by Lily Davids - 3 years, 10 months ago
Andorra, if it had a skiing reputation at all, used to be renowned for lager-louts drawn by the cheap booze. I was therefore a bit wary of heading to Soldeau - but the incredible snowfall which the resort has had over the past few years, as well as the lack of crowds in little and obscure Andorra overrode my concerns. This is not to say that I wasn't casting grim glances in all directions when I arrived in the Alpine village of Soldeau, expecting to see a lagered up mob of yobs round the corner at any moment. Luckily, my worries were unfounded. Not only, however, were they unfounded - the absolute opposite of what I had expected to find in the way of Apres at Soldeau occurred!
I had thought that the cheap booze would attract the lowest common denominator - young people looking to get bladdered at any cost and not really caring whose evening they spoiled in the process. I certainly found the cheap booze, but the inconsiderate mobs were nowhere in sight. Instead, I discovered as friendly, convivial, and welcoming bunch of people as one could ever hope to meet! In fact, I'd happily stick my neck out and declare Soldeau to have one of the best Apres Ski atmospheres I've ever encountered - and I've encountered a few.
As for the skiing - well, it would be incredibly hard to beat the slopes of Soldeau. For a start, the area is beautiful. I particularly enjoyed taking a breather by a small, frozen lake fringed with pines, admiring the stunning view while the mountains basked against the sunny blue sky. It was incredible - and there were hardly any other skiiers to obstruct my 'moment' with the world. Andorra's relative obscurity means that few people come to this lovely area, despite the fact that the quality of skiing is way up there with the best of them.
All in all, Soldeau was a great surprise. The skiing was wonderful, the mountains were sublime, and the whole experience was a lot more sophisticated than I had expected. I'd advise anyone to let go of their preconceptions, and take their skis to Soldeau.