Sunday, December 28, 2008

Val D'isere Arrival

Saturday morning I arrived at the Airport in Phil's Mondeo, my dad drove us borrowing as my Focus is too small for the task. We had to get there early, about 5am. We anticipated that the queues would be as bad as last year with queues round the block.

Despite the spare queues the flight was delayed on the tarmack for an hour as our slot was missed. I barley noticed falling rapidly asleep, waking up somewhere over France to a rather disgusting breakfast I was very glad I ate at the airport, in spite of the ruinous prices. I forgot about the food soon enough though, I had a window seat from which I was able to see the winter wonderland exposed below. I could see the snow was awesome. Not so awesome though was the layer of fog covering the valley in which apparently Chambery airport lived. As the aeroplane dropped into the fog on the landing approach I honestly struggled to see the tip of the wing, no idea what the Pilot could see! The landing was aborted but instead of diverting to another airport the pilot (who sounded quiet pleased to have some diversion to his routine) said we would follow a holding pattern burn off some fuel and therefore weight meaning we could go in lower before needing to about. After another 45-50 minutes circling the fog had lifted a little and we were lighter so in we went. Once we got below a certain level the fog was clear and we were able to land. As the runway approached people started to clap, they stopped pretty quickly as the plane hit the deck and started to slide. We were the only aircraft to land that day so the runway was a little icy and the plain skidded a little. My philosophy is "any one you can walk away from" is a good landing. The airport itself was pretty small and chocking with people trying to get home. Fortunately that didn't bother us :)

It took a couple of hours on a coach some of which we travelled alone in our own private coach, because of the delays. We were the first people in the Chalet Joined later by a many others, in total 14 though not everyone made it on the first day. The evening conversation hardly boded well for the week. Phil and I made friend with a nice couple from Essex though and found that the nearest bar was also one of the cheapest :)