On the 15th February 2014, with heavy bags, and plenty of excitement, 29 students and three teachers met at Dublin Airport, ready to embark on the trip that we had been anticipating for over a year.
We breezed through check-in and security, faster than expected, leaving us with plenty of time to wander around the terminal, get a bite to eat, and relax, before we had to leave.
Our two and half hour flight to Barcelona was smooth and painless, with the time flying by! The flight, being Ryanair, naturally arrived on time at about 9.00pm local time. We collected our bags, and made our way onto our coach, for the final part of our journey to Andorra.
Three very long hours later, at nearly one o'clock in the morning, we got off the coach at our hotel, Hotel Marco Polo in La Massana. With everyone tired and stiff, it was a relief to walk around and stretch our legs.
Room keys were quickly distributed and we were hurried off to bed, considering our early start the following morning.
The next morning, we were up at 8:30 for breakfast, after which we suited up, and made our way to collect all of our gear, from a shop in the village. From there it was only a short, five minute walk to the gondola that took us to the slopes each morning, and back again each evening.
At the top, we were divided into three groups, and met our instructors for the week, Manel, Patricia and Ot.
We spent the first day learning the basics, as all but two of us were beginners, and although it was difficult, and the exercises we were doing seemed pointless, it laid a good foundation, and as the week went by, our abilities (and more importantly, our confidence) improved a lot.
Each morning, we skied from 11:00 - 1:00. After having a surprisingly decent lunch on the slopes, we were off again, practicing our skills before our next two hour lesson at 3:00.
It was then back to the hotel in the gondola, where we had time to relax before dinner, at 7:00. There was a theme each night, going from Mexican to Chinese, and the food was usually good, bar once or twice when it was just about passable.
In the evenings we usually had activities, ranging from a table quiz organised by Mr Cronin (which my team won!), swimming in a neighbouring hotel, to an attempt at a disco that never really got going! If there wasn't an activity on, we just ended up lounging in our rooms, playing pool, or relaxing in the lobby, trying to use the hotel's incredibly slow WiFi.
Towards the end of the week, we spent an evening the capital, Andorra La Vella, where presents were bought, and bargains were to be had, due to the country's low tax rate.
All too soon it was time to go home, but, as we know, all good things must come to an end. We were all sad to leave the slopes, and the great fun we were having, but, we were all happy in the knowledge that we had had a brilliant time, some claiming it was the best holiday they had ever had.
So, we left Andorra on a high, with many promising to return. A sure sign of a great holiday!
I'd like to thank Mr Kirwan, Mr Byrne and Mr Cronin, for organising and taking us on the trip, and making it such a memorable one.
Aidan Kelly, Transition Year.