One of my mates organised for a group of us to head to the French Alps for Christmas with Fanatics Tour Group. The package included transport, accommodation, lift pass and ski hire.
We met at Waterloo Station late in the evening and jumped on the bus to Risoul (La Foret Blanche) in the South-eastern French Alps. Little did I know how far away from London this actually was and how long it would take us to get there.
We stopped a few times along the way for food etc and at one stop I finally got to experience snow, at last! It made everything so beautiful, and slippery!
After a long, 25-hours we arrived late in the evening absolutely wrecked but still managed to head to the bar for a few drinks – it was Christmas Eve after all..
Waking up Christmas Day was pretty exciting – I could not wait to get out there and give snowboarding a go. We started the day with watered down porridge and a black coffee as we had only bought limited food supplies and of course none of the shops were open yet.
After hiring our ski/snowboarding gear, out we went. I was stubborn enough not to get lessons and as I have previously done some wake-boarding, which some mates had told me that it was exactly the same as that so I should be fine – they could not be more wrong.
I struggled big time and could not get it together. It took me a good solid half hour to make it down the first run but I was, luckily, not the only one having such a hard time.
Lunch time consisted of a packet of soup to warm myself up and back to it I went. I had to get this right. One of the guys ended up actually giving me some tips and told me it was the opposite of wake-boarding, I had to lean forward and throw my back leg around to turn – now that made more sense!
Christmas Day celebrations were rounded off by a ‘onesie’ party. There were numerous animals from Primark 😛
By the end of the trip I managed to keep up with one of my mates who has skied for years and we were hooning around the black-runs – such a massive adrenalin rush. And such good fun going around with a group of mates all over the mountains topped off by one of the most stunning backdrops.
For the 20-hour bus trip back one of my mates gave me Valium – after snowboarding for a week my body felt like it weighed 100kgs, I conked out laying along the aisle of the bus in a deep slumber for most of journey back to London.
I enjoyed my first white Christmas and looked forward to giving snowboarding another go, now that I had an idea of the basics..
But now it was time to bring in the New Year..
Some fun facts and info about France can be found here.