Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Skiing !

I'm not sure what spurred me to go skiing with ULIP but go I did, and frankly, I'm rather glad!
I have to admit I have never been skiing before in my life. So after unknown forces motivating me to say YES, sign the papers and hand over the money, I had many restless nights while my brain concocted various different scenarios of what skiing might be like.

It's insane but I have an over active imagination so trying to picture something I knew very little about makes way for a number of bizare possibilities.

I knew the basics: you slide down the face of a mountain with planks of plastic strapped to your feet.

And I had one childhood memory of skiing:
The ending scene from a Wallis and Gromit film, you know, the one where they go to the moon to collect cheese and they find that robot and they are so scared of him that they take off hastily in their handmade rocket and almost crash so the door falls off...Good film.

Well, to spoil the ending for you, the robot makes a pair of skis out of this piece of metal and the movie finishes with a rather content robot skiing gayily about the moon's craters. Paradise!

One thing was worrying me: this memory was of an animation. A cartoon. In cartoons, the characters can regrow limbs, fall off cliffs but manage to climb back up and get squished flat by falling pianos before popping back to life to play 'Mary had a little lamb' with flat fingers.

As a result, one week before the departure date I had a particularly frightening and ridiculous dream where skiers were dropped down from an airplane into a tube which was above the snowy mountain slope and so you had hope to death you'd be able to find your feet when you landed to ski back down!

 During the build-up to the ski trip I got nervous from all the stories of broken bones, chair lift accidents, unfortunate crossings with bears, caught in snow storms... But also immensely excited!!!!

The day of departure I packed my bag full with borrowed skiing clothes and too many tons of socks and set off for an Indian meal with my boyfriend. I left a little bit later than planned from lunch and almost had a heart attack when Daniel text me saying the train was 30minutes earlier than previously thought! After running though Paris with a rucksack for a train I was never going to be on time for, I had that feeling of 'PLEASE LET ME CATCH THE TRAIN I REALLY WANT TO GO SKIING!'

Fortunately, Daniel was mistaken with the train time and all six of us ULIPPERS boarded the train and sped off towards Alpe d'Huez. On the train we speculated what the accomodation would be like.
"Hovel, like a small hovel" was the agreed verdict and we couldn't help but laugh when our guide met us off the coach to say that potentially 'there will not be electricity'.

However, luckily the flat was cosy - even with electricity! There were cold showers from time to time but there was the essentials and the week flashed by! Good morning music was blasted to wake us up, we went skiing everyday in the sunshine! Getting tanned, having fun, eating lunch up on a mountain at midday and being blown away by the amazing mountain views. Honestly, that is the best way to holiday. Laying on a beach is no fun at all compared with slalemming around on skis!

The days of sport were followed by the good old evening ''trough meals'', (or the equivalent to a communal food dish to save on washing up!) and sometimes a deadly 'Ring of Fire’ game before heading out to dance and drink away the muscle fatigue! Well, that would be a good excuse for the immense amount of alcohol consumed.

Honestly, if you didn't go on the ‘OUI SKI WHISKEY’ ski trip this year - go next year! It is great fun! You are in beautiful surroundings, catching the sun rays whilst having fun and getting a good kick of adrenaline from time to time.

Skiing is easy to learn if you're a beginner like I was. As for the stories about serious accidents and people being taken off the mountain in black Gondolas well all I can say is:

If a plasticine robot from Wallis and Gromit can ski so can you.
Oh, and I even saw gullible written in the snow. It's true.

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