Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pyrenean Ski Trip

Unfortunately, despite the planning and us all arriving safely and settling into our temporary (but lovely) accommodation things were set to change.

The first change was the weather. Sunday morning was full of snow and bitterly cold, especially at the top of the mountain where icicle moustaches formed on our lips as we waited for Ed to finish his first morning at ski school. This wasn't quite the blue skies and sunny, snowy peek view we were expecting.

More worryingly we also received a phone call from the nursing home where Ade's Nana lived and the news wasn't good. In the early hours of Sunday morning she had suffered a stroke. Sunday seemed to pass in a blur of snow flurries and phone calls and ended in a meal together that would be our last with Ade's parents for this holiday. Due to Nana's worsening condition they returned to the UK on Monday morning.

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Grandparents Rule No 1 - of course you can  boy!
As you can imagine the mood was a little down, especially for Ed who was really looking forward to being spoilt by his Grandparents for a week. The dog also had a sulk before leaping on me and nibbling me in what I'm sure was a protest display reprimanding me for being careless and losing half of our pack. For the first few days she had a habit of approaching people she thought were Ade's parents and wagging her tail in excitement. Thankfully after meeting some nice families at the lake who shared their duck bread with her, a little girl who fed her most of her pancake and a man at the market who sliced her some local speciality ham (at 34€ a kilo) her mood improved. She and I spent our mornings walking and the sunny afternoons in a deckchair on a snow deck enjoying the sunshine and the view. Mini also became accustomed to her daily trip up the mountain in a four man télécabine and loved looking out of the window at the view.

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Mini in the Télécabine

The plan had been for Ade's parents and I to take it in turns dog sitting and skiing, so being two men down meant no skiing for me. However as I have a love/hate relationship with skiing and I got a nosebleed just from being at the top of the mountain, this was probably no bad thing. Mini and I still enjoyed lots of walking and fresh air and I discovered there are many more things to do in Luchon than just skiing, but more on that later in the week. Although I will admit, despite the exercise, eating the good, hearty mountain food like tartiflette and not skiing wasn't great for my figure.

Unfortunately we did get a call later in the week to let us know that Nana had passed away, but at 89 we all feel this was a great age and we are glad she didn't suffer for too long. She was an important part of many lives including 9 great grandchildren, 4 grandsons and their wives, a son and daughter-in-law and a daughter and son-in-law. RIP Nana.