Thursday, 10 January 2013

We have arrived!!

So yesterday was the day I arrived in Banff, Alberta, Canada. It's been a long time coming but at last I am here!! But first I must backtrack a bit and tell you why I am here!!

So all the way back in June of 2012 I decided that during my upcoming Gap Year I wanted to do a Ski season but that I didn't want to go the usual route of chalet hosting, because let's be honest, if you're cleaning other peoples' toilets how much skiing do you actually get done?? So I turned to good old Google and discovered a series of companies that ran ski instructor training courses. So the first question was: which Company? Well that wasn't too difficult, lots of emails and phone calls later I decided to go with a company called Nonstop who mainly run courses in Canada plus a couple in France and New Zealand, which leads us to the second question: where do I go?? Nonstop runs courses in Banff, Fernie and Red Mountain in Canada and in Serre-Chevalier in France during the Northern hemisphere's winter season and in Porters, New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere's Winter (my summer). This was harder to answer I decided on Canada because I'd never been there before so then which resort? Well to be honest I didn't have too much preference so on a family friend's recommendation Banff it was. So phase one began, I booked the course and started to work out a plan to budget my trip, persuaded the parents to come out and visit and started to save every penny I could, by the end of August I'd earned enough money to combine with my savings to pay for the trip, phase one was complete and the waiting began.

So yesterday, the 9th of January, was finally my departure day. After 6 months of waiting it still hadn't really sunk in that I was actually going but the flights were booked, gear was bought, the packing was done (just!) and I was on my way to Gatwick airport to start my journey!

Now a word of warning, if you are ever planning to fly from London to Calgary, do not fly with Air Transat. I had never done a transatlantic flight before but from what everyone told me, I expected pretty cramped conditions but with individual TVs with lots of films and TV and a bit of music. This I got none of, well the conditions were cramped unsurprisingly but to say entertainment was sparse would be an understatement! I know it's a first-world complaint but a nine hour flight with nothing to do but stare out of a window onto clouds and a wing that looks like it's being held together by duct-tape is not my personal idea of fun, anyway each to their own. But I survived and arrived in Calgary airport at 4.30 pm local time, which with a 7 hour time difference was 11.30 pm Harriet time, dazed and slightly hyped up on caffeine to meet the others and to make our way to Banff, an hour and a half coach ride away. My first impression when we got there? Cold, very cold and snowing!! A quick welcome chat, drink and check-in at the Hotel it was a struggle to stay awake beyond 9.30 pm so it was time for bed and hopefully sweet dreams!!

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