Andorra, March 9-18, 2003
Includes side trips to Spain and France

(scroll down to see photos)

Skiing, sightseeing, shopping and palm trees

The trip to Europe exceeded the expectations of most, if not all of the 26 savvy travelers who demanded fun.
  So fun they got!  Even non-skiers!

In spite of the record breaking heat wave, there was still lots of snow at the major ski resorts in Andorra.  The snow got a little soft in the afternoon.  But the skiing was still good.  Nobody got cold, and everyone got a suntan.  Having a chartered bus in Europe facilitated the group's access to ski resorts, museums, and duty free shopping centers.

A few trip highlights are listed below.  (No one did all of these things)

·     Mt. Blanc and the Matterhorn from the air.

·     Breathtaking mountain vistas.

·     The deep violet-blue sky above the white mountains at Pas de la Casa ski resort, Andorra.

·     Incredible off-piste skiing at Arcalis ski resort (rhymes with Hercules).  The extreme skiing stopped when one of the skier’s poles ‘fell’ into a hidden crevasse.

·     Visiting museums and churches in the beautiful Ordino Valley.

·     Going to the dogs (sledding, that is) at La Rabassa, Andorra.

·     Moments of quiet reflection in Lourdes, France, where the Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant girl in 1857.  Drinking holy water that some believe will cure anything (including ski injuries).

·     We had no injuries (must have been that holy water).

·     The medieval city of Carcassonne, France, built to keep the Moorish invaders out of Europe.

·     Combining work and pleasure.  Ski club members connected to their office via the internet in the comfort of their hotel room, or the hotel lobby.  (They drank wine instead of coffee).

·     European massages by male masseuse.  Clothes were not allowed.  The gals wondered who should tip whom.

·     Serenading the chief.  (One night champagne was free, but water was an extra charge, duh?).

·     The midnight ‘go-cart’ race, on ice, at the indoor ice-hockey rink next to the hotel.

·     Our heavy bags full of duty free loot purchased in Andorra (everything was duty/tax free).

·     The custom official at the border who stopped us, when a bag of duty-free loot fell off the bus.

·     Flamenco dancing in Spain.

·     Paella and wine at outdoor cafes and tapas bars.

·     Palm trees!  (Don’t see many of them on a ski trip).

·     Barcelona tour and the Sagrada Familia Cathedral.

·     Cocktails on the hotel roof overlooking Barcelona.

·     The midnight dash to the port to “dip toes” in the ocean.

·     The O’dark 30 bus ride to the Barcelona airport.  (Nearly everyone made it.)

·     Icebergs between Greenland and Labrador from the air.

Trip participants were: Bruce and Shirley Prillaman, Arlene and Joe Christenbury, Ron and Barbara Nemura, Bill and Beverly Bishop, Roger and Karen Scott, Susan Prillaman, Wayne Likens, Kazuko Yoneyama, Samia Ward, Cheryl Gillespie, Debra Vascik, Karen Saunders, Richard Myers, Hal Cansler, Bill Otey, Ron Howlett, Betsy Settles, Pamela Clark, Linda Staley, Roger Pommerenke (trip leader) and Mandy Pommerenke (trip leader caretaker)

 

linda Staley, Arlene Christenbury, Pamela Clark
Dulles Airport:  Linda, Arlene, Pamela Dulles Airport:  Joe and Arlene Barcelona Airport (note palm trees)
Pas de la Casa
Rest stop between Barcelona and Andorra Ordino, Andorra:  Small church Pas de la Casa
Grau Rouge: Rick, Karen S.,Wayne, Mandy, Susan, Roger and Karen Scott Apres ski:  Beverly, Sherry, Debra, Hal Arcalis, Andorra:  Roger, Rick, Karen, Susan, Wayne, Ron, and bus driver
Susan Prillaman, Mandy Pommerenke in Arcalis, Andorra

Roanoke Ski Club at Lourdes, France

Susan and Mandy Lourdes, France Lourdes, France
pommerenke, Debra Vascik, Sherry Cheryl Gillespie
Apres ski: Karen, Rick, Samia, Kazuko, Mandy El Tarter gondola: Roger, Debra, Sherry Dinner: Sherry, Debra, Bill, Beverly
Roger Pommerenke eating fish in Barcelona
Barcelona metro: Bruce, Susan, Wayne Roger and fish skeleton Sagrada Familia cathedral