Well, we Vollies have been here a month and what a month it has been! I would like to tell you about it but it’s hard to know where to start.
“We are living in a winter wonderland surrounded by the most beautiful mountains”
On the lead up to Christmas our days where filled with lots of training in everything from how to make a toilet sparkly and clean all the way through to how to build an igloo with powdery snow! And we did it all with lots of laughter and giggling along the way! Even on our days off we took little time for rest as the mountains beckoned and the slopes called us to come ski and sledge.
For some people here this is their first experience of snow so it has been great to teach them what fun it can be to build snowmen and make snow angels along with lots of snowball fights.
But back to Christmas. Our Christmas celebrations kicked off with us decorating the chalet with paper snowflakes we made ourselves and a tree with real candles that we lit. Then we invited the locals from Adelboden to come and celebrate with us for an evening.
We sang carols in English, German and Swedish (or at least we tried to)! There were drinks and party food and we player games and even tried bollywood dancing with the children! It was a great evening and a really nice way to kick off our Christmas celebrations.
On Christmas Day itself we mixed a little of everyone’s traditions together which made for a very special day enjoyed by all. Presents were shared by all, there was a brunch with American pancakes (made by Kate), a winters day walk (which left us knee deep in snow) and it was all rounded off by a lovely Christmas meal and an evening of games.
In the days after Christmas we set about building an igloo with the help of the Australian family who were staying with us. It was big enough for six of us to sleep in! It was a bit of a cold and wet night at the edges if you weren’t lucky enough to have grabbed a middle spot, but a least it didn’t collapse in the night!
After all of these fun and games it was time to get some work done and get the Chalet sparkling and looking its best ready to welcome the New Year guests and let the celebrations begin. They were a lovely bunch – all keen and friendly.
The adventures all kicked off with a hike to the Woodcarver but along the way lots of snow was thrown (strangely mainly at Katie – programme manager?!). At the Woodcarvers we had the chance to purchase many wooden things and some lovely cake and hot chocolate.
The next day (New Year’s Eve) we hiked again but this time to Engstligenalp where we were rewarded with views of a frozen waterfall and a snowy BBQ before heading up on the gondola to slide about on our bottoms snow tubing! It was amazing fun especially as there is very limited control of your speed or where you’re going!
When we got back and had warmed up we started our New Year’s celebrations with a cheese fondue before walking it off with a snow shoe hike to the magic tree to make a very special wish for the year ahead.
The New Year itself was welcomed in by songs round the campfire and raising a snowflake up the flag pole (a little like what they do in Time Square USA) whilst watching the fireworks over Adelboden. It was a lovely evening with a really nice atmosphere and a great way to start the year.
So as you can see our time here has been action packed. We now have Rover week here and the Ski World Cup starts today so it’s all go go go!
Well I’d best go and do a little last minute practice for my world cup entry!
Happy New Year to all!
Lindsey Cooper (UK)
Our Chalet Assistant – Winter 2013/14