A week in Cauterets, Haute Pyrenees ⛷🏂🎿Missed the Mais.
This was a lovely half term week skiing. Didn’t think I could manage all week but I did. It would have been nice to do the spa and Loudes but there just wasn’t the time. Our skiing has progressed really well. Particularly Callum’s snowboarding 🏂. We’ve filmed him on a red run for his GCSE PE and he’s also used his GoPro to film himself.
Cauterets is a really gorgeous place to stay – really busy all day long so a great atmosphere, interesting architecture. There were lots of Eataries BUT as usual for me as a vegetarian, food was an issue, unless I was happy eating pizza all week – and most were booked and/or had two sittings so we booked one night and most nights just wandered till we found one with a table free. The evening we were going to venture to the cinema, La La land was cancelled. However, there were lots of things to do, if you have the energy after a days skiing. A swimming pool, spa (x 2), salle de jeux (mini arcade with pool tables / air hockey / pin ball etc) and several play areas for younger children.
Hotel Edleweiss, where we stayed was a family run hotel – the mother and father had very little English but one of the sons spoke really good English and as it happened another family staying at the same time could also speak very good English too. The cousin of the hotel owner even bought Grandma a gift when we left! On the down side the restaurant had no choice, only plat du jour. No bar and the sitting area was for a max of 10 people. We did manage to get tea, coffee and wine every night delivered to this area. Not the same as having a huge open fire and views of the mountains as we have had in previous hotels.
Skiing – a bit daunting when we first got up to the top! Blinded by the sun and what appeared to be very steep runs. Even my son, who is very brave, was a bit overawed to start with but ended up loving the steep slopes. The food at the top was fine – there was a restaurant (but we tended to eat sandwiches / hot dogs / chips / waffles and crepes from the bar) it was busy but we always found a table and never queued for more than 10 minutes and that was a one off.
Our lessons this year were “ok” – the instructor just said that we could clearly ski and knew the techniques but just needed confidence (more of a psychology session!). He wanted to take us up to the top but I was too nervous – he said we would be fine!
Queues were horrendous – 45 minutes (at its’ worst) for a turn on the “source” pommel. However queues to go to the top on the proper lifts were actually very quick and if from 8am till 10am the queues were manageable. But it was half term school holidays in France too.
The basic small blue runs (3 choices of routes down) we started on were a bit of a pain because of “moguls” that were created every day by the sheer number of skiers going through one crossroad – and then bumps just after (on two of the options) where you would take off and needed good balance to get through – these didn’t exist at the start of the day but were very difficult to handle at the end of the day. Also hard because of the number of people who congregated at this point / slowed down to get through them.
Tapis wasn’t too bad – reasonable for warming up / cooling down and queues easier to handle – lots of under 8’s to slalom around!
I lacked confidence so stuck to the green and blue runs. The instructor took us on a steep part of a blue run and taught us how to slide so we would know how to get past steeper bits we didn’t feel like skiing! However, I fell and that knocked my confidence. Quelle wimp!
The weather was brilliant, although no new snow.
Oh I forgot – there was an avalanche but fortunately not on the pistes. My son was on the chair lift and saw it all but Paul and I were having a coffee so missed it!
Really looking forward to being en France again at Easter. 6 weeks to go!