9am on Saturday: They had assembled their luggage by the front door and were packing themselves into the small family car, preparing for the 4 hour drive up to Glasgow Airport…it had the cheapest flights available. With a delayed flight, extreme turbulence and a mix-up with the car rental company meaning they had to make do with a mini for the rest of the week, they knew it could only get better from here. So, as they hurtled up the Swiss mountains in their mini at one o’clock in the morning, they eagerly looked forward not only to their beds, but also to the exciting week they had ahead of them…
Sunday. After the midnight trip up the mountain the night before, we decided we’d earned ourselves a lie in. I didn’t even see the morning. After breakfast at 12.30pm, we drove into the village and hired our skis and boots. We then treated ourselves to a chocolat chaud in a little cafe that looked out over the mountains. I practiced my French. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful as we continued to recover from the long journey the day before.
Monday. We hit the slopes. After catching the télécabine to the top, we slowly rediscovered our ability to ski… Lunch was spent in the cosy picnic room; pre-baked baguettes and hotdogs in a flask, mmm. In the afternoon, the mist lifted so we could actually see the end of our skis and I skied around with my brother, Will, until we got hungry again, and returned to our cousins’ chalet.
Tuesday. Very misty morning again today. The bro and I frequented our usual slopes, stopping only to regroup, while my parents stuck to the more basic slopes and skied along at their own ‘leisurely’ pace. The picnic room was too crowded so we resorted to eating lunch on the snow outside…my bum froze. Just like yesterday, the clouds disappeared after lunch and we were able to see the snow we were skiing on. Mum cooked one of my favourites for tea tonight and then we watched Absolutely Anything with the cousins on their home-cinema sized TV – a great end to a great day.
Wednesday. Weather was glorious today and we were joined by my youngest cousin (11) on his snowboard. The three of us spent the morning tearing down various pistes, until he went home to get ready for ski training, and we headed up to a very cold picnic bench on my mum’s favourite slope for lunch. Afterwards my brother and I challenged ourselves to get to the two valleys on either side of the one we were in, and we succeeded. The hard day’s work was followed by a trip to see two of our cousins perform in a ski show later in the evening; it was fantastic!
Thursday. Joined today by middle and youngest cousin (16 and 11), me and Will followed them about all morning in our amateur fashion (we have nothing on their talent; they live on the ski resort so they’re nothing short of professional!). Ate lunch on the icy picnic bench again; another round of picnic-style hotdogs. Our hotdog flask has been admired and complemented endlessly this week! Après-ski consisted of spag-bol followed by the likes of Derek Zoolander: hilarious watch.
Friday. The last day of skiing greeted us with pea-soup weather; the kind that prevents you seeing your own hand in front your face. My parents decided against skiing today, and sent the two of us up the slope with money to buy lunch at Cookie Cafe, an extremely popular ski cabin/cafe selling everything from delicious chocolate chip cookies to freshly made gourmet lunch dishes. It is however extortionately priced, hence why we rarely go there. The skiing today was by far the coldest and least enjoyable of the week, but I kept going until lunch with a strong incentive. A bbq chicken pizza was gratefully devoured, Will had a bacon panini. Definitely worth the 33 francs! We finished off the day with The Invention of Lying – another great movie.
Saturday. We got up slowly and reluctantly, ate breakfast, packed our bags and said our goodbyes to the family. I am writing this while soaring through the air at several thousand feet, flying back to the UK. I can’t say I’ll be glad to get home, knowing I’m leaving all that snow behind on the pistes!
Until next time,