Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Adventure #124- Skiing in the Alps

I am an avid snowboarder. One thing that has been missing from my life in Prague has been mountains. When you grow up in a valley and you are constantly surrounded by them, the mountains are a part of your life. It is always easy to go hiking, snowboarding, skiing etc. When you live in Prague, the closest mountains are an hour bus ride away, and well, let's just say they are ideal for beginners. 
I have been in Europe for 3 winters now. The first, I was too poor to even think about it. The second I went back to Reno so there was no more vacation time/money in the budget. And last winter, I finally made it! Twice.

We went to a glacier in Austria that always has snow in March. It is in an area called Zell Am See and it was breathtaking. We took a van from Prague at midnight on Friday, arrived 7.30am on Saturday, changed and hit the slopes. We rode hard all day, went back to the pension and then walked around our cute little Alpine town (which only looked a bit like the ones in the movies). We woke up Sunday morning for another day of 'shredding the gnar' and at 4pm, hopped in the vans for the 7-hour drive back to Prague. It was amazing. The only advice I have is that you shouldn't attend your kick-boxing class before you go, or your legs will be like Jello/rocks, alternatively throughout the trip.

Then in March, we went to the Dolomites in Italy. I was in love with Italy before I ever went here. Now, I know that I am truly an Italian (sorry Germany relatives but...) and that this country is truly a place for me. We went to an area called Alta Badia and there was a half dozen or so different resorts to play at every day. The week before had been terrible weather (for the people there, excellent for those of us who came after!) so we had great snow, and amazing sunny weather. Each day we started around 9, and rode hard until about 4.30-5pm. The last few days we started early and took a cappuccino break after a bit, just to make sure that the legs were going to cooperate with us for the rest of the day.

Your 6- day ski pass has a chip inside and each time you go through the turnstiles to get on the lift, it records the information, so you can get a count of how far you've ridden (calculated by using the difference in altitude differences of each lift). We checked ours when we got back and it said we'd ridden 217km (135m) or about 35km (22m) per day.

The downside? Many trails were for skiers, meaning that I needed to unstrap and walk, or Martin would pull me for a bit (what a sweetheart!). Also we were with Martin's dad and stepmom. Not a huge downside, but it would have been more fun to enjoy some apres-ski with friends.

Who's coming to visit me this winter so we can shred the gnar together braus?

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