Skiing almost-disasters and airport stress.

Last Saturday we went to Les 2 Alpes and it was the first time I’ve skied in 3 years – it was such a great day; Ciara, Evie and I did our own thing on the slopes all day. Only 45€ all in all for a return bus journey to the resort, a day’s ski pass, and boot + ski hire. It was with the École de Glisse which is basically the university’s version of a ski society.

Because there’s been no fresh snowfall at the resort for a few weeks though (because it’s unusually warm here for this time of year due to pollution), lots of the slopes were quite icy.. in particular some of the reds we did. Evie and I were happily and leisurely boarding and skiing down a rather pleasant blue slope, until it decided to drop away into a steep, icy red. Of course the expected happened, I completely bailed it as I went to do a parallel turn because I’m not good enough at skiing to carve and so I just couldn’t get any grip on the slope. As I fell, my knee twisted and because my skis didn’t come off, as I slid down the mountain my knee carried on twisting as my skis got tangled with one another.

I have never ever felt pain in my knee like that before. Evie unfastened herself from her snowboard bindings and came to help me, but as she did so, she started to slide down the slope on her front (it was so, so funny to watch, sorry Evie) and her snowboard slid away on its own and literally flew over the edge of the mountain and into waist-deep snow. She couldn’t find her board for about an hour, whilst in the meantime I was stuck on the mountainside unable to move with my knee, and also unable to even try and clip back into my skiis because the slope was too steep. A very stressful situation.. I was watching Evie about 200m away from me try and find her snowboard, whilst moving down the mountain myself at about 0.0001 mph. Only one single person stopped and asked me if I was ok in the whole hour that I was sat at the mountainside.. I got sprayed about 6 times by people skiing past me too, which made my hair sticking out from underneath my helmet freeze haha.

But yeah, the man who fitted my skis must have put my weight in wrong on the bindings because I fell over a few times that day and my skis didn’t come unclipped any of the times..

Evie and I are now looking back and finding everything that happened to us absolutely hilarious, I mean it was bound to be us two out of anyone to have a drama like that. Evie did find her snowboard in the end, but we were worried she might die in waist-deep snow in the meantime. We still managed to get back to the ski rental shop and then back to the bus in plenty of time, which is more than I can say for two of our friends who missed the bus back to Grenoble and had to stay in a hotel last-minute in Les 2 Alpes.. luckily they were skiing at the resort the next day too anyway though.

A week on, so yesterday, I flew home – I am back in England for Christmas woohoo! It’s been a great last week in Grenoble with lots of drinks, nights out and a yummy meal with my favourite people, and also lots of junk food and Netflix. My experience yesterday at the airport was probably the most stressed I’ve ever been though; we got to Grenoble airport more than two hours before our flights only to find queues almost out the door of the (small) airport. It turns out the conveyer belts that take the luggage away at check-in had broken, so no one was being checked in.

The queues (more like a mob if I’m honest) consisted of people flying to Birmingham, Liverpool, Stanstead and Bristol and there was no order to the queueing and also none of us were told what was going on. Basically everyone in the airport was English and attempting to get back home after having been skiing in the Alps. So most people had skis/snowboards/boots and ginormous suitcases with them, and as it were, I didn’t get to the front of the check-in mob until the time my flight was actually meant to be taking off. The staff said they couldn’t guarantee holding the plane, but as it turned out they did hold the plane, and we took off an hour and a half late because most of the passengers going to Bristol were still stuck in the airport. I have never experienced such mayhem in my life, and Evie and Arj were at the airport with me waiting for their flight to Birmingham, only to find out that it had just been cancelled. Basically every single one of my friends flying home for Christmas experienced major issues both at Lyon and Grenoble airport, but I guess it wouldn’t be France without stress and lack of organisation hey..

Also, the guy at security in Grenoble airport asked me take my glasses off in order to walk through the metal detector.. I mean, my eyesight is absolutely horrific, and he didn’t realise I spoke French until I looked at him in disbelief and said ‘Mais je peux pas voir..’ and then his colleague asked me why on earth I was taking my glasses off and I said ‘Parce qu’il a dit que c’est nécessaire..’ and she was so taken aback that I could speak French too, lol, Brits really do have a reputation for knowing no French whatsoever. Anyhow, they discussed the glasses situation amongst themselves then eventually let me leave my glasses on in the end. I’ve never been asked to take my glasses off at security before!? If I had have taken them off I without a doubt would’ve walked into and tripped over people, I don’t know if the man understood that I wouldn’t wear glasses unless I couldn’t see..

Anyway, yes, I’m home!! My family had already put the Christmas tree up when I got back but they waited for me to arrive home in order to decorate it, so I’ve just done that and now I feel super Christmassy. Also, we are off to a pub quiz later with my Grandparents which I’m really looking forward to, it feels sooooo good to be home ❤

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