CN&CO and friends recently got back from an amazing snow adventure trip to Club Med Val Thorens Sensations in the French Alps, with a few bravely tackling the Paris Marathon afterwards. Here are some of their reflections:

View from La Folie Douce, a club in the slopes, looking down on the blue slope we conquered afterwards on our way back to the village (Photo: Gianluca Tucci)

Gina and Michele’s selfie (aka “GinaMichelfie”)

A snap of Notre Dame, my favourite part of Paris (Photo: Gianluca Tucci)

A jacuzzi with good friends overlooking the slopes at Club Med Val Thorens – our reward for a day out on the slopes

The #SkiRunOrgan Paris Marathon runners in their kit, sponsored by Europ Assistance (Photo: Carel Nolte)

Harry’s New York Bar, outside and in, where we celebrated Carel’s birthday (Photos: Carel Nolte)

Check you, check me – Sean and Gianluca and some (beer) goggles at La Folie Douce (Photo: Gianluca Tucci – obviously)

Gianluca Tucci

Club Med Val Thorens is quite simply, paradise. Not only did I fall in love with skiing, I have a red slope ticked off against my name and started counting down the days to a 2018 skiing adventure at Club Med.

Seeing Paris for the first time was another unbelievable experience. The city has so much character, style and expression around every corner.

What made the trip particularly special were the people I was with. It just goes to show that some of the most special moments collected are the ones spent travelling.

Gina Trotter

An incredible Club Med Val Thorens Sensations experience. Skiing (attempted), eating, drinking, partying, laughing, relaxing, sleeping, making new friends, snowflakes, sunshine, shopping, exploring, scenery to die for and super cool staff are just a few of the highlights for me.

A jam-packed week for all of us, a few hangovers, some sore bones and muscles, and non-stop energy from our #SkiRunOrgan Team made for a holiday of a lifetime. A quick stopover in Geneva for some time out and a Swiss fondue in possibly the cleanest city in the world, followed by two nights in Paris, one too many a cocktail in Harry’s New York Bar – dating back to 1911 and birthplace of the Bloody Mary – and an afternoon on the romantic streets of Montmarte.

Certainly a trip for the memory book!

Kurt Solomon

So many of my mates have asked if this Club Med trip is worth it.

Worth it?  Well, if you want to ski/snowboard the French alps, have fantastic instructors, daily parties, being able to snowboard into a bar/coffee stop up in the Alps for a hot chocolate or something stronger, the open bar and unbelievable food – breakfast, lunch and supper! – fantastic accommodation and getting that thrill daily… then yes it’s freakin worth it!

My first snow holiday EVER! And I am so lucky that I got to spend it with a bunch of absolute legends. It was like we all just got each other. We all got along, we all had a jol and we enjoyed it together!

I can’t really pinpoint my highlight because there were just so many! Lying in the snow and being in the French Alps with with awesome people. Learning to snowboard, and that incredible feeling when you get it. Snowboarding down a blue slope (after day one by mistake) into La Folie Douce, for one of the coolest day/snow parties up in the slopes.

Waking up to a view from my window, the sun shining over the Alps and the snow shining, with the fresh air blowing through the room. Going into the little town with Gina for some local and very homely rabbit. (When in France.)

Singing the national anthem the day before the big anti-Zuma marches in South Africa.

Experiencing Geneva, eating a Swiss fondue on the banks of Lake Geneva with a glass of wine at sunset. Harry’s Bar in Paris for Carel’s birthday, and reuniting with everyone.

Being able to experience the extravagance of Dubai with my brother, who now lives there. How proud I am of all he has achieved and everything he’s doing. Being able to see him and spend some quality time with him… priceless. The bars, the buildings, the desert and of course being spoilt and shown around by him.

All in all, it was an unbelievable holiday and a trip i will never forget. #Blessed #Grateful

Lucy Lightfoot

Back in December Carel mentioned in passing (at a wine tasting!!) that because I liked running and skiing I should join the #skirunorgan crowd on the trip he was planning in April. I wasn’t sure if it was just a passing invite, but true to Carel and his word the invite and details arrived in my mailbox a few days later. Between work, life and home renovations it felt like a stretch, but something re-ignited my overshadowed passion for life, experiences and people. And I said… I am in!

From the moment we met up as a group in Geneva to our final farewells in Paris I felt so welcome. As a stranger to most of the group, everything about our holiday felt easy. The CN&CO and Purple teams for starters are just FUN. Being around talented and nice people, laughing every day and feeling the chilly alpine air in your lungs was like a drug. Settling back into normal life has been hard!

The Club Med experience was new to me, but offered such great value, facilities and service. Having a ski instructor twice a day, every day, took my skiing confidence to a new level. The entire week I felt like I was in good hands.

And then on to Paris for the marathon. When the sh*t is going down politically the world over, it’s good to be around your fellow countrymen who have as much invested and as much passion for South Africa as I do.

The marathon was very hard, but bailing wasn’t an option. I was reminded that with strength, resilience and fortitude, thousands of diverse and different people can cross the same finish line.

Thank you to my friend Carel, his friends and colleagues for a high energy boost of life and fun. I had the best time!

Michele Katz

Late one night in a bar in Paris, towards the end of our trip, Carel asked us each what our highlight or favourite part of the trip was, and I said all the special, awesome and incredibly talented people I met… and I meant it! I was reminded once again what a big difference people can make in any environment – and especially when the environment itself is so amazing.

Apart from the spectacular views and literally being on top of the world, the camaraderie was unbelievable. What a jol!!

Sean Crommelin

When you go on a two-week trip with a group of people you have never met before, you never know how it’s going to turn out. However, on arrival and after meeting everyone, it quickly became clear that the trip would be nothing short of spectacular and that new friendships would be formed.

From laughing at others falling on the slopes, to drinking beers halfway up a mountain without knowing how you will get down, there was not one day that went by that I didn’t think, “I am definitely coming back again.”

Amazing friendships, amazing memories and most importantly, our regular greeting… “Otherwise you well?” 🙂

I could actually write a book.

Also read:

Saffers in the snow: The Club Med bug has bitten

It’s been a bucket list month