On Friday 10th of February, a group of 34 students, two PGL leaders and four teachers set off in a coach waved off by anxious parents and beloved teachers for a two-hour trip to Dover. Once in Dover, we met our drivers for the week, George and Jacko, who kept us safe and well entertained our entire stay.
Once we had crossed the English Channel and docked in Calais, it was a 16-hour journey until we finally made it to our destination – Großgasthof Unterwirt Inh Fam, Maishofen, Austria.
Once we arrived, we hurried round to the ski-hire shop where everyone got their boots, helmets, skis and poles. After this, everyone got settled into their hotel rooms but soon were rushed downstairs to the dining hall by the smell of fresh soup and a home-cooked traditional Austrian meal.
For the next few mornings, we all came downstairs for a breakfast consisting of cereal, bread with butter, jam, marmalade and other toppings as well as hot drinks such as kaffee (coffee) and heiße schokolade (hot chocolate). We also could make our own lunch with the options of bread with cheese and meats, cartons of juice, apples and oranges and a sweet treat.
Then it was time for action. With everyone geared up with their boots, thermals and fleeces, we piled onto the coach for a 15-minute drive to the ski resort where we were met by our ski instructors for the week – Hannah, Anna, Alenka and Primosh. We were divided into two groups, beginners (taken by Alenka and Primosh) and intermediate (taken by Hannah and Anna).
Throughout the week, people were moved into different groups based on their ability and the progress they made. We also moved to different ski areas every other day so as to not get bored and to benefit from the full range of slopes Saalbach Hinterglemm had to offer.
After 5 hours of skiing each day, dinner was welcomed with open arms, but after that came the evening activities.
Sunday evening was ice-cream night. However, the ice-cream parlour we planned to go to was closed and we instead went to McDonalds! Night skiing was the following night, with many testing their abilities to navigate the slopes and stay upright. Valentine’s Day was pizza night, or so we thought. The restaurant we were meant to go to was at full capacity and other pizza places were also closed or full so, you guessed it, we yet again went to McDonalds!
Wednesday evening offered students the choice of ice skating or bowling which was in the hotel basement. Thursday evening was Awards Evening, where a handful of students were given awards for a variety of categories, such as best skier and most sunburnt. Friday evening, we left for home. We also endured coach-aoke, a wonderful mixture of well-sung songs and Mr Bevan’s questionable singing.
Overall the week was enjoyable, relaxing and fun. The teachers and PGL leader made sure everyone was included, safe and happy but overall ensured that the Quest Academy Austria Ski Trip of 2023 was a success. A huge thank you to Mr Bevan for organising such an incredible trip.