(Time to be advised) Friday 7th April from Penllergaer Motorway Services (Please arrive no earlier than 40 minutes before departure time, no later than 20)
Via M4 motorway, stopping at Reading Services for driver’s rest break, then on via M25 and M2 motorways to Dover ; pick up continental drivers ,proceed to ferry to Calais.
Drive on through France into Belgium and then Germany.
After approximately 2 hours, stop for a comfort break .Then on through Europe until breakfast, probably at a German Service Station. Continue the journey on the Autobahn into Austria . Hopefully by lunchtime; we will arrive at our Bauernhof near the village of Goldegg.
Check in to the Bauernhof, unpack, freshen up and have light lunch.
In the afternoon, go for ski fitting to Alpendorf, our skiing base for the next 6 days.
NB: This may take place on the way to Goldegg. Pupils will need a ski sock in their hand luggage.
Return to the Bauernhof for the evening meal and an early night to prepare for the next day’s skiing.
On the last Thursday afternoon we hand back the skis and boots to the hire shop and return to the Bauernhof for showers, a complete change of clothing and our evening meal. When this is over we say goodbye to our hosts, pack our belongings into the coach and depart by 6.00pm.
We then retrace our route in reverse. We expect to be out of Austria by 9.00 p.m. and to arrive in Calais by 7.30 a.m. in time for the 8.50 a.m. ferry to Dover. On the ferry we will probably have breakfast and do a bit of shopping! All being well we should be back in the UK by 10.00 a.m. .We will telephone from a service station area in Western England 2 hours before arrival in Swansea.
We should, hopefully, be at Penllergaer at approximately 3.00 p.m,on Friday 14th April with a wealth of happy stories , a series of exceptional mental snapshots of a fantastic experience and a positive attitude!
On our return to the hotel everyone showers and changes into casual wear ready for the evening meal and planned activity .
We will have one themed ‘Wales Night’
everyone should have an item of Welsh clothing!
Good fabric or leather ski gloves (not vinyl)
SKIS, SKI BOOTS, AND HELMETS ARE PROVIDED
Sterling will be needed for the British motorway services and also the ferry crossings on the outward and return journeys.On the outward trip we will want a meal in the cafeteria late in the evening and on the return breakfast or lunch. (£25 maximum ?)
On the outward trip we may stop in a French or Belgian Service Station, when we wake up on the Saturday morning, we will be crossing the huge country of Germany, and we will need to buy breakfast in a German service station. On the return trip we may need to buy breakfast in France. We will need to have some Euros for these stops… about 30 Euros ? (Euro coins are useful en route but not vital).
Money for the journey should be in a safe wallet or purse and will need to be looked after. The bulk of the money for Austria should be packed in the centre of the suitcase in the special envelope that will be given out just before we break up. This envelope also has a form to fill in which itemises valuables being taken to Austria and acts as a check for the children as to how much money has been provided for them for use each day.On arrival we collect them from the cases and put all the money away safely. Each evening we will issue the envelopes so what is needed each for the day can be retrieved. This has proven to be an effective system and reduces the consequences should a wallet or purse be lost.
Money in Austria goes a long way .Breakfast and dinner are provided in the cost already paid and drinks at breakfast are included. Drinks in the Bauernhof and in the mountain restaurants will be a major expenditure. Skiing gets rid of large quantities of moisture from the body and this is exaggerated by the altitude. The water in the Bauernhof is free, delicious and pure. Cola and other caffeine drinks are exactly the wrong option and therefore are banned whilst we are away. There are shops near where we will access the slopes.
Everybody will need to buy lunch and a drink in the mountain restaurant each day. This is not expensive – costing 5-6 in Euros for the lunch of the day. The ski instructors will help and advise at lunchtime.It is not possible to be exact about how much to take. Last year 75 Euros was a low figure, some children spent slightly less and most spent a fair bit more. The Euro equivalent of £120 is more than enough.
Every member of the ski party must have their own individual full valid British Passport . Every member of the ski party also must have their own unique European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).This allows us to access health care throughout Europe en route and in Austria if necessary. This can be ordered on line (www.wales.nhs.uk)
or by phone and is available free of charge. No one will be allowed to leave the services at Penllergaer unless these are in our possession on the coach. These will be collected prior to the end of the term.
Please remember that we are going to the high Alps, so clothing and food are a very high priority. You must be dressed properly at all times, eat properly at all the meals and re-hydrate regularly.
Once again this year we are working to organize our course with the local firm, ‘Snowslippers’. We have worked with them over the past 19 years and have every confidence in their excellent standards. The driver who takes us from Swansea will hand us over to our 2 continental drivers who have travelled by car to Dover the previous day. The same system operates on the return journey, and at no time are driving regulations breached. All passengers have to wear seat belts when the coach is moving. Both the company and school take safety considerations very seriously. Health and Safety audits of the Bauernhof, the activities and the surrounding area have been completed. We have visited the Bauernhof previously and have many years experience supervising ski courses.
Whilst we sometimes refer to the trip as a holiday, and it is phenomenally enjoyable, there is a wide range of educational benefits to this particular adventure. There is the challenge provided by the vigorous physical activity, the opportunity to practice and learn new language skills, to be representatives of Gower and Wales, to solve problems, to take responsibility, and to live for a short while with other like-minded people in a community of encouragement and support.
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