Friday, 2 January 2009

New Years skiing in the French Alps

The time had finally come for our French skiing holiday - yah!

Debra came over from Ireland and we trouped down to the meeting point to pile on the bus for our (very long) overnight journey to Les Deux Alpes.

Me in my ski outfit ---->

Sunday 28 December 2008
We made it to the Alps at about 12pm on Sunday (we left at 5pm on Saturday night) and after lunch, I got my ski gear and then we walked around the village before meeting our cool roomies and heading to the pub for welcome drinks (one of many nights at the pub).
<--- Us at welcome drinks
Monday 29 December 2008
The next day was my first ever time on skis and my ski lesson with my uber cute (well I thought so) ski instructor. I can tell you one thing, rental ski boots are a nightmare. They are some of the most painful shoes I have ever worn in my entire life but once the pain subsided a bit I managed to actually get quite good at skiing. That of course was once I learnt that you don't just go straight down the hill...
On the first day my ski instructor said "go down the hill ". So I was like, um, ok, so that's exactly what I did. I pointed my skis straight forwarded and headed down the hill - ahhhhhhhh, I went soooooooooo fast, I couldn't stop, I thought I was going to die (ok, not die, but definitely plow into the parked cars that were coming closer and closer), people heard me screaming from the next ski field away, so to stop I had to do a dive roll, ski's went flying and I just lay there a while and caught my breath! Phew, I stopped and didn't crash into the cars, cabin or anyone else and was still in one piece! (now who was worried about me breaking anything!)


Resting my pour aching feet - me after I stacked it - me upright and skiing

That night we joined the rest of the troops (I think there were about 150 people in the Top Deck group) for a pub crawl where we all got extremely intoxicated, met real French men (some cute, some not so much) and suffered much memory loss. We also thought that it was a good idea to go outside at around 4am in the morning and see the snow!
Katie, Cherie (our roomies who now live in London, yah!) myself and Debra
Debra in the snow around 4am ----->


Tuesday 30 December 2008
The next day I dragged myself out of bed (unlike some others) and had my second ski lesson (with bigger boots). I can tell you that the group halved itself by the second day - the pub crawl taking its toll. Debra managed to crawl out of bed at noon and attempted to go snowboarding but once getting in the gondola and at the top of the mountain the nausea set in and she thought it better to come back down again - via the gondola.
That afternoon was spent catching up on lost sleep and relaxing before New Years Eve.


It was snowing most of the day and night. This is the snow falling outside our room - we were fortunate to have a balcony which came in super handy to cool our drinks!

31 December 2008 - New Years Eve
I didn't have a ski lesson today so I spent the day skiing by myself and then in the afternoon was joined by my roomie who made me try and go down a super steep hill. I stacked it many times going down but made it eventually! It snowed pretty much all day today which was really nice.
Before the drinking and debauchery started we headed down the road and watched some of the entertainment. They had skiers and snowboarders coming down the hill in formations, jumps, fireworks and a torch light procession. During the procession there were about 100 skiers coming down the mountain with flaming torches it was really amazing.

That night Top Deck had organised for us to party downstairs in the bar as most of the clubs in town were charging a 30 euro plus cover charge. They had also organised a band which was really good. I spent most of the night downstairs dancing and singing while Debra kept bringing me drinks (I was told that if I got them myself they would be half spilt by the time I got downstairs). I had a really great night and wasn't hungover the next day despite (allegedly) drinking 3/4 bottle of vodka.

Group New years photo

1 January 2009 - New Years Day

I didn't have my ski lesson until the afternoon today so spent the morning having a nice sleep in.
Today in my ski lesson we got given poles, yah (new skiers don't get given poles straight away - I must be really good to get them so soon ;)). We also got to take the gondola up the mountain to ski on the big people fields (we had previously just been on the learner slopes) going up the mountain also meant that we had to master the chair lift which also leads to another funny story ...
Most people had dropped out of the ski lesson by now so it was only super duper cute ski instructor, me and another girl. So we headed up the mountain and were in the line for the chair lift. Now keep in mind I had never used the chair lift before (which the ski instructor didn't know - he spoke very little English). So ski instructor and the other girl were first up and they hopped on the chair lift just fine, me however was about two lines behind them . I was watching everyone do it and thought ok i can do that - oh how very wrong was I - I got there fine and then suddenly the seat came, I fell into it but not before tripping up another skier who stacked it off the chair lift also taking one of my newly acquired poles with him. Oh the shame (it was totally my fault) so the chair lift goes up a bit and then the whole chair lift shuts down while the unfortunate skier is picked up and my pole is located (I later find out that my ski instructor thought it might of been me, but because I was safely seated in the chair lift pushed that thought out of his mind, oh how very wrong was he) after about 5 mins the chair lift started up again and we carried on our merry way up to the top until we have to get off. So I am all ready to get off, I try to balance and then stack it right under the chair lift. I try and move out of the way (very difficult when you have giant skis on) and then the skier I tripped up throws my pole to me whilst I am lying in a heap on the ground. The chair lift is an acquired skill. I felt better to see many other people stack it as well and can say that after my first mortifying incident there were no more (chair lift incidents) to report after that.

View of village from top of mountain

That night we decided to take it easy and went tenpin bowling. After a few inital gutter balls I seemed to pick up my game by getting three strikes in a row and my score being in the triple digits.

2 January 2009

Today was our last full day skiing (sob sob). Debra decided to hang with us today which was really nice and take us down some easy slopes and guide us around the mountain. We started by going on some nice green (the easiest) slopes just cruising before trying out a blue slope - which I am proud to say I conquered slowly but surely and didn't even stack it! Next we headed up to the Glacier to try out some more slopes up there but by the time we got up there (a gondola and tbar away) and headed down one large green slope we were exhausted and decided to take the gondola home leaving Debra to snowboard down the mountain home.

Debra snowboarding

Me and Debra at the top of the Glacier


That night we headed our for leaving drinks (the last lot of drinks - my liver was dancing with delight that the drinking was almost over) unfortunately I had a cold (still/again) and cold and flu and alcohol don't mix well, but I still had a good night and wasn't too hung over in the morning.

Debra and I at leaving drinks ----->

3 January 2009
This morning was our last morning in the village so we spent it walking around and going sledding. Unfortunately the snow wasn't fresh enough to make snow mans and snow angels :(
We then piled back into the bus for our 14 hour bus trip back to London.
I had a fantabulous time skiing and would totally recommend a skiing holiday. I don't think I will take up skiing as a sport but would love to live in the snow and Canada is getting serious consideration as my next place of abode. I would also love to try snowboarding next time.
Hope you all had great New Years as well.
There are heaps more photos and movies in my photo gallery. My google photo gallery doesn't have captions so if you want captions head to my facebook photo gallery.
Toni xoxox
ps - sorry my blog is so long. Its probably boring to some (most) people but its sort of my travel diary so I like to write everything (ok well not everything ;)) but a lot of my adventure stories.


video Me after stacking it trying to get up
videoMe skiing
videoDebra stacking it

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