Since we’re talking about the French ski resorts, I thought I’d talk to you about my first time skiing. Jacqueline (a skiing aficionado) has just returned from Avoriaz with a slight bout of bronchitis but is still raving about her Christmas on the slopes. Never being one to miss a bandwagon to jump on to, my first time skiing was also in the French Alps!
The final countdown…
I step off the ski lift and, as the snowflakes brush against my cheeks and the wind howls behind me, my knees start to
shake ever so slightly.
This is the moment I’ve been waiting for – I’m taking that leap of faith down the slopes… it’s my first time skiing.
I look (with slight jealousy) at the 6 year olds speeding down in front of me, all of them wearing a ski school jacket and looking like they were born on two aerodynamic planks. They’re having a ball and, similarly, the adults of all ages are looking like they’ve stayed in that 6 year old state of mind as they, too, shoot down the slopes.
This can be me too. Yes, it can. I’ve just gone through a two-hour crash course on how to ski as an adult and I feel comfortable enough now to venture on my own with everyone else. The ski instructor who patiently pushed and motivated me would be proud to see me standing tall, ready to go down with one fell swoop.
I feel invincible as I prepare myself to apply everything I’ve learned. So I take a huge breath of air before pushing myself across the threshold…
And she’s off!
I push my shins against my boots and fight the urge to slow down. A swerve to the left, a swerve to the right. A slight
close call from that lovely co-skier not too far away and I’m back on the right track. It’s all going even better than I’d expected and before I know it, I’m crossing my skis at the bottom of the piste for a full stop and I look back with total satisfaction at what I’ve just achieved.
As the day comes and goes and I head back to my quaint Savoyard chalet, I think to myself that maybe tomorrow I could try something else because there’s so much going on in the resort, it would be a shame to miss it.
Après-ski, how I got here and jelly legs
So the next day, I fall all over myself in absolute adoration over the husky puppies when I go sled dog riding. And then I go ice climbing. And then I go ice fishing only to bring back a right corker.
When I get back carrying that massive catch, I see that the resort is celebrating one of its gastronomic weeks, coming right after its international ski competition last week. So I savour that glass of local red with some delicious PDO cheese and ask myself what took me so long to get here.
And that’s the great thing about the trip down. It wasn’t very long and it was certainly painless. The flight was around two hours long with a direct shuttle route from the airport. I even met someone who took the train from London and woke up at the bottom of the slopes. Not as epic as the Orient Express, but certainly the next way I’ll be coming down.
So as I lie down, and feel my muscles slowly start to unwind from the day’s activities, I start to mentally jot down my next skiing holiday in France. And this time, I’ll be leading the way down, head high and proud, on those aerodynamic skis of mine.