Monday, December 01, 2008

Snowboarding in Andorra


Last week Cat had the brilliant idea to go snowboarding in Andorra for the weekend. The snow conditions were just turning right and the Grand Valira snow resort was opening the lifts for the first time this year. So we booked a car, hotel and the ski passes and left for Andorra on Friday evening. To our surprise it was a very quick trip because there was not a single traffic jam.

It took us a while to find the hotel, but it was not far from the El Tarter area. We were staying at the Vall Ski. I have a system of three categories for hotels. The first one are the ones where you feel at home and the atmosphere is more like staying with friends. These are usually small or B&Bs. Another category are the ones where you feel like a king and they provide everything you need without you having to ask, these are usually very expensive. And then there is the third category which is the biggest one and also the one Vall Ski belongs to. In these you feel like being in a hospital. Everything is nice and clean, but the food is horrible and served way too early. You also have to pay extra for everything. The staff was nice though. One evening we went to the restaurant next door with horrible design and menu, which surprised us with very good food by an italien chef.

When we tried to pick up our ski passes on Saturday morning, it turned out that he booking service (from the Grand Valira website) had messed up the booking. Cat spend two hours on the phone to sort it out, but the lady in the call center in Bulgaria was friendly but not helpful. So we ended up buying another set of two day passes. We will be canceling the credit card payment and I hope they will sort it out then.

The weather on the first day was very windy going to snowstorm. Sometimes I lost all sense of speed and direction. In the afternoon it turned even worse, so we had a snack and when we were finished we had the perfect conditions for the rest of the day. Fresh snow and no queueing for the whole day.

Sunday was even better, with more sun and less wind. Overall a perfect weekend for snowboarding and I think I improved my skill a little bit.

Now I am hurting everywhere though. Before we go to Laax in January I will have to spend more time in the gym and on the bicycle to get my fitness level up.

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