So there’s no spoiler alert at the end, this was my first time skiing in the Pyrenees and definitely my last time skiing in the Pyrenees.
Toulouse was a little boring so we found a blabla car to take us to Andorra. Blabla car is an application where you look for rides, like electronic carpooling. We found a way there and back to Toulouse so I ran to the nearest sporting good store to grab some heavier gloves and waterproof pants. I had enough long sleeve tops to layer under my non-ski jacket that would just have to do.
We take a nice little 2 hour car ride out of France and up the mountains in Andorra. Andorra is actually a tiny little country independent of Spain and France but if you blinked you would miss it on a map.
After getting our rental gear, we headed up the lift to start with an easy one. April is a professional skier and has been skiing in Colorado since she was 4 years old. I’ve gone a handful of times in Wisconsin and had my 8 year old cousin teach me how to pizza and french fry. It was all going really well, a few green runs, a couple blue, and even a blue slope that turned into a red. I was unstoppable! We stopped for a drink to warm up before heading up another lift. We made our way up the mountain and the only options to go back down were black slope or black slope. NO. April tells me to make curves to slow down more. I pause at the top of what looks like ‘the mountain of death’ for probably 20 minutes trying to convince myself to go down. I start flying down and crash cleanly. Stand back up and start going down again. I don’t really remember what happened after because I’m sure my conscious has blocked this terrible memory from my mind. I fall down and both my skis pop off. I start rolling down the hill and am quite confident death is near. I’m body surfing down this giant mountain, snow in my face, down my shirt, everything for what I think is about 100 meters. By the grace of God, I stop rolling down the mountain. A nice couple brings me my skis and I just smirk because there is no way in hell, I’m putting those things back on my feet. I say “gracias” and start carefully walking down this monster mountain. What feels like days later, I arrive at the bottom of the hill and meet up with April. We have some much needed hot chocolate to warm up.
And now I have to figure out how to get on the other side of the mountain without actually having to ski down it. Someone tells us to take a big chairlift that takes us over the mountain. At this point, the sun is gone, it’s cloudy and I just want to be home. Like home in Palatine, IL, USA. We get off the chair lift and I grab my skis to walk down the mountain. Several people come up to me telling me its easier to go down with skis, I respond saying that it’s not an option for me. One stranger tells me to go up to another ski lift and beg the man to let me ride down. That was the best thing I had heard all day. I go up to the man who greets me in Spanish and I just erupt in spanish tears, “es que, no puedo bajar, porfa”. He grabs my skis and sets me up to ride down the mountain. Thank you kind sir. (I don’t think you’ve actually lived abroad if you haven’t had an emotional breakdown in front of a complete stranger in a foreign language)
I meet April at the bottom and we both agree we need some sort of alcoholic beverage to finish off the day. Two beers and some pizza later, I was laughing again. Then we met Tao, our blabla carpool driver to take us back to Toulouse. It was the funniest scene, there were two americans and two Chinese men driving through the mountains of Andorra listening to Phil Collins on the radio.
Now selling ski gloves and pants. Barely used. Best offer in the comments 🙂