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Skiing Flaine 2009

Once again a fantastic ski trip was had by all over the New Year.  We went to Flaine in the high Alps of France by coach again.  Yes it was long in case you were wondering!  But at least Flaine is a resort that is fairly close to the UK, relatively speaking.  We left on Boxing Day almost without a hitch, except that 1 group was at the wrong departure point and were standing at London Victoria Rail Station.  Just over a half mile away.  After speaking with them, I told them to make their way to the coach station and to gate 7, where we would be waiting.  No problem, they replied, we’ll just pop over the road then.  Yes well after 15 minutes and still no sign of them, I called again.  This time, the conversation went something like this:
Them: “We’re here now and we can see a few big buses, which one is it?”
Me: “it’s the red double-decker coach.”
Them: “Yes, that is exactly where we are, we are outside, directly underneath number 7, and there are loads of coaches here!  What is going on, where are you?”
Me: “I am directly opposite gate 7 looking at our coach and do not see anyone that is not on the coach.  Where are you?”
Them: “Are you inside the building or outside?”
Me:  “I am inside, just below the gate 7 sign, are you inside or outside?”
Them: “We are outside, just next to the coaches”
Me: “are you at gate 7 of London Victoria Coach Station?”
Them: “Yes, just like you said, gate 7.  We are here, what coach is it?  There isn’t a red one here and we do not see you”
This went on for quite a while and all the time the coach drivers wanted to leave these guys behind, as they have to vacate the parking spot at the coach station promptly.  By this time I was outside walking around the building trying to work out if there were more than two departure terminals with the number 7 above them (obviously there isn’t, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!).  Once I hit the Main road, I realized that they were standing underneath Bus Stop 7, not underneath Gate 7.  Anyhow, they made it on time only not be able to sit next to each other.  NB to all passengers, read the e-mails I send out with maps and post codes of pickup locations on them!  
Apart from that the trip outwards went without a hitch and we arrived in resort to a crisp, clear day at around 8am.  Perfect.
I was on the slopes by 11:00 after sorting the administrative side of things out a lot of admin sorted.  The resort is part of the grand massif ski area and the ski pass that is issued to us is valid for the whole area (265km), although at the end of the week, we had hardly used it all due to the weather. As for the weather, well I have never ski'd in rain before and that's exactly what happened in Flaine. Yep, rain at the base and half way up the slopes. But then at the top it was snowing and visibility wasn't all that great. Well it was better on some days than on others. Day 3 dawned with at least 2 foot of fresh poweder to ski in and visibility even became less of an issue. This seemed to set the tone for the last 4 days. Fresh snow, improving visibility and great heaps of soft fluffy powder! Perfect. The deepest snow I have ski'd so far and I loved it. Everyone in the group seemed to progress really well and just got on with it. Yes it was wet at times, but hey- so what!

New Year's eve was awesome and again we had a fancy dress theme going. This year we did dead celebrities and I went as Freddie Mercury. I was quite convincing too until I discovered that Tom had come as him too. So Tom did the early days of his career and I did the lost years. We had James Dean, The joker played by a brilliantly dressed TC, Wonder Woman and 3 Audrey Hepburns. We danced and carried on for quite a while and had the French guests in stitches with our costumes. I again made some great new friends and I am sure we will be skiing together again soon. In all we had about 12 people from previous trips come back so it was great to catch up with all their news in a convivial setting. Lot's of laughs were had and as always the food scored highly on the feedback, as did meeting new people. The quiz was a real humdinger and I have no idea how the boys at the Arab Boy pub manage to get the answers to them. I mean who is going to know the answer to the amount of force a rocket requires to leave the earth's atmosphere! And that was not even a tie break question!

Flaine is a massive ski area with good lifts and it is just a pity that with the visibility so iffy on certain days we were not able to make oit all the way over to the smaller villages such as Samoens, Sixt and La Cluses. But the good side of this is that I won't be scared to go back as there is plenty of exploring still to be done.

I have also created a page so that it might be easier to update and keep all the trips in one place updated and simple to see.

 
 
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