I don’t know about you but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying reading about my fellow bloggers Best and Worst Holidays. In the next instalment of the series I have the pleasure of welcoming Helen who blogs at Welsh Cakes and Wellies. She is here to share with us her family’s worst and best ski holidays. Over to Helen.
We’ve always loved travelling, and touch wood, we have been lucky to have had some amazing adventures. That made picking our best family holiday pretty tricky. However, deciding on our worst family holiday was easy. As even though we’ve had a couple of less than ideal holidays, there is really only one contender for the worst. A skiing holiday to Les Carroz, which was so bad, we just couldn’t wait to come home.
The Worst Ski Family Holiday We’ve Had – Welsh Cakes and Wellies
My birthday is in January. Let’s face it, not the best time for a birthday. The weather in the UK is usually dire and most of my friends are still broke after Christmas and so are reluctant to do much. So, what could be better than going on holiday for your birthday?
As I love skiing, we headed off to Les Carroz, France. My parents and sister were coming along too, and there was me, my husband and our two boys, so a case of the more the merrier. We stayed in some lovely stylish self-catered apartments close to the centre of town. It was a charming French town with plenty of boutique shops and restaurants and so had all the promise of a great holiday.
On our first morning, which happened to be the day of my birthday, we awoke to brilliant sunshine. I headed out to the balcony to see the most spectacular view; white glistening ski slopes and brilliant blue skies, which were packed with loads of brightly coloured hot air balloons. It really was a sight to be seen.
After a quick breakfast it was time to head off to the slopes. My mum was going to look after my boys, (aged 8 months and two and a half at the time) at the chalet in the morning and the plan was to all meet up for a celebratory birthday lunch.
The skiing that morning was fantastic. The bluest skies, powder snow and quiet runs. I remember thinking how amazing it was to be skiing on my birthday.
We were skiing down to the town to meet my mum and my boys, when out of nowhere I sensed someone on my left. Before I knew it, I heard their skis clank on to mine and knock my legs out from under me. I remember flipping over, but that’s pretty much all I remember. I must have passed out on impact. When I came round, I was a little bit dazed but otherwise ok.
When I went to move, I noticed that my leg hurt. I couldn’t really move it at all and there was no way I could stand up. The other guy was ok, completely unhurt. He actually had the cheek to say he had to go as he was meeting his friends for lunch. I never got his details, I was too much in shock to think. On hindsight I wish I’d had a go at him. He was clearly going way too fast over a blind bend for him to hit me like that.
I was stretchered off the slopes in one of those stretchers that they ski down with. An ambulance was waiting at the bottom and I was taken straight to hospital. At hospital they confirmed that I had broken my leg in four places just below the knee. Not the best place to break a leg apparently. My leg was pretty swollen, and I was put under, just so they could get my ski boot off. I then had an operation where they put pins into my leg.
I spent the whole week of my holiday in hospital. The night before we were due to depart I was allowed to be discharged so that I could make my flight home. At least the break meant I didn’t have to wait in any queues at the airport and I got to have a full row of seats to myself on the plane.
While I was in hospital, most of my family had been suffering from a violent stomach bug back at the apartment. When my husband came to pick me up from hospital, with my son, they were the only two that hadn’t been ill. But that soon changed. When I was getting ready to leave, my son started projectile vomiting in my hospital room. Then on the journey to the apartment my husband started to be ill too. He had to pull over a few times on the way back, taking it in turns for him or my son to be sick at the side of the road!
That night I lay in agony with my leg and a bucket beside my bed to be sick in as I couldn’t move quickly enough to make it to the loo. I have never wanted to come home so much from a holiday as I did then. When I got home I spent the best part of six months on crutches and came to the conclusion that I probably wouldn’t go skiing for my birthday ever again.
The Best Ski Family Holiday We’ve Had – Welsh Cakes and Wellies
Despite never again skiing on my birthday, I headed back to the slopes two years later, when my leg was good to go. I still love skiing. I enjoy it even more now because the boys ski with us and they are so much fun on the slopes. They end up taking us to all the snow parks and finding all the jumps to try.
This year, we all headed to Les Gets. The boys were like whiz kids on the slopes and it was so much fun skiing with them. Morzine and Les Gets are both such family friendly resorts and we absolutely love it there. There’s loads to do there on top of the skiing too. They had a go at ice-skating, snow board simulators, skidooing and sledging. For my mum who doesn’t ski, there are plenty of really nice mountain walks to try. I’ve written up some posts on Les Gets and Morzine about why they are such fantastic resorts for families over on the blog.
The mountain restaurants in the area are amazing. Lots of delicious food, especially for cheese lovers! They’re all family friendly too. If the sun is shining, you can eat alfresco and take in the most stunning mountain views.
We now have a little girl too. She loves the sledging, having snow ball fights and building snowmen. She also loved going on the little land train which acted as a bus taking you round the resort. We’re really looking forward to her having a go at skiing next year when she’ll be three and a half.
I love the fact that we go as a multi-generational family and we’re all talking about heading back there again next year.
If you are unlucky enough to have a ski accident abroad, here are some things to consider:
- Secure the accident area, put your skis in a criss-cross before the area to alert fellow skiers
- Alert rescue services
- Administer first aid, if you can
- Take a note of contact details for those involved as well as witnesses
- Take a note of the location of the accident including any markings or signs
- Note down what the current conditions were in terms of snow & visibility
- If accident has occurred as result of defective equipment or sign/structure take a photograph
- Report the accident to the police
- Remember to wear a helmet – a helmet can reduce the risk of sustaining a head injury by as much as 29 to 56%.
- Make sure you have travel insurance
Thanks so much to Helen for sharing her best and worst skiing holidays. I am so glad the birthday trip didn’t put her off for life.
Helen blogs at Welsh Cakes and Wellies about family adventure. Her blog reviews family days out, eating out and travel. She lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband, three little ones, aged 10, 7 and 2 and their Golden Retriever puppy, Honey. Helen can also be found on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.