We are not a skiing family but with a popular ski resort only an hour from our home in Southern Spain, it is hard to not at least give it a shot. After a wet November for us, which was a snowy November up on the mountain, we decided to take our maiden voyage on the ski slopes during a long holiday weekend in early December. I have to say, our timing wasn’t great. Spending two days of a four day holiday weekend celebrated by ALL of Spain skiing is probably not the most efficient use of time (lots of lines) or money (peak prices). However, we considered this a test run and didn’t let the crowds get us down. It definitely whetted our appetites for more skiing!Friday afternoon, we left the beach and an hour and a half later, we arrived at the top of the snow-covered mountain, in the ski village town called Sierra Nevada.
After parking and renting ski gear from one of the dozens of places in the ski village, we headed to our apartment rental, located right in the main square of the village. We had friends who were also skiing the same weekend, so they came over and all the kids had a blast playing games and eating pizza.
The next morning we woke up and headed out early for the ski lift, after hearing about the lines for the lift the prior day. We had a four-hour family lesson scheduled for 10am. We left early enough that we didn’t have much of a line, so we got up to the ski area in plenty of time, and got to enjoy the views and the buzz of the slopes before our lesson started.
We booked our lesson through the British Ski Center (there is also a Spanish and Swedish ski school, in addition to many others), and our instructor was a really nice and patient guy from England, who had lived in Spain for many years. He started us with the very basics on the bunny hill, since we were all relative novices (I was the most experienced in the family, having been on bunny hills in the non-mountainous state of Minnesota about 30 years prior). We moved along together at a good pace for a few hours until we were ready to hit the
slopes long lines of the moving walkway up to the top of the “hill”.
We all had good fun and a bit of adrenaline going down the slopes, with all the boys wiping out, but us parents staying on our feet (just as well, we are less flexible and have further to fall!). N needed a little bit of extra help, but it was fine for our first day.
After four hours with the instructor, we were all ready for a rest, so we headed back down the slopes and hung out again with our friends playing games and eating takeout.
The next day, we went to check out the kids play area, Mirlo Blanco. They offer activities like tubing, sledding and riding on strange bikes on skis, and a so called “Russian sled”, which was kind of a roller coaster track or dry bobsled (and had a separate €5 fee per person). It was very expensive at €12 per 30 minutes, and since it is lower down the hill, there wasn’t a whole lot of snow. So, while we were happy to check it out, we probably wouldn’t go back.
Overall, we loved our first trip to Sierra Nevada and are already planning our next one (this time it will probably be a mid-week, non-holiday trip!)