On the 8th of February 2013 we began our journey to the Alpine Slopes of Italy. After a short meeting with our principal Miss Martin and deputy principal Miss O’ Connor who wished us the best of luck, nineteen students and four teachers departed from the school on Friday morning. We made our way to the bus, everyone waved goodbye to all our parents as we set off for Dublin airport. The excitement was intense from everybody. When we reached Dublin airport, some first time flyers were a little anxious but could not wait to experience the plane for the first time. We smiled at how different we looked in our passport pictures as some were taken when we were very young. Everybody got through customs okay and then we were allowed get something to eat and shop for a while before we boarded the plane. After an exciting and hilarious plane ride we arrived to Milan airport on Friday evening around eight o’ clock. Our journey was nowhere near over as we still had a four and a half hour drive ahead of us to hotel Bellaria in Lavarone. Although we were tired, we were bursting with energy at the same time to experience a totally different country compared to Ireland. As the journey went on we started to climb up into the mountains and we saw the first bits of snow on the ground. The butterflies in our stomachs really started flutter. At this stage all we wanted to do was get out on the slopes and ski.
We eventually reached hotel Bellaria, it was extremely cold, it was minus 6 degrees or less outside. We left our bags up to our rooms then headed straight down for some pizza. Up to bed we went because we had an early morning and a long day of skiing ahead of us.
Breakfast the next morning was at seven, everyone was shattered but it didn’t matter as all we wanted to do was ski.
We got on the bus which took us down to the ski shop and slopes, we were all given huge ski boots, skis and poles. Some people got a little bit ahead of themselves before the instructors came along and thought they could ski away, this wasn’t the case as most of them were lying on the ground laughing or crashed into a fence somewhere.
We began our lesson, first was the snow plough which made us stop, but not everyone could get the hang of it and ended up on the ground. Up we all got again and made our way to a slightly bigger slope for more practice with turning and parallel skis. Eventually nearly everyone got the hang of it and got more confident on their skis. A little bit to confident for some though.
The time flew by and before we knew it we were off for lunch for two hours. Every day we all got pizza in a pizzeria. They were delicious. We rambled around for a while, then it was time to ski again so we went up to the shed and put back on our boots again and made our way to the bigger slopes.
Our first experience on the ski lift was interesting, we sat down and up we went, little did we know that they were going to go so high up or that the view was going to be so beautiful. The trees were covered in snow, it was like being in a winter wonder land.
Each day was much the same, we made our way up the ski lifts again and as each day went on we tackled new skills and bigger slopes. The students had absolutely no fear and tackled any hill or slope that was ahead of them.
As the days went on we learned how to go down hills going from side to side to reduce our speed, but of course this didn’t come naturally at first. At times we had a pile up of bodies half way down the slopes, but this made the trip all the more fun and they are the parts we will remember forever.
After each day our teachers brought us up for a couple of hours skiing around the slopes, this was one of the best parts and was mainly where all the funniest falls happened. Our confidence grew for those couple of hours after the lessons. It taught us a lot because after each fall you had no option to get back up again because that was our only way down.
Every night we got a three course dinner which was something different to Ireland’s food. We got a pasta starter like noodles, then main was pork or chicken then desert was ice cream, all different types.
We had evening activities most nights, the first was bowling. Most people turned out to be very good at it but others not so much. But it was good fun playing with our friends, after that we played pool and air hockey for a while, but the girls always bet the lads, the second activity way tubing which was carrying a big rubber circular tube up the slopes and one or two people could sit in it and go flying down the slopes. The teachers were the funniest to watch because they screamed and laughed all the way down. Sitting in it with your friends was really good laugh aswell, the last activity was the disco which was on the last night. All of the girls took hours to get ready then froze to pieces when they went out, in the disco we talked to other people from Ireland and Belgium and even spoke to people in French, the music was different compared to Irelands but it was still good, it was fun tossing and dance with everyone. Everyone really enjoyed themselves at the evening activities, and would do it again in a heart beat.
We thank our teachers for taking the time to be with us on the tour and also to our parents for encourging us to travel.
The next day was going home, we got up early the next morning got our breakfast and headed off for the airport. Most of us fell asleep on the bus because it was another long journey. When we reached the airport we did everything the same as in Dublin and then shopped for another while, we then borded the plane and headed off for home. we didn’t want to leave but we missed our families and friends.
The bus drive home seemed short compared to all the travelling we did, but we were excited to get home and tell everyone the news, once we reached the school everyone thanked the teachers and greeted their parents.
The ski trip really was a once in a life time experience and everyone really enjoyed themselves and would go again no doubt.