Sam: Getting to Méribel from Dublin was surprisingly smooth – for starters, our flight wasn’t until 2:30pm, so we were able to have a lie in and pick up a few last minute things from the shops (snoods, sun cream, shower gel, toothbrushes) before we headed to the airport.
The 2 hour flight passed pretty quickly and when we arrived into Chambéry our luggage came out almost immediately. There were Crystal reps waiting to greet us in the terminal, and they were super helpful in showing us to our coach and arranging our lift passes for the week en route to the resort.
After a short minibus journey up the mountain we met my brother Josh (manly hugs & back slaps), and he showed us up to our room. Our accommodation was simple enough but clean, with a cool sofa that you pulled down from the wall to transform into a bed. Nothing to write home about, but it had everything we needed (including a great shower).
My brother took us for burgers at La Taverne across the road, and we had a quick drink before our early night (the first of many).
On Sunday morning we woke up bright and early at 7:30am – Shauna had to get her skis and boots from the ski shop before we made the short walk down to La Chaudanne (Méribel’s base point for the cable cars and chairlifts taking you up the mountain). The weather was a little cloudy but still warm – good conditions for Shauna’s first day!
Shauna: Learning new skills as an adult is difficult; that was my main take away from day one. The first lesson mainly consisted of everyone learning to walk on skis, snowplow (the basic position) and getting used to little kids flying past us down the mountain. It was tiring (be prepared for very sore knees) and a little disheartening. Surrounded by people racing down steep slopes while I could barely get down a slight tilt on the start of a green slope I though ‘I’m never going to be able to do this.’
Sam: After Shauna’s first lesson we went for lunch at La Folie Douce, a great lunch spot on the mountain with live music and great value food. I ate chicken and chips with pepper sauce, with dessert, plus a beer, all for €10! (with a Crystal voucher). I’d highly recommend it to anyone skiing in Méribel.
In the afternoon we had a private lesson with Phil, the director of Parallel Lines Ski School. He spent most of his time teaching Shauna how to perfect the snowplow – after only a few hours’ skiing she’d become really comfortable getting down the green slopes, I was really proud of her. After that Phil gave me a few pointers (apparently my skiing technique involved way too much hip-swinging) and we finished with a race to the bottom. It was a great way to spend the afternoon and I think it really helped Shauna find her ski legs.
After a tiring first day’s skiing we trudged home and ate a delicious home-cooked dinner with a few glasses of wine, before retiring for another early night. Suffice to say, we slept very well.