Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Golden Wedding

It was our Golden Wedding on Saturday.  Luckily for us, four friends were staying in Chamonix with another couple so they came over and joined us and Carol and Gordon for a celebratory dinner.  The Clochettes was empty so we took it over, and Kieran cooked us the most amazing meal., with Ben and Ellie serving.     We started with scallops with a home made ham terrine, followed by a perfectly cooked rack of lamb and then, the piece de resistance, a dessert of lemon posset in a white chocolate half shell with meringue and fresh fruit. It was a great evening and our friends left for Geneva the next morning to catch their flight home.
Om the Sunday our two families arrived together with the Booth and Smith families so there are 8 children in all, ranging from 14 to 7.  It was Caroline and Steve's 18th wedding anniversary yesterday, and Lizzie will be 12 on Thursday.  It's a busy time of year!  We skied on Mont D'Arbois yesterday in glorious sunshine and had lunch at the Gouet.   Today we are probably going over to Cote 2000.   

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Vallee Blanche

We went home for the weekend which explains why no blog.  John wanted to see the  Head of the River Race which involves 420 crews rowing from Chiswick to Putney.  Sadly, it was cancelled because of high winds.
Anyway, we are back in Megeve to lovely sunny weather and deserted pistes.  Today we took all the staff, except for Tom (whose girl friend arrived today) and Rory and Corrie (broken collarbones) to Chamonix to ski the Vallee Blanche.  It was one of those days.  Leaving our apartment, we got into the lift I asked John if he had got his boots.   We got to the RP when he said he'd forgotten both his phones.  Surprisingly, I had mine and it was switched on.
We were incredibly lucky as Alex Perinet (our favourite mountain guide) was free and he brought his friend, Thiery, who guided us last year.  So, we had two excellent guides.  Often the ridge is windy and cold, but there was no wind and we all ended up stripping off at the bottom of it.  Then we split into two groups.   We went with Alex and skied the Petit Envers, which was steep and exciting with lots of crevasses to avoid.  We joined up with the other group just before the path to the refuge, and skied together to our patch of stones for lunch.
The snow was mixed but lower down Alex found us some spring snow, which was great. I think the worst part is climbing up the stairs to the railway.  Gary, bless him, carried my skis.  Every year I do it I wonder if I can face that climb up the following year.  It was a great day and thank you to all our team this year.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017


Yesterday we skied with Neville and his partner, Caroline, on Mont D'Arbois.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  We stopped at the Gouet for lunch and bumped into Sarah Lambert, who lives in the chalet just below the Sylvana.  She told us that Tom, the chef/manager of the Sylvana for many years, was ill in New Zealand.  He had moved there after he left us.  He had been falling over and had been to see several doctors who dismissed his concerns, until one took him seriously and sent him for a scan.  It turned out that he had a tumour on his spine which was pressing on the nerve and affecting his balance.  It has been removed and he is now having chemotherapy.  So we all hope that he is on the road to recovery.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Sorry, I have been rather lax in blogging.  I went to see the osteopath who gave my ankle a twist and a yank and something went click.  He said I could go skiing.  The problem was that it still hurt but on the other side.  So I took a couple of days off which was most frustrating as the weather was beautiful, warm and sunny.  However, yesterday I decided to go out anyway and found a technique which minimised the pain.   I went to see the osteopath again today and I am now hopeful that it is on course for recovery.  He is a lovely man:  he asked me my age and expressed surprise as he thought I was younger!
In the meantime, Jonny and Tracey have been out this week.  Tracey isn't skiing so she and Carol have been doing things together.   Sadly, I have not been able to ski with Jonny as much as I would have liked.  But we have had lots of nice lunches out, sitting in the sun at the  Dahu, Alpage and 540. They go home tomorrow.  Jonathan and Fiona Muirhead are leaving on Monday as they are having to give up their apartment in Megeve early.  I think they have enjoyed their season and are talking about coming back next year, but for longer.  However, we have all our family coming out the first week in April and more snow is forecast for next week, so the end of the season is looking good.  We are full next week but not the last week in March, so if you want a quick ski holiday on a short break that is the time to come.  The slopes are empty, the sun is shining and the pistes are in good condition first thing, though at this time of the year they tend to get a bit soft in the afternoon. 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Sunny Saturday

The sun is shining in Megeve, the snow is perfect and I've hurt my ankle.   I don't know what I've done but I tried skiing this morning and it was not a good idea.  I had rested it yesterday so I was hoping that I would be OK, but I ended up skiing down on one ski, which might be good for practice but not for all day.
Anyway, to recap.  Wednesday morning was almost perfect.   I say almost because I fell into the same ditch beside the bottom of the second chair at Cote twice running.  Everyone else thought it hilarious.  We met Gordon and Neville at the top of the Princess lift, and skied off piste down to Planallet, where we caught the bus to Cote.  As the top chair had not been open the day before we were almost first down everything.  The off piste snow was light and fluffy and huge fun.  Then it started to get busy and the snow got heavier and John and I went home for lunch.
On Thursday the temperature had risen.  We went to Le Giettaz where Gordon and Neville skied off the back and skinned back up again.  We did one run off piste which was OK, but hard work, so we skied the pistes.
On Friday we had a trip to Carrefour in Sallanches as our toaster had died and we needed to replace it.   We picked up some guests from the Alpy bus.  They have chosen a good weekend for a short break.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Powder Day

We woke up this morning to more snow than we've had all season, and still snowing.  The snow was over my knees walking to the Chamois lift.  Most of the lifts opened late because of the snow.  We waited at the Chamois and then gave up and got the bus up to Mont D'Arbois.  We were the first down Bridans which was brilliant, fluffy powder.  We were second down Voltigeurs which had been pisted but had about 50 cms of snow on top.  We skied them both twice and then headed off to ski down to Planallet.   No-one had done it so Neville had to break the trail.  We then got the bus to Jaillet which was a mistake.  We skied down the face but the snow was heavy.  Gordon and Neville went back to Mont D'Arbois but John and I decided we'd had a fantastic morning and headed home for lunch.  It's stopped snowing for now, though more is forecast.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Fresh snow

We had about 10 cms of fresh snow overnight, enough for us to play around in the off piste.  We got the first lift out of Megeve  and then up to Mont D'Arbois where we met Gordon.  As we got to the top we came out of the cloud and into sunshine.  We did a couple of runs down to Communailles, where I failed to climb over a fallen tree and then gave a fir tree a hug.  Gordon took the photo [after making sure the tree was alright] but all you can really see is my blue back pack and a ski.

Then we went up the Epaule lift where people were skiing off to the right down to the Mont Joli chair.  The snow looked good so we decided to follow them, and it was.  This is the first time we have been up there this season, as it gets skied out so quickly. The drawback was the wind.   The chair was going slower than usual because the wind was sweeping across,  blowing clouds of snow in your face.  After the second run Gordon announced he needed a hot chocolate so we headed for the Chalet du Mont-Joli.  We ended up having lunch there.  It was good, but every time someone came in the door the temperature dropped, as the wind was blowing from that direction.  After lunch Gordon headed home but we decided to ski off the triangle at the top of the Epaule ridge, down to Croix du Christ.  The snow wasn't as good as on Mont Joli but we had an interesting adventure through the trees and down the stream.  I was  glad to get to the piste.  By that time the weather had closed in so we skied home.  It's still snowing now, in Megeve.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Stormy weather

We were woken up this morning with shutters rattling from sudden gusts of wind.  Yesterday was sunny and, because it was the last day of the French holidays, busy.  But today there was a foehn wind blowing (100kph we were told) and the main lifts on Rochebrune and Mont D'Arbois were closed for the morning.  We had already agreed to meet Gordon at Jaillet, which proved to be the best bet. We had planned to ski over to La Giettaz, but, because of the high winds, we were not sure whether the top chair there would be open.  We have been caught once before when we skied over and found it closed so we couldn't get back, and we didn't feel like repeating the experience.  It is about an hour's drive round by road. We skied until lunch time when the snow started to get sticky and then came home.  The temperature has now dropped about 10C as a cold front is moving in and it is starting to snow.  So tomorrow may be a fun day.  Good for the guests arriving, but not so good for those going home.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

An amazing day

Fresh snow, first lift.   It was still snowing this morning when Neville picked us up to meet Gordon at the Princess lift.  We skied Bridans twice as it had not been pisted, then skied down beside the drag lift.  After that we did the the Monrosset field which was lovely, then off piste down to Bettex.  I suggested that we skied down to the facily bus which takes us back to Chatterix.  Sadly I fell in a hole and had to clamber out, so John and I were racing down the off piste like mad men to catch the bus.  We had to do a short cut through trees which involved skiing leaf mould so I'm now muddy.  Gordon and Neville were already at the bus stop when we got down and we got there literally as the bus drove up.  So lunch at the Gouet where we squeezed onto a table occupied by three of our guests, Yann, Chris and Russell.  They are all medics and out on a short break.  Gordon and Neville decided to do another run but John and I went home via the off piste to Planallet.   The field was a bit heavy but we were first tracks down!
What a change after yesterday.  I went out but the Rochebrune lifts were closed because of high winds.  At the top of the Croix de Christ I could see nothing because of the horizontal snow, so decided to ski down the green run so I could follow ski school.  The Mont D'Arbois lift was then closed.   The best skiing yesterday was at Jaillet.
It is now snowing now 5pm so tomorrow should be good.

Monday, 27 February 2017


Lunch at the Gouet

Gordon and Carol's son, Kit, was out this weekend with his girl friend, Sarah.  We skied with them Saturday and Sunday on Mont D'Arbois and on Monday morning at Cote.  Saturday was busy but a lot of the holiday makers must have left as Sunday was much quieter.  We skied the Ladies' Downhill course today twice, which Sarah had never done, so she felt quite a sense of achievement.  The weather was beautiful and we sat outside for lunch every day.  So Sunday was Croute de Gouet at the Gouet and lasagne at the Radaz on Monday.  Snow is expected tonight so we are hoping for fresh powder.
Emily is progressing well and has been out today for a little walk.  She is still feeling dizzy so has to take things easy but she is on the mend.

Thursday, 23 February 2017


Emily, one of the chalet hosts at the Rond Point, had a nasty accident on Tuesday.  She was skating on the outdoor ice rink and fell heavily, knocking herself out and cutting her forehead.  She was taken to Sallanches hospital by ambulance.  The doctors decided not to do a scan but to transfer her to Annecy by helicopter, where, presumably, they had a specialist team.  Anyway, the scan was clear and she was discharged the next day, thankfully.  Her mother flew out and she is now recuperating.  She can't remember between talking about going skating on Tuesday and waking up in Annecy on Wednesday morning.
Rory and Amy were marvellous, Amy, in particular as it was her day off and she went down in  the ambulance with Emily, and then had to hitch a lift back to Megeve. She and Rory then drove to Annecy and didn't get back to Megeve until the small hours of the morning. We are all so thankful that it was nothing worse.
It was a lovely morning and John and I skied the Rochebrune ridge this morning to Cote.  There was a race taking place on the Ladies Downhill Course.  The girls all looked about 14 but were they travelling!  The Radaz was open but only for bar and sandwiches. It wasn't clear as to when, if at all, the restaurant would be open.

Monday, 20 February 2017


The son of Brigitte. the owner of the Radaz Restaurant at Cote, was killed in an avalanche 8 days ago.  He went out at about 8 am.  Roger Siviter, who is a pisteur and paramedic on Rochebrune, told us that they saw an avalanche had come down when they came on duty, but as it was before the lifts opened and there were no tracks they assumed that no-one had been caught in it.  It was not until the victim's wife rang them to say she was worried as he had not returned home did they investigate.
He was the young man serving behind the bar at the Radaz, and was due to take over the business from his mother.  It is tragic.  So what is going to happen to the Radaz after the winter nobody knows.
On a brighter note, the weather has been glorious and the pistes are in fantastic condition.  We had lunch at the Alpage yesterday.  There is a new waitress who looks very like Marie, the owner.  It turns out that she is the daughter in law and her husband is the chef with his father.  It is nice that the business remains a family business. 

Friday, 17 February 2017


  We have just spent the last few days near  Grasse in the south of France, so apologies for not blogging.  Our  friend Ruth Hatton was driving back to her house at Cabris on Monday and asked us if we would like to visit for a few days, as she had other friends who we knew coming out to stay.  So we drove back with her through the Mont Blanc tunnel and down through Italy to Ventimiglia, and then along the coast to Nice and up to the hills behind, where their house is.  It is in a beautiful situation, overlooking Grasse and with a view out to the sea.  We flew back on Thursday morning.  So today we skied in Megeve on Mont D'Arbois.  Seeing that it is the last day of the Paris holidays the queues were not too bad, and we found some almost deserted pistes.  This is the view from Epaule, looking at Mont Blanc.  Next week should be quieter as the English half term will also have finished.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Cote 2000

Yesterday we skied on Mont D'Arbois with Ruth Hatton and Gordon, having lunch at the Gouet. Today John and I skied to Cote to see if there was any off piste left.  We found some where it was not too cut up, but it was breakable crust at the bottom.  We skied off the Pre Rosset track past the barn that is being refurbished and down to the stream.   This comes out at the bottom of the Lanchettes lift.  The snow was lovely and it wasn't tracked out.  Usually I hate the stream, there is one track which is too fast and nowhere to stop, and I spend the whole time thinking I'm going to end up in the stream.  But today not too many people had been down it and the snow was soft.  We had to climb over one fallen tree, and skirt round a couple of others, jump the stream a couple of times but otherwise it was quite fun.  At the bottom we met three guys skinning up.  I was very relieved not to have met them on one of the narrow unpassable places.  Then it was home for lunch, as it is the start of the French holidays and the pistes were getting busy.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

John's birthday

We had an amazing day today. We met up with Gordon at Cote and skied off piste all morning, or at least, I practised falling over in the snow.  I was leaning back.  Considering it's the first week of the Paris holidays, Cote was deserted.  We had lunch in the Radaz, a birthday tartiflette, and then took the bus to Mont D'Arbois.  Mont Joli and Epaule had been skied out totally.  But we  found some untracked snow down to Etudiant and then skied back down to Planellet.  I thought the snow might be heavy but it was perfect.  And to cap it all, we had some sunshine so we could actually see what we were skiing.  This is a video of the birthday boy!
This evening we are off to the St Georges for dinner with Jonathan and Fiona Muirhead, Carol and Gordon and our friend from England, Ruth Hatton.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Staff day off

Tuesday is Amy's,Gary's and  Emma's day off so we met up with them at 9am and skied over to Cote.
This is me skiing off the back down to the track.  The snow was lovely and very few people had skied it.  We met up with Gordon who gave Gary and Emma some tips, the same that   he has drilled into us over the years.  I still can't ski like Gordon, but at least I haven't given up trying.  Gary and Emma were planning a quiet lunch at the Radaz but we gate crashed it.  John and I had ordered a lasagne to share and the old man brought out something which he said was the lasagne.  By the time we had divided it we were told it was Gary's Croute.  So Gary had the mashed up Croute and we devoured our lasagne, when the old man brought Gary a second Croute.  So that got shared out!  We then skied back home but took a diversion through the trees which was testing as there were a lot of shrubs.  Still, the snow was lovely.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Snowy Sunday

When we got up this morning it was snowing and hasn't stopped all day.This is the view just down from our apartment.  John went out this morning with Gordon for a couple of hours.   There was not quite enough snow for off piste but there probably is now. Our concierge has been attempting to keep our car park clear, but has obviously given up.  I haven't heard any snow ploughs but they must be working to keep the roads clear. I'm hoping that I shall feel well enough to go out tomorrow to play around in the powder. I'll just have to keep swallowing the pills. We have been looking at reviews of new skis for me, so I'm feeling very excited.

Stormy weather

Today, Saturday, it was snowing steadily.  John went out Skiing but I had had a bad night with my cold so I had a trip to the Medical Centre.  On the website it said it opened at 8, but it didn't open until 9.  Why can't they get something simple like opening hours right.  Anyway I was told I had a temperature.  Being France I came away with a prescription for vitamin C, a nasal spray, paracetamol, cough mixture and antibiotics.
John had a lovely morning Skiing fresh snow with Gordon.  They stayed on the pistes but where they had not been groomed there was about 15cm of snow.  The sun came out briefly and then there was more snow.  It's looking good  for next week's guests.

Thursday, 2 February 2017


We went home last week to look after the grandchildren so the girls and their husbands could come Skiing.  It was nice to be home for a few days, but it was cold and grey most of the time.  We came back here on Tuesday, but we haven't been Skiing as I have a bad cold and cough and am trying to get over it.  New snow is forecast for this weekend so I must be better for that.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Off Piste

Yesterday John, John Cox and Gordon and I skied from the top of Le Giettaz down to Praz Sur Arly.  There were surprisingly few tracks and no-one had gone the way we went so we had fresh snow.  Even through the trees the snow was light and fluffy.   At the top the snow had crystallised into large frozen flakes which glittered in the sun.  Skiing through them made a swishy sound, completely different from skiing through fresh powder.  It was huge fun.   Lower down as we came to the road the snow had got heavier and was more like breakable crust, which is not enjoyable.  We were aiming to catch the bus.   As we got nearer the bottom there was the continuous sound of a horn.   It was very loud like a foghorn.   The horn on the bus had got stuck and the driver didn't know how to fix it.  John Cox said he should have pulled the fuse out but didn't feel that he could offer to do it for him.  Eventually another bus turned up driven by a very jolly guy who had no facility to take money so we had a free ride.  He was in a tearing hurry to get passengers down to Sallanches station to catch a train so drove into the bus garage past the no entry sign and then illegally turned left onto the road.  I bet they caught the train!
In the afternoon John went off to ski with the staff but I stayed with John C and Gordon and we skied off the back of Jaillet down to Cordon.  Very few people had done that as you need a lift at the bottom.  Carol turned up to collect us, otherwise we would have had a very long wait for the bus.
Today was more overcast and we all felt tired so we had a rather lazy day.  I went round a few more restaurants on Rochebrune to update the mountain restaurant guide.  The prices stay fairly constant, but what I am interested is if the restaurant had changed hands or has got more expensive.  I still have to finish Jaillet and Mont D'Arbois.  
This is a photo of me at the top of Rochebrune, showing the brilliant blue sky and lovely piste.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Staff lunch

Today we had a staff lunch at the Dahu which was very jolly.   We had thought of going to the Gouet but Rory sadly broke his collar bone on Monday skiing with the Unthank Ski Club and it was impossible for him to get there.  He is still in a lot of pain so it took a lot of determination on his part to get there. I'm hoping someone will have some photos so I can post them later.  Afterwards we skied with some of the braver skiers and boarders and Mark (who has had about 10 days on real snow but was doing really well) off piste down to the bottom of the Princess lift.  That was a lot of fun but they left us to go the Folie Douce.  I think they were tempted by the idea of dancing on the tables.
John Cox is out for a few days until Monday.  We skied with him and Gordon and Neville the last couple of days, mainly on piste as most of the off piste is skied out.  We've found the odd bit to play around in.  He is starting a new job in a week's time running a youth hostel, so took the opportunity to  come out for a break.  He and Tracey are out later in the season as well.
Susie, who worked as a chalet host at the Sylvana last year, was also out for a few days.  It's lovely when staff come back to see us.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017


We have just come back from three days in Chatel, staying with friends in a chalet. It was out of Chatel so I have no idea what the town was like.  It has been bitterly cold, particularly yesterday when there was a howling gale and the link lifts to Avoriaz were closed.  I was wearing five layers under my ski jacket plus face mask, ear muffs, goggles.  We skied in Super Chatel which is a bit lower and more protected and found a bit of off piste.  Most of the off piste had been skied out.  Today was a little warmer to the extent that I took off my inner gloves. We only skied in the morning as it's about a two hour drive from Megeve.  It's nice to be home!

Sunday, 15 January 2017


Today was sunny most of the time, but the cloud drifted in.  It was very cold. _9 at the Mont Joux chair. Most of the off piste has been skied out by skiers from Chamonix.  There is a level4 avalanche warning and none of the top lifts in Chamonix were open.  It is very annoying for us as they come and trash our off piste and then Say Megeve is too low.  It wasn't this weekend!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Gordon's Boot Camp

We woke up to about a metre of snow and it was still snowing.  It was up to my knees as we walked across the field to the Chamois lift.  We met Gordon at the top of Mont D'Arbois and skied down the Voltigeurs and Bridans.  Then we went over to the Epaule lift which had just opened and did several runs off that.  We bumped into Alex Perinnet (a mountain guide who is one of the best skiers I know) on that lift.  The sun almost came out but then the snow started again. so we skied down to St Nicholas.   Going through the trees was interesting as the shrubs had all grown up and were  a challenge.  We need another metre of snow to bury them.   We had a hot chocolate at the Porcherry as we were feeling chilly.  They have a lovely wood burning stove in there and you can hang your ski jacket up for it to dry.  Eventually we found ourselves at the Gouet again for lunch.  We had omelettes but we shared a table with three men from Geneva who had the most enormous steaks, followed by pudding and two glasses of genepy (local fire water). When we got to the top it was blowing a howling gale with the snow burning your face and nil visibility, so we skied home,
Gordon described the day as a training day.  It felt more like boot camp.  My legs were burning.  But what a thrill to be skiing fresh powder again.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Crout de Gouet

This is the first Crout de Gouet of the season.   The Gouet drag lift opened yesterday afternoon so today was the first day that the Gouet restaurant opened.  Every table was occupied though some by only two or three people.  Anyway, it was lovely to see Guillaume and Violine again.  
It is exciting at the moment as they are opening the lifts one by one.  This morning they had a provisional light on the Communaille chair and we noticed that they were running the Epaule chair, though very slowly. Later they were both open.  The ridge run from the Epaule is not open  but we wen up anyway as I wanted to check the prices at the Chalet du Mont Joly.  Both John and Neville said the snow would be terrible, but apart from the track round which was narrow and tricky in the flat light, it was the best snow we skied on all day.  Snow is forecast for this evening so we aim to be on the first lift tomorrow.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Mont Blanc

This is a photo of Mont Blanc with what looks like another mountain range behind.  It is in fact wind blown snow from the summit.  Our friend, Neville Porteous, who is out for the whole season,  took this photo from the Croix de Christ chair.  As you can see it was a lovely sunny morning, though cold.  It has now clouded over and more snow is forecast for this evening.  We attempted a little off piste.   Down Mont Joux was OK but we tried the off-piste in the Croix de Christ bowl - MISTAKE - we skied over rocks, frozen grass and even breakable crust, with the result that both Neville and I have gouges in our skis. We should know better.  The pistes however are in perfect condition with a good covering of fresh snow.  Perhaps the off-piste will be better tomorrow if the forecast snow arrives. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017


It started snowing lightly this morning at about 10am.  Now at 4pm it is snowing properly, and I had to shake the snow off my jacket.  We shared the lift this morning with Katy Campbell, the ESF instructor, whose husband, Roger, is a pisteur and paramedic on Rochebrune.  He has been told that if it snows his day of on Thursday will be cancelled.  By the looks of it, he will be spending his day off putting up posts, netting etc.  Tomorrow evening Jonathan and Fiona Muirhead are coming round for supper.  They are spending some weeks here as they have rented an apartment.  We are looking forward to seeing them and catching up with their news.

Sunday, 8 January 2017


We had a little snow overnight.  It's supposed to be clear tomorrow and then snow for the rest of the week.  Both the Mon Rosset and Croix de Christ chairs opened today.  We were the first down the Clementines piste which was in excelllent condition.  But we still couldn't get to the Gouet today for lunch as the drag lift wasn't working.  Perhaps tomorrow will be the day for the crout de Gouet.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Rainbows on Rochebrune

Apologies for not blogging sooner but it has been a hectic Christmas and New Year.   We had Christmas in Putney and all the family came out for New Year.  Sadly, they have now returned to school and work.
As you probably know, snow has been in short supply in the Chamonix valley.  There are some runs open on Rochebrune and Mont D'Arbois where they have been able to make snow so there is some skiing.  Last night we had a couple of centimetres of snow and when we woke up it was foggy.  However, that cleared and we had the most amazing lighting effects where the sun was burning through the fog and making rainbows galore.

This is a photo taken by Steve (our son in law) at the top of the Alpette lift.  You can't see the colours but the two arcs were rainbows, with one inverted above the other, the sun burning through in the middle and rays bursting out from the sides.  Other rainbows could be seen  on either side and above these.   Fantastic.