Snowboarding in Andorra

Arinsal Travel Blog

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Our snowboarding class

Yet another holiday with Russell and Sarah and yet another party the night before, to make the trip to the airport before sunrise all the more challenging.

This time were flying out on a Sunday morning and the night before Michelle and I were hosts to a cocktail party that included Fergus and Helen and Bec and Craig, so there was no chance that we would be allowed to take it easy.

Our driver arrived on time and the 4 of us and all our gear piled into his old station wagon.  Not only was it a tight squeeze, the car must have been 20 years old and he had the cheek to charge us £75 for the pleasure!!  Snow holiday off to a flying start already!

The rest of the trip to Arinsal, Andorra was unremarkable, aside from Russell’s continual griping about his hangover and our rep’s shocking sense of humour and all around uselessness.

Free Cheese Toasties with beers after boarding

We were all very glad when the coach ride was over.  We checked into the Princessa Parc Hotel and were very impressed with the facilities.  The rooms were good and the hotel was vast, with lots of facilities and most importantly, good food, which was inclusive with the deal that we’d booked.

The downside to our arrival was the absence of snow.  A serious problem when you are on a snow holiday.  Our rep assured us that there was snow on the slopes, which was pretty hard to believe from the village. 

After a good nights sleep, all our dreams came true, we awoke to our first morning on the slopes and there was snow everywhere on the ground.

Shame the quality of the food available for lunch didn't match the view
  They’d had a solid 6” of snow overnight and the town and its new guests were abuzz with excitement about the prospect of fresh powder.

We had to ascend to the piste via a gondola before we were able to pick up our equipment and meet up with our instructors.  Surprisingly, Michelle and I were two of the few boarders who had arrived seeking lessions who had any idea what they were doing, so we were thrust into the advanced class.  Our instructor, Rodrigo was an Agentinian who has been boarding for 15 years.  It took us a while to get used to his manner of instruction (which involved more “follow me!” than step by step instruction) but by weeks end he had won us over, as we’d both learnt a great deal from him.

Unfortunately, the snow that fell on the first night was the only snow that fell for the entire week, so whilst the conditions on day 1 were close to ideal, they got worse and worse during the week.

Russ and Sarah, posing in front of the only snow we could see from the village
  The weather was great most of the time, the sun was out and it was lovely and warm during lunch breaks but by weeks end we were almost surfing down the slope, rather than snowboarding down it.

The nightlife in Andorra was supposed to be legendary.  We pass up the pub crawl on the first night but went out looking for a crowd on the second night and were astounded by how quiet it was.  We did our best to make our own fun though, enjoying a bottle of Port the four of us had picked up on holidays together a year ago along with a few cheeses. 

Russell set his social sights on the Friday night 70’s party, so most of the evenings in the lead up to that were passed with a few quiet drinks, some cheese toasties and swapping of snowboarding and skiing stories. 

The 70’s night was good and bad.

Our Hotel, the Princesa Parc
  You couldn’t swing a cat in the place without slapping 5 chavs in the face but once we’d got our first 10 drinks down and the dance floor started to fill up, it turned into quite a craic.  We were having such a good time, they had to chuck us out at 4am!!

From a snow perspective, the week ended on a low.  Our hangovers limiting our participation to a couple of hours in the afternoon, during which the conditions were the worse we’d seen.  However we did enjoy our holiday together and suspect that one day we’ll holiday in the snow together again.  I don’t think it’ll be in Andorra though.  “Snow Quality” has become one criteria that I’ll pay closer attention to when booking the next snow holiday.
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Our snowboarding class
Our snowboarding class
Free Cheese Toasties with beers af…
Free Cheese Toasties with beers a…
Shame the quality of the food avai…
Shame the quality of the food ava…
Russ and Sarah, posing in front of…
Russ and Sarah, posing in front o…
Our Hotel, the Princesa Parc
Our Hotel, the Princesa Parc
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photo by: mountaingirl