Thursday, February 17, 2011

J’ai fait du ski aux Alps françaises (Part 1)

Last weekend I went on a program organized ski trip to the French alps. We went to Pelvoux station in Vallouise that is kind of near Grenoble in the Écrins national park.

Friday afternoon and night was solely a travel day. We left by bus at 5:30pm and got to the lodge at about 11:30pm. It got dark out fairly quick so during the ride there the mountains and cliffy terrain we wee driving through were hard to make out. At the lodge we got to go to our rooms right away and get settled in and sleep. I roomed with two girls I had already known and one who I’ve had a class with at the U of M before, but didn’t really know. She has been in Montpellier since September, so it was cool to hear about all the stuff she has already done and she had some good advice for us. The program told us to bring towels and bed sheets with us, which I did. When we got there the beds did have bed sheets on them already, but I’m still glad I brought my own because they did not look clean at all! My pillowcase had a mysterious black stain on it, one girls bed had lots of hairs, another’s had some weird stains, and there was random specks of glitter throughout the room. Also, we didn’t have any toilet paper. Everyone else seemed ok with their room so maybe they just didn’t finish cleaning our room or something.

Saturday Morning
We woke up at about 7:30am and got ready for the day then went to breakfast down in the dining hall. It was a pretty basic breakfast of cereal, toast, yoghurt, fruit, coffee, etc… All of our meals were included in the trip and they told us to bring backpacks with us to put our bagged lunch in. I had never skied with a backpack before, but I guess it’s pretty common to do so and eat your lunch on the mountain somewhere. So, I packed up my backpack with some other stuff and we met at the bus. Of course, once we were already on the bus they said we were just going to meet up at noon and get our lunches all together. Also, the ski station was practically across the street from our little lodge so taking the bus there was silly. It must have just been a way to keep us all together. Once we were there we went into this small building to get our skis, boots, and poles. There was not a big chalet where everyone goes to eat, get rental gear, and store his or her equipment. So this process took a while, especially since only 2 or 3 people getting everyone their stuff. This process was definitely not at all like the ski places I’ve been to in MN. I’ve heard though that French do things inefficiently and take their time for a lot of things, which I’ve found to be partly true. However, once we got our stuff we could start hitting the slopes right away.

That’s all the time I have today to write, but I’ll write the second post sometime tomorrow night or Saturday.

The views from outside of our window on Saturday morning.

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