England

First Time Skiers Guide – Part 1

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Have you ever wanted to go on a skiing holiday but never had the opportunity to go; yet thought what’s all the fuss about and are you truly missing out… well stop searching and indulge yourself into this three-part blog where you will discover my journey. Hopefully you will be encouraged and see that opportunities are always there and it’s about taking them and making the most out of it.

Let me give you some background information about me, and how my idea was brought to life. I’m Reece a third year broadcast journalism student at the University of Salford. I seen an advertisement on a social media website offering freelance journalists the chance to go out to France via ChaletFinder. I found this an offer I couldn’t resist so I pitched the idea of a first time skiers guide to the company and here we are.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank them for seeing the potential in my idea. They really supported me and provided my flights, transfers to the resort, ski passes, equipment and the most amazing accommodation run by Rude Chalets.

Shall we proceed to the beginning of this adventure?

The day had finally arrived to fly out to Geneva and transferred to Morzine, Portes Du Soleil. I don’t think there wasn’t a mode of transport that I hadn’t taken that day. It took a tram and train just to get to the airport, then a plane to reach Geneva and then I was picked up and driven to the French town. Within the time of five hours I had been in three different countries.

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View of the alps from the plane window.

We set off at 6:00am to catch a flight departing at 10:50am; my flight was from Manchester airport. ChaletFinder supplied my flight through EasyJet and before you ask the pictures of me in my bright orange jacket were a coincidence and not planned out. Although they complement each other well, as you will see in the photo below.

 

 

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Do I look like an EasyJet endorsement

After checking in all the luggage and camera equipment, Brad my camera operator and me thought it would be a smart idea to go and exchange our currency. A normal and straightforward process you’d think but that was far from it. Whilst we are at the currency exchange desk we deliberate what currency we should get because in our mind we were flying into Switzerland, so we exchange our money into Swiss Franks, forgetting to take into account that Morzine is based in France… and use the Euro!

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Arriving at Manchester airport

 

That’s what happens when you don’t start your day off with a coffee.

We only realised that we exchanged the wrong currency when we were halfway from our destination and talking to another passenger on the plane about our journey. I would like to give a shout out to the lady who sat next to us in row 23 a, b and c. You were very polite in enduring us chatting away to you the whole flight and for the offer of an alcoholic beverage.

It still hadn’t sunk in that I would be learning to ski in one of the best resorts in Europe. I’m going to be honest and tell you that before going out I felt confident that I would find it easy to pick up as I had done one lesson of dry skiing about five years ago when I was 17. I’m a very sporty natured person and extremely competitive, so in my mind combining these two attributes would surely only help me.

 

Find out how I got on in my next blog post…

 

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Wembley welcomes France and England friendly on a night where football was irrelevant

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A match, whom everyone thought would be cancelled due to the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night, has turned out to be an occasion that demonstrated solidarity.

Players In Solidarity Before Kick Off
French & English players in solidarity

The French Football Federation decided the match would go ahead, and The FA backed the decision to have the game played.

France would be welcomed at Wembley in a spirit of fraternity and defiance as an act to stand up to terrorism.

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Wembley tricolore tribute

 

Although France manager Didier Deschamps had offered his players the chance to pull out of the squad before they travelled to London because of the circumstances.

French Football Players Arrival In London
French team arrive in London

Leading up to the game England manager Roy Hodgson said, The match will be a serious occasion but one that shows that the football world is united against these atrocities.”

Security has been increased in the wake of the Paris attacks, as the Metropolitan Police don’t want to see repeat scenes from Friday happening tonight.

Met’s Specialist Crime and Operations Deputy Assistant Commander Peter Terry said, “we’ve reassessed what security we think we need for tonight’s occasion, especially considering who we’re playing. We’ve assessed what happened in France and we’ve changed what the appearance of what the security will look like tonight.”

Heightened Security At Wembley
Security being increased at Wembley Stadium

In a change of protocol, the away team’s national anthem was sung after England’s ‘God Save The Queen’.

Over 70,000 people roared out ‘La Marseillaise’ as a tribute to the 129 victims of Friday’s attacks, England fans in the east side of Wembley held up cards which formed the French Tricolore.

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French flag tribute in the east stand of Wembley

 

England was victorious winning 2-0.

France’s captain, Hugo Lloris, thanked England’s fans for their support but admitted the French team found it hard to concentrate.

“All of this has been very hard, but we played the match for our country and for the victims. Tonight was a moment of national unity,” said Lloris.

French Players Preparation
French players escorted around Wembley with armed police

 

The result was always going to be meaningless but the occasion couldn’t have been any different and will live in the memory for everyone who watched and attended the match.