Recently I’ve been on a roll catching up on all things Myanmar but I’m afraid I need to interrupt this schedule of events to fill you in on my next upcoming trip, just in case you’re interested 😉

You may have already seen it pop up on social, or if you see me regularly, I’ve probably been doing your head in about it for the last few months. Basically, in three days time I will be departing for my first ever SKI TRIP!!!!

Why the capitals? Well, I have always wanted to go on one of these. So many of my friends seem to go regularly, or used to when they were younger… it’s one of these things everyone says at this time of year. I’ve always wanted to know what was so great about a ‘weekend on the slopes’ and why people seem to always go back for more.

Up until now, we’ve never been in a position to afford it – actually, perhaps we have but just haven’t seen the value in it… I’ll have to re-evaluate this statement after we return.

So, what’s the plan next week? Well it’s a good ‘un, this trip is one that I won (boy, that’s a mouthful) on a taster evening at the end of last year. I can’t actually believe the time has already come to get packing!!! Crystal Ski have been absolutely amazing and taken care of everything for us:

 

Location:

Flaine! Not sure where it is?Well, I had no idea either. Google tells me it’s a ski area tucked away in the Haute Savoie region of the French Alps. We’re actually flying into Geneva though and then transferring to France by coach from there.

 

 

Companions:

This is the first time in ages (ok not ages, but it feels like ages) that we’ll be travelling as the Fantastic Four! I’ve got my favourite people with me, plus a couple of new, lovely additions… (I say new, but they are actually some of our most beloved friends).

 

 

Out of our group of 6 only one of us can ski (FYI it’s definitely not me) and the rest of us have never been on a slope before – not counting my hour at Chill Factore.

 

Accommodation:

Our base for the week will be a self-catered apartment from Pierre Vacances. The block itself is a ski-in-ski-out location (I heard that’s a good thing?) and we’re looking forward to exploring all the additional activities the resort offers.

 

picture taken from www.crystalski.co.uk

 

What I’m taking:

No idea. As I said, I’ve never been skiing before, so all I know right now is that it is going to be cold but I may also tan. What on earth do you pack for that? (Totally confused but I like the sound of it)

 

 

Plan of action:

SKI SKI SKI

We’re going to be sensible and schedule in some professional ski lessons once we get there, but most of us are hoping to come back as fully fledged pro’s so practice will be the aim of the game once we’re there.

 

 

Crystal Ski holidays have been helping us along the way with a few tips and tricks on what to expect, but if you happen to have any valuable pieces of advice you think first time skiers need, I would really appreciate any help you can offer!!

And on that note, I best be off, I have to somehow figure out what I’m packing, what I’m doing and push past this cold that seems to have taken over my body just when I was hoping to build up my strength for the slopes.

 

 

Have you been skiing? Top tips? advice? Words of wisdom??

 

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This time of year is always bittersweet. I find it hard to part ways with the summer months, generally, they’re the ones that we all look forward to, no? When I think of travel and holidays, I conjure up images of sunshine, warm waters, sandy beaches, lonely hammocks swaying in between palm trees. I imagine flip flops and sunglasses, ice cold drinks and unhealthy poolside meals.

Then September hits and before you know it the leaves have fallen and the rain is beating down reminding us of how shortlived those sunny dreams actually are.

Whilst I do find myself mourning for the long sunny days, I do secretly look forward to the winter months too. My favourite thing by far about winter is SNOW. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Saudi Arabia and the lowest temperature we ever faced was around 14 degrees. One of my most memorable citybreaks was our trip to Oslo back in January 2015 and I’m convinced we all enjoyed it so much more because we were surrounded by glistening white, fluffy snow.

So when Crystal Ski Holidays invited me to trial out a ski lesson at the Chill Factore last week, I was super ecstatic!! Ever since that trip to Norway, Mo and I have talked endlessly about booking a ski holiday, but with one thing after another cropping up, we just haven’t had the chance – yet.

I’ll be honest, my hand eye coordination is kind of shocking. I can just about stay upright at the best of times, never mind with skis on. But I didn’t care because skis mean snow. Lots and lots of white, super soft SNOW. (Are you getting how much I love it yet?)

I arrived half an hour late to the Chill Factore, thanks to the glorious traffic Manchester has decided to bestow upon us this festive season, but luckily I was just in time for the lesson. I grabbed my ski jacket, pants, asked a few naïve questions (i.e. will it be cold) and then the kind staff at the ski boots desk sorted out my fancy footwear (wow, skis and ski boots are heavy!?)

Rob, our instructor, led us out onto the nursery slopes and worked us through the basics. We learnt how to put on skis, (which is harder than it sounds), walk with them, slide down, stop – all the essentials you would need to eventually get you on to the slopes.

 

 

I never fully understood before, how people could book a dedicated ski holiday and spend all their time outside actually skiing, but I definitely saw the appeal after our taster. The hour session flew by and I was quite sad to leave. I could have easily stayed and carried on for at least a few more hours. I hardly felt the cold and I was itching to learn more.

I spoke to Rob after the session, and he advised that within 3 lessons most beginners can get themselves onto the main slope – not right to the top, but at least half way. The most popular bookings at Chillfactore are for the taster days, where you can spend six hours learning pretty much all you need to know to get you using the lifts and out on your own, a perfect idea pre-holiday to get you ready and in the mood.

 

 

After a quick wardrobe change, we were back at the upstairs sports bar looking out over the main slope. I suppose you can’t really expect a ski taster without trialling out some of the apres-ski vibe aswell. Us bloggers all convened around a couple of tables where we exchanged stories over an impressive buffet spread and drinks. The spirit of the evening was ‘Get More Winter,’ about how Crystal can help you enjoy all aspects of a winter holiday, not just the skiing (although the skiing plays a big part 🙂 ). There’s so much more to a winter resort holiday, theres the chalets, the food, the pools, so many more luxuries await!

The team from Crystal Ski holidays were excellent hosts, and with my newfound interest in shooping down mountains, I pestered them for tips. Kirsty named Whistler Canada as her favourite ski spot in the world, a place she said where everything was evolved around providing the best possible visitor experience.

 

 

But alas for those of us that cant get ourselves over to the other side of the Atlantic there are a plethora of European cities that can offer some top alternatives. My eye is still on Norway if I’m honest, after visiting the ski museum at Holmenkollen it was evident that skiing has been close to Norwegians hearts for centuries. As my Fantastic Four group and I had such a blast the last time we were there, I can’t think of a more perfect place for us beginners to catch the ski bug.

 

*** Thank you to Crystal Ski Holidays for hosting us at the Chill Factore that night and for finally introducing me to the world of skiing. I met some great bloggers too – Travelling Tom, Bambling of Nafy, Little Babble, Gabriela Mcr and Sindy Kai ***

 

Are you a fan of skiing? Where would you recommend I go for my first ever ski trip??

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