Wilmington Academy Ski Trip
The following blog was written by Stuart Metcalfe from Wilmington Academy about their recent ski trip to Vallnord, Andorra in April 2015.
We departed from Wilmington Academy on Sunday the 5th April and travelled to Gatwick Airport in preparation for our flight to Barcelona. After a swift transfer through passport control and security we were able to browse the shops and purchase a few last minute essentials before we boarded. After a smooth and enjoyable flight we collected our luggage and got on the coach ready for our 3 hour transfer to Andorra. As we entered the last leg of the journey we could hardly contain our excitement as we were teased by glimpses of snow in the distance. Finally, after half a days travelling we made it to our hotel where we quickly adjusted to our new surroundings and headed for an early night in preparation for our first days skiing.
After a sleepless night, the anticipation was getting too much – as the morning approached we were greeted with loud bangs on the door and commands ‘of get up, breakfast in 30 minutes’. We quickly rushed to get showered and dressed before heading down for a cooked breakfast. Following a huge feast we immediately collected our belongings for the days skiing and headed to pick up our ski equipment. We then squeezed into the gondolas, which carried us to the slopes where our instructors greeted us. We had a quick ski assessment before being split off into different ability groups. The sun was shining and the views were breath taking. After a few hours skiing we were absolutely soaked in sweat! None of us expected it to be so hot despite all the snow surrounding us. After stripping down to just a t-shirt we soaked up the sun on the picnic benches on the slopes whilst replenishing our energy stores with a few sodas and lunch. After a hard days skiing we were rewarded with ice cream in the sunshine and lots of water as many of us needed to rehydrate.
On Tuesday morning we woke up to find another pleasant sunny day with clear blue skies. We made sure we applied that extra layer of sun cream and left our hotel with just a t-shirt and our ski jacket… oh and a big bottle of water! We made our way efficiently to the slopes and immediately joined the instructors who had us skiing in minutes. All our skiers were increasing in confidence and developing their skills nicely. Once we were able to snow plough (stop) and complete basic turns we got the go ahead to use the ski lift and started to attack the spectacular mountains. The views from the ski lift were unbelievable and gave you a sense of peace and isolation from the outside world. As we improved our skiing abilities we progressed to jumping and even grinding on the stunt rails, which was awesome. That evening there was no resting those leg muscles – we had a mini disco in our hotel and the children were challenged to bust out some their best moves to try and impress the ladies.
For a third successive morning we woke to find another bright and sunny day-standard! We were well drilled by now and knew the procedure. We enjoyed a tasty continental breakfast and quickly prepared ourselves before once again heading for the slopes. By this time everyone was challenging themselves and eager to impress on the more challenging runs. Most of us were able to parallel turn and even the teachers were struggling to keep up with the children. We enjoyed a well-earned lunch break on the slopes where some of the boys saw this as a perfect opportunity to attract some female admirers from a local school. Another action packed day on the slopes allowed us some free time to have a siesta and recharge our batteries. After we freshened up we headed out for ice cream and a drink where we also connected to wifi and made contact with friends and family. Later that evening we watched the FA Cup on the TV whilst others played board games and socialized.
As the morning broke we could hear the birds singing and the beautiful blue sky greeted us once more… this time with an arctic wind, which sent a shiver down your spine! As we attacked the slopes for a fourth day we started to have several complaints of fatigue, bumps and bruises but we were helped to our feet and encouraged to hit the slopes once again… no pain – no gain! That evening we travelled to a bowling alley, which presented a different challenge and allowed our legs to rest a little. This was a nice change as it allowed us to forget about some of the bumps and bruises and reflect on what has been an unforgettable last few days.
Our last day skiing! BOOOO!!!! At this point the weeks skiing had taken its toll and despite the children being subdued knowing it was their last days skiing – I am sure some of them were looking forward to tomorrows rest! During the five 5 days the children made amazing progress and were gliding down the mountain like seasoned professionals… there was no way I could keep up anymore! Charlie (one of the students) thanked the staff for this amazing opportunity and said how much he was going to miss this place. This view was echoed by many of the group who had never experienced something as special as this. This is truly a holiday of a lifetime and I personally feel so fortunate to have tasted these moments and provided 25 children with a holiday they will never forget. That evening we went to a local Italian restaurant to have pizza, which presented our children with a perfect opportunity to talk through their holiday highlights and even message some of the girls they had got talking too!
Saturday was a sad day… it was time for us to pack up and say goodbye to a magical place that gave us all so much fun and enjoyment. We boarded the coach ready for our transfer to Barcelona and onward flight back to Gatwick. Our children really did have an amazing holiday and we are already looking at making plans to return next year!
If you are interested in organising a school ski trip to Vallnord in Andorra please contact Ski Adaptable today to start organising your school ski trip to Andorra