the core of town.
The sculptures are part of a traveling exhibition of works by the Surrealist, arranged by the Stratton Foundation, the local surrealist gallery (Galeries Bartoux) and government offices. Three monumental works – “L’Elephant Spatial, le Piano Surrealiste, and St. George and the Dragon – decorate the heart of Megeve. The remaining six, including the aforementioned clocks are scattered throughout the rest of town. The Dalis arrived in time for Christmas. They leave with the snow in early April. While they are in residence, however, the works conspire to turn Megeve into an outdoor museum, worth the price of entry.
We visited the Cabrol home at the base of Le Jaillet, one of the major ski areas, to meet Alain and his offspring. At the end of the year, the eldest Cabrol, Clement, comes to Telluride to study and train with Caleb Martin. Clement swaps homes with Telluride local Zack Nunn, who will be training in Megeve with free-style bronze medalist Richard Guy. Telluride Inside… and Out hopes the two boys will be blogging about their adventures.
At the local historical museum, we viewed the vast postcard and toy collection of Alain Kadisch. Kadisch was born in 1944 and orphaned in 1953. Megeve effectively raised the boy. When the boy became a man, “Mister Megeve,” he collected memorabilia to honor his adoptive home. Three rooms in the 17th-century building that was the site of a former hospital house the bequest Sound familiar?
A hike up the Calvary topped off the afternoon.
The Calvary is a former pilgrimage site, erected in the 19th century on the east side of the village. You enter the trail alongside the ice skating rink. Numerous sculpture in wood inside the 14 chapels en route retrace the scenes of Christ’s Passion.
Our passion was simply to get to the top.