Forever delayedThis has been a busy week, it all started at when at 4am on the 22nd December. My alarm woke me up to leave the house. Phil and his family wanted to arrive 3 hours ahead of time. I decided 2 hours was good enough (as indicated on the Manchester Airports website at least). Unfortunately my gamble for an extra hours sleep somewhat backfired on me. This was the busiest day of the year to fly and Thomas Cook staff weren't very good at keeping the queues down. It me 1 hour 10 minutes to check in then I joined the back of the queue for the security desk. I stretched across the airport from T1 departures nearly into T3. I had never seen anything like it and was convinced I wouldn't make the flight. Fortunately the airport staff dragged me out of the queue and I got into the fast lane. Once I was through security I literally ran across the airport to the gate. I walked on-board the aircraft 10 minutes before the scheduled take off, I shouldn't have bothered running. Thanks to fog in Lyon and the delays at Manchester we sat on the tarmac for an hour before take off.
There was a two and a half hour coach trip from Lyon to Deux Alps, the final hour of which was all uphill winding our way into the mountains. The coach rose though a series of hairpin bends, the bends were numbered!
HogwortsPhil's family and Jules were staying in a hotel which was situated right at the bottom of the nursery slopes. Unfortunately there wasn't room for Phil and I, we were staying in a chalet about half a mile away. Unfortunately for us most of the distance was uphill. The chalet was located at the top of 5 flights of stairs. One of the reps at the hotel kindly gave us a lift up there (we would have really struggled with our bags otherwise) called the place Hogwarts because of the strange pointy roof. Apart from its position the chalet itself was actually quiet a nice place, it was designed to hold upto six people so felt pretty spacious with just Phil and I.
Ski LessonsAs neither myself Jules or Phil's mother hadn't skied for a while, we enrolled into ski school as level 1. Level 1 is not total beginners but not far off, for people who actually know how to put on their skis. I was amazed by how quickly the skills start to come back with a bit of tuition. Despite starting on the green nursery slopes (and falling over at lot) by the end of the week I was getting pretty good, god enough to have successfully (IE I didn't fall over) tackled a couple of Red runs.
Apres SkiAfter about 4pm the light started to fail, the temperature dropped as the slopes moved into shadow at this point we were usually pretty tired having skied for most of the day so it was time to head back to the hotel. Ski resorts are out of the way places, up the top of a hill the only people there are people who want to sky or people who work looking after the skiers. Deux Alps is no exception; after skiing he only other thing to do is go for a drink or two, the so called Apres Ski. There were a few good bars in the town, Polar Bar (with its alpine pine panels and fireplace) the secret smithy's and club Avalanche. Phil and I went out most nights and visited most of the bars and clubs, I recommend avoiding French clubs they are stupidly expensive on drinks and entry. We actually made it into Avalanche for free after following onto a Neilson pub crawl.
Overall a really top holiday, I cannot thanks Phil's parents enough for inviting me it was an amazing trip.