And we’re off! What a long day it’s been. Everyone’s safe and sound; tucked up in bed trying to catch up on the sleep lost today. Thank you to our wonderful band of parents who got their children to school at the delightful time of 2.45am. Little did we know that this was going to be the start of an adventurous day!
Gatwick was a breeze and we waltzed through customs and boarded the plane pretty much to schedule. Then … the pilot announced that we were able to take off from Gatwick but were probably unable to land at Chambery due to heavy fog. We were waiting for 4000m visibility on the runway. The pilot explained that whoever designed Chambery airport had to have had a good sense of humour because it is at the end of a very long valley adjacent to a lake which becomes a fog magnet. We set off in hope rather than expectation and our pilot attempted to land there. However, in pilot terms, he executed a missed approach and we found ourselves climbing again. Fortunately, the students had no idea what was going on as we ascended quickly on a reroute to Grenoble to refuel and wait for the French authorities to decide our plight.
We patiently waited … and waited … and waited
Eventually we were told, after an hour and a half, that we were able to return to Chambery and that ‘on the balance of probability’ we ‘might’ land if there was a long enough gap in the fog. The ‘fog’ God was on our side.
Chambery airport is small and was very busy and it seemed that all flights to France had been diverted there! We eventually got our luggage and climbed aboard our coach and were treated to the most magical winter wonderland. The snow cover was extensive from the bottom of the valley.
Although we arrived three and a half hours behind schedule, the students coped admirably. We are really looking forward to a good night’s sleep and also to skiing in the perfect conditions we have been blessed with.
Sorry folks, no photos tonight, but we’ll give you a treat tomorrow!