Items of note from La Plagne:
- Tortoise beats hares. On our arrival Chris and Chef bagsied a twin room, Barrie and Mike having already bagsied the other twin. I was left with, sigh, a double room with en suite, for myself. It’s a tough life.
- Er, so where would Andy Heckford have slept? My double bed turned out to be two singles pushed together – but with no space to separate them. That would’ve been a fun week. (There was a pull-out bed in the living area, but that was occupied by Mike’s mate Mark.)
- Slipping on ice and sliding head first down a red run on your belly can actually be enjoyable. But after fifteen seconds you’re happy to twist round and skid to a stop.
- Red runs called Kamikaze and Hara-kiri aren’t quite as bad as they sound. The top of Kamikaze was, however, icy fun (Chris took the most direct route down, on his back; I nearly followed).
- Aime La Plagne, where we stayed, is a weird resort. No actual streets or stuff – just a monstrously ugly building containing both accommodation and a commercial area, including the usual trinket shops, restaurants, ski rental establishments and dogs. We stayed in a nearby hotel, Les Hauts Bois, and trekked to the ugliness daily for food. None of the restaurants had their own toilet – you had to use a public loo somewhere else in the commercial area.
- The entrance to one of the pedestrian lifts smelled of something druggy – constantly.
- I see no reason to return to grown-up skis. Snowblades are fine, and they seem to annoy Barrie.
- Mike’s friend Mark has interesting theories about Christianity. I fear I am unable to post them here in full due to excessive swivel-eyedness. I say only that if his ideas were true, the traditional bearded portrayals would need a good dose of immac.
- We made full use of our lift passes – we even went on the Vanoise Express over to Les Arcs, where we stayed last year, and did a few runs plus lunch there.
- Some of the runs had bare patches – we occasionally skied on little more than icy grass. We had one snowy day, but it stopped before nightfall and had more or less been scraped off the hills by skiers and boarders before the piste bashers could have a go.
- The Chalet Verdun Sud restaurant is nice until it gets busy. Then you never receive your main course until you swallow all your Britishness and complain. Chef did receive a main course, but it wasn’t his. As he didn’t know this, and neither did the waiter, he ate it anyway. We left no tip.
- Injuries sustained: minimal. Bruises, twists, etc. I think we all caught each other’s colds.
- Ryanair are rubbish. At 1pm yesterday, sitting in the Grenoble departure lounge for our 1:15 flight, we were told the plane had diverted to Lyon for unspecified reasons. Half an hour later, we were told they might be hopping across to us or they might be sending a new plane. At 3pm, we were told a new plane would be arriving at 4:30 for a 5pm flight. At 4:30, we were told our flight had been cancelled, and to please pick up our luggage and get stuffed. We milled around for a bit, considered trains and automobiles, then Chris rang Melanie and got her on the case. Very quickly we’d booked three tickets from Lyon to Stansted on Easyjet’s 9:45pm flight that night, sorted out (hopefully) a refund from Ryanair, and bundled ourselves into a taxi for a journey up the motorway to Lyon. We then had a few more hours to kill, filled by the traditional dawdling of concourses, eating of baguettes, and inspection of hand baggage by bored gauloise-infused officials. Amazingly I was home by midnight.
My photos. No sign of Chris’s photos yet.