At the end of last term, thirty pupils from Years 5 – 8 and six staff set off on the annual Banda School Ski Trip. After a long flight and some movie watching, we were soon walking out into the freezing temperatures of Switzerland, a bit of a surprise to some!! We then travelled on what we believe to be probably the most comfortable bus in the world and we set off around Lake Geneva to Chilon Castle, on what we also believed to be the smoothest roads in the world!!
There was a Christmas festival taking place at the Castle, and once we cleared up the misconception that just because it is sunny it doesn’t mean it is hot, the children were off in groups exploring the Castle and soaking up the festivities. Back on the bus and the good roads, we headed up into the mountains. Golda (the hotel owner) and the ski instructors were there to greet us at the hotel and we soon settled in to our home for the week.
We spent the next five days skiing and once we had sorted out which ability group everyone should be in, the four groups set out onto the slopes. The beginners soon worked out how to move around with skis on their feet and how to get back up again! Whilst the more advanced groups were immediately up into the mountain and skiing on some quite challenging runs straight away. The skiing conditions were excellent, the runs were wide and well maintained, we had bright sunshine every day and most importantly, it was not busy! Throughout the week the children skied hard, listened to their instructors and made very good progress.
The top groups were skiing so fast, it was near impossible to get photos or film of them – I couldn’t keep up! The two beginners groups were all skiing red runs by the end of the week, which is exceptional progress. As well as skiing we went tobogganing, ice skating, swimming, shopping in the village and we also went out for pizza. On our final day, we visited the Montreux Christmas Markets. The children were blown away by the Christmas stalls, especially the sweet and chocolate stalls. We then visited a thermal spa swimming pool and after the excitement of being in an outdoor warm pool in freezing temperatures, we all felt quite relaxed by the time we left.
Back at the hotel we said goodbye to our instructors, who for the fourth year in a row, looked after us all so well, and Golda our ‘Kali’ surrogate mother for the week who made sure we all ate well and did as we were told!! The week flew past, we managed to stay in touch with the parents at home, but before we knew it we were already on our way home. The children were all fantastic, we had no wobbles, they were all great company to travel with and I believe everyone gained a huge amount from the experience of an overseas trip. Thank you to the parents for your support and the staff who gave up their holiday to ensure the trip was able to take place. We now look forward to the next ski trip which will be in Italy!!
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