Val Thorens, 2003

Saturday 20 December

We had decided to spend Christmas with Denis in a ski resort. Val Thorens had two advantages:

We had never been on an all-inclusive holiday before, and of course we had never been skiing. Big adventure.

The train got us to Val Tho on the right day, although about 45 minutes late. The weather forecast was for snow, and we were glad to get up to the hotel before it started.

Sunday 21 December

And snow there was. On the first morning, we learned to put on our boots and skis, how to start and how to stop. So far, so like driving a car. When we started to learn about snowplough turns we also began to fall over. Sadly, MC hurt her leg, and was unable to continue the lessons. In the afternoon we progressed to the rolling carpet, the nursery slopes, the drag lift, and skied back down to the hotel on a narrow path that felt like the Cresta run.

Monday 22 December

Monday the snow fell even harder than Sunday. We fell down, got up again, dusted ourselves off, and went another 5 metres before we fell over again.

Tuesday 23 December

At last the weather was nice enough to get out the camera. Here is the nursery slope looking down to the Cascades chairlift.

Our instructor kindly volunteered to take my photo. I didn´t dare ask him to take me in motion.

This panorama is the view from the hotel terrace.

And here is Dennis, too, relaxing after another day of terrorising skiers with his snowboard.

Wednesday, 24 December

Some members of the party will be glad I didn´t take my camera to the evening´s show. No names, no mention of who had to get up on stage and wow the Club with his striptease …

Thursday 25 December

In the morning, we had no skiing lesson, so MC and I took the lifts up to the top of Cime Caron (3280m), so that she could see how beautiful the mountains looked in the snow. Here are the panoramas. You can see what a marvelous day it was.

It is really hard to believe that Mont Blanc is 50km away, but that is what Autoroute says, and Microsoft are always right.

Please take care of this skier.

Saturday 27 December

We had given back the skis, so there was nothing for it but to sit on the terrace and soak up Club Med´s bar stocks.

Then we got on the train, and chugged back to Amsterdam. "When can we go back? When can we go back?" is the kind of rhythm you would have heard from the wheels in our childhood, but SNCF welds the rails into very long strips (lesson there for Railtrack, perhaps?) so there is no sensation of speed. For an hour and a half or so, there was no speed, either. A wild boar had decided to end it all and had run into the TGV in front of us. It was nearly 2.30am when we got back to Amsterdam. Raring to go back again.

Previous Page Table Of ContentsNext Page

Email Mike Murphy