Just last month, students from Calday Grange Grammar School embarked on a pre-Christmas ski trip to the Italian resort of Sestriere – and we’re still buzzing about it.
This purpose-built resort was perfect for all levels of skiers, with nursery slopes available for beginners and the Olympic downhill runs for the more experienced skiers. The group made brilliant progress in just under a week, with the help of the fantastic ski instructors at Scuola Sci Sestriere supporting them along the way.
Rayburn-ers, Siobhan and Julie, accompanied the group as reps capturing the memorable moments of their trip.
Here are the highlights of an unforgettable week of skiing.
Arriving in Geneva
After arriving at Geneva Airport, the connecting journey by coach took us up to the highest municipality in Italy, Sestriere.
The first day
The boys were measured up with the correct ski equipment at Da Nonna Adelina, ready for a five day ski experience, before checking into Hotel Olimpic.
Hotel Olimpic provided the group with traditional Italian meals to ensure they were fuelled up and ready to take on the Sestriere slopes the next morning.
The ski lessons commenced
As a first time skier myself, I accompanied the beginner group to learn the basics of how to ski, before tackling the more advanced runs. The Scuola ski instructors were fantastic and the boys were drumming up the confidence throughout the week to tackle the more difficult runs.
Day 2, the boys took on 5 hours of skiing, with a 2-hour lunch break to give them a chance to rest. Fuelled up from their traditional Italian pizza and pasta, they were ready to conquer a full afternoon of skiing.
Fancy dress on the slopes
The sun finally appeared on day 3 across the alpine resort, and the Calday Grammar boys took the opportunity to show off their fancy dress outfits on the slopes. This unforgettable day had seen some striking outfits – from the ‘Bobsleigh Boys’ to the ‘Mario Bros’!
Tourists around town
The boys explored the local amenities on day 4, visiting the tourist shops and supermarkets to indulge in some Italian treats and purchase souvenirs – not forgetting the snowball battles!
Taking a dip at the local swimming baths
An after-ski treat saw the students take a dip and relax in the local swimming pool, which had outdoor facilities and access to a sauna. Surrounded by mountains of snow, the boys took advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Popeyes: The best creperie in Sestriere
The local creperie, known for supplying the best gelato and crepes in Sestriere, went down an absolute treat with the group! Chocolate Nutella crepes with vanilla gelato was a popular choice amongst the boys.
The evening highlight
The students had a great experience, with every evening comprising of a mini awards ceremony for the ‘plonker’ of the day. This was given to the student who had the most humorous stories about their day on the slopes, presented by the party leader.
Final day of skiing
The last day of skiing saw the group awarded with certificates for their skiing abilities from Scuola, followed by awards from the party leaders. Their skiing improved throughout their trip, with some of the boys moving to intermediate and advanced groups!
The group had an amazing experience and Julie and I thoroughly enjoyed it as much as them. When we asked some of the students what they thought of their ski trip, one went on to say:
“I loved this trip because it’s very different to anywhere I’ve ever skied before.”
Dan Meigh, Drama teacher at Calday Grammar School, concluded with saying…
“I’ve done a few ski trips, Rayburn are always well organised – we’ve had Jules for the last 3 years and it’s always been stress-free where the group can relax and enjoy themselves.”
He then explained:
It’s an experience that some of the kids don’t get, it’s amazing to see them having fun. For some of the children it’s their first time away, introducing them to a sport they may have never done, mixing with different children. It’s a one-off experience.
And finally, here’s what he thought of Rayburn:
“There’s a personal touch with Rayburn, it’s a family-run company and it feels very much personalised. It was nice to have the opportunity to do activities when we pleased and the ski instructors were great here.”