Arinsal Ski Resort, Andorra
The town of Arinsal is connected to Arinsal Ski Resort via two services – a gondola and a chairlift that connects to one of the hotels (I think it’s Hotel Crest).
The easiest one for us was the gondola, which was a mere 3-5 minute walk from our hotel – although the return trip isn’t that easy since it’s uphill and we’re either tired from snowboarding or drunk from partying..
^View from the bridge to the gondola
^View from our hotel
Our Snowboxx ticket included a 5-day lift pass., so we didn’t have to bother purchasing one separately.
We had to collect our hire equipment first (one day I will have MY OWN) and because eeeeeveryone else from the festival had the same idea, we were stuck in a massive queue. We were late by about half an hour for our first lesson – like bad students.
Yep, the queue was so long that Reena planted herself on the tiles..
I compare the waiting experience to receiving a Christmas present early, but then having to WAIT till actual Christmas day to open it. However when the day finally comes, it’s freaking awesome!
^Our classmates and instructor on the baby/learning slope.
Our instructor was an Argentinian guy called Augusto. He was cool! He snowboards, skis, surfs, dives, and.. who knows what else. He alternates between being in Europe and South America / snowsports and beach sports. What a life!
He was really patient, and funny too.
On the first day we had to use this totally beginnerish ‘lift’ called the Magic Carpet. It’s like a walkalator with a very slight incline. It goes very slowly and gently, and takes you to the top of the learning slope, haha.
After a couple of rounds on the Magic Carpet, Augusto let us go up our first chairlift – a 4-person one.
One of the things I really love about skiing/snowboarding is the attire. Everything’s so bright and colourful. And for once, I don’t stand out like some crazy neon person. In fact, I felt rather.. DULL on the slopes during the days when I wore my boring ol’ white/pink ski jacket and GREY pants. How odd, as usually I’m one of the most colourful people in a crowd 🙂
^Reena, wearing my Billabong Boys’ size 12 jacket.. 🙂
Speaking of kids, we were rather impressed by all the tiny tots zipping around on their skis (snowboarding is not recommended for very young children).. they looked so cute and cool at the same time.
^OK This girl isn’t that young.. but I just didn’t manage to get a picture of the really SMALL ones.
There was even a girl of about five or six who was teaching her mom to ski. I overheard her giving her mom tips while helping lead her to the charlift queue 🙂
^View from one of the larger chairlifts, which we took on the second day.
I had to insert a section about Surf Restaurant because it was where I consumed the largest burger I’ve ever had in my life.
A 300g patty. IT WAS SO GOOD! Look, it’s nearly the size of Reena’s head.
My friends and I are obsessed with these ‘paradise’ glasses at the moment..
^Goliath, my pet mouse, joined in the fun too.
Surf is reputed for its steaks and apparently has the ‘best steak in Arinsal’, although some beg to differ. I didn’t try it in the end, so I can’t really say, but looking at the grill on the way out made me wish I DID try it.
Retro Ski Day
^Zorro in a matching bright pink North Face jacket.
Despite my very AWESOME jacket, I wasn’t nearly as retro as many of the other festival-goers on the slope. There were groups of people in matching retro-gear, animal costumes, cowboys,.. in fact all sorts of random crazy costumes. It was so much fun just to watch!
^These penguins were in Zorro’s skiing class. We bumped into each other at a cafe somewhere up on the mountain.
^With Joe, a classmate.
Joe’s wearing an amazing women’s yellow zebra-print ski onesie. Haha 🙂
^With my beloved Reena.
After a productive day of learning to turn/connect turns, everyone headed back to Arinsal town for nighttime festivities, i.e. food, music, drinks.
^We kept our jackets and switched to leggings.
Aren’t these hotel lobby pics simply glam?
^Fancy dress peeps.. and a suspicious-looking blow-up doll..
When I saw this lot pass by I couldn’t help myself from stopping them in the middle of the street for a photo.
This was unfortunately one of the LAST pics on my phone for the night.. which ended up being kind of a blur..
Monday – Main Event at Panoramix
Nevertheless, we still got up eventually and managed a couple of hours practising on the slopes by ourselves (sans our instructor, Augusto).
Reena’s wearing my blue Billabong jacket (as in pic earlier) because she LOST hers the night before. But to her credit, she did find it in the end.
Monday was special because the gondola was going to be running special services through the evening and night to take people to/from the Snowboxx main event, which was being held at the outdoor Bar Panoramix stage at Arinsal Ski Resort. There was going to be a party on the slopes!
We stayed in our ski attire because we didn’t have enough time between dinner to get changed. This turned out to be good because it snowed non-stop that night.
The lineup from the night included Roses Gabor, Pedestrian, and The Other Tribe. The music was a mix of dubstep, electronic, garage, maybe some dance. Admittedly, I really am not a fan of dubstep.. but the combination of an amazing party location and a young, fun crowd made the night AWESOME.
^Zorro, me, Reena
It was pretty much blizzard-ing all through the night.
Imagine – dancing on a mountain with lights and music plus fast, angry snowflakes rushing at your face. It was crazy fun!
The finale had the team of snowboard/ski instructors coming down the slope with torches of fire. Our instructor, Augusto, was somewhere in there!
^Here is a compilation of some rubbish clips I managed to get that night.. You can spot me dancing like a moron at the start.
^This poor guy lost a bet with his friends and his punishment was to wear a PLASTIC BAG over his head during the whole party.
^Another poor dude who probably lost another bet and is paying the price by having to do push-ups on the snow. LOL!