Friday, 27 March 2015

Memories March: Snowboarding in the Alps

On the scale of things, this holiday was actually pretty recent. We left for the Alps on boxing day 2013 and stayed for new years eve and later. I remember writing down my new years resolutions for 2014 sitting in a hotel bathroom somewhere near to the french end of the Euro Tunnel. It took us a while to drive from our house to  Alps and as we neared the site, the roads got really, really steep with sharp turns and I was a little nervous that we would all topple over the edge. Because you obviously can't drive up a mountain head-on, we were driving left, then right, then left etc. with our heads swiveling around to try and get glimpses of the view between the branches of trees.

I loved this so much, I think snowboarding is my favourite sport. The location consisted of the houses and little apartments people stayed in, a town with shops, rental and equipment hire, a super market, reception and finally, cable cars that went up the the snowboarding and skiing area. Our place was conveniently next to the cable cars. All of the apartments looked really similar, with sliding glass door that lead out to a little porch and a waist high garden of snow (no exaggeration), so when me, my sisters and Sadie Dog all went out to build snowmen and sledge Sadie would wait outside the wrong door to be let in. Such fun, us lot racing down the hill and Sadie galloping along behind us, her ears flapping behind her. It was cute because she had her special doggy coat. 

Where the cable cars lead to was the beginners slope, slopes are rated in colours based on difficulty. There was a restaurant where they served chips and hot chocolate. I think it saved my life. The ski-lift is called a 'ski'-lift for a reason; it is a hell of a lot harder on a snowboard. The lift sort of ran along the edge of a huge drop, I nearly fell off the mountain twice! Whilst me and Iona were going up on the ski lift, all of a sudden it became really foggy. I couldn't see my feet and I thought my eyes had gone funny. Luckily when we got to the top, there was a brass band playing near the restaurant. We sort of shuffled towards it wary of any skiers that may come pelting towards us. 

We had lessons together as a family. We'd done Snowboarding before and we told him that. Only thing is, it had been a while. Our instructor had a french accent and he sort of got us altogether ans said "okay! just follow me down!". He got about half-way down the slope before seeing us all sort of tumbling down the hill on our backsides, he turned around, looked at us all and merely said "Oh", before promptly hopping back up the hill both feet still secured on his board. For the rest of our lessons every time we started he'd say "Allez! Let's go!" and we would all set off.

As Pia makes it tradition to go to hospital in every country we visit, she broke her arm. We have this joke that Pia goes on tour of all the hospitals. This is how it happened: Me, Pia, Iona were preparing to go down the slope. Iona went first promising to wait a the bottom and we could get the ski-lift together. Me and Pia went next. Quite a while down the slope Pia landed badly with her arm twisted weirdly under her board. I then have to disconnect both of us from our snowboards, carry both of them back up to the beginning , leave Pia there for a second, snowboard back down again, greet a worried looking Iona and take her up with me on the ski-lift. It was so eventful. Pia got back from hospital  late that night with a suspicious, home made looking cast that looked a bit like it was made from papier-mâché. Our instuctor signed it the next day. 

Iona the snowboarding queen
Videos of this holiday can be seen on my Instagram (@keatingmary_)


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