Saturday, 18 January 2014

Hello again and Verbier

After an incredibly busy 2013, it has been over a year since I last updated this blog. With the very best intentions, I am hoping to post much more regularly this year and post about some of the more interesting things I did last year.

On 1st December 2013, my girlfriend Emily and I moved to Verbier in Switzerland to start working a ski season in a hotel. We spent a long time buying lots of great snow gear, which I'll blog about in more detail soon. We ended up taking three suitcases and a large board bag between us, which was a nightmare to carry! As always when travelling anywhere, we've discovered that we could have managed without a large amount of it.

Departures at Heathrow Airport

We met a lot of the people we would be working with beforehand on Facebook through staff forums, and managed to find a lot of them at the airport. Look how nervous everyone looks in the photo below! 

After a few initial teething problems with our accommodation, we settled in very quickly. There are 16 staff in the hotel in total, including management, hotel assistants and the kitchen team. We got to know everyone very quickly through working, socialising and living together 24/7.

Verbier itself is infamous for being a hub for the super wealthy, which is evident from the adundance of shops and bars aimed at affluent tourists. I'd only ever been to Tignes in France for a snowboarding holiday in the past, but I gather that Verbier is very different to a lot of resorts in terms of the clientele and the entertainment on offer. The main ski areas are around a 25-30 minute journey via gondolas, which is quite time consuming, especially when you only have a few hours off in the day between shifts to have fun on the mountain. The views and pistes are great when you get there though, even if they were unsurprisingly very busy around Christmas and New Year.

Our first afternoon on the mountain. 

One of many chair lift selfies!

On top of the World!

New Year's Eve was absolutely incredible in Verbier. We weren't aware before we got there, but Place Centrale in the middle of Verbier, which is where we were based, is a meeting point for many thousands of people on New Year's Eve for a giant street party. It's a little scary at times when fireworks are being let off in the street all around you, but with a DJ set up on a balcony providing a great soundtrack and our friends partying with us, it was an amazing experience. At the strike of midnight, everyone was showered with champagne and the cheers were deafening. This video that a friend of mine filmed sums it up perfectly!

Despite making many great memories in Verbier and meeting some completely excellent people, Emily and I decided the job was not right for us. We have set a limited amount of time aside to do some travelling, see the world and get away from normality for a bit, so didn't want to stay somewhere where we weren't completely happy.

The photo below is from leaving meal at a cheese fondue restaurant. It was very tasty, but incredibly rich as you can imagine!

Our alpine adventure doesn't stop here though, as we are currently enjoying a five-week snowboarding holiday in Meribel, France. I'll post more about that soon.

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