Sunday, 6 February 2011

Mountain Life

Over the Christmas holidays I went on a ski trip to Austria! It was fantastic and I wanted to share some snippets of it with all of you. From the minute I stepped off the plane I was just enraptured with the beauty of the mountains around us. This is the view of the town as we landed...

We stayed in a gorgeous lodge where hot chocolate and indulgent cakes were aplenty! Since I was burning so much energy skiing all day, (at least that's what I liked to tell myself), I allowed myself to have as much of these as I liked..and after a day battling the slopes it was just what I needed.

The first days were hard I'm not gonna lie. I think learning to ski is the hardest part. You constantly have to climb up a little part of the mountain and ski a little way down displaying the latest skill your instructor had shown you. My first teacher was called Hans and had a tendency to say "ya" constantly. So much so, I caught onto it too and by the end of the first day my "yes" was doomed to remain "ya" until my return home.

By the end of the first 3 days I'd successfully navigated my first blue run (albeit for part of it I was holding on to my instructor's poles). I was very proud of myself. My body on the other hand was not so thrilled. I felt as if someone had taken a ski pole and battered my legs with it until they were completely bruised. I was waddling around like penguin as my legs had lost the ability to bend. So much so in fact someone in my hotel stopped me to ask why I was walking like that? And ski boots, pah, well whose genius idea were they? They are possibly the MOST uncomfortable shoes I have ever worn (imagine having two 5 kilo weights on each foot whilst trying to carry your skis up a mountain).

Anyway, day 4 was the exciting part. Day 4 is where it all just clicked! The first few days I think I'd held back. Probably just from the nerves associated with doing something new, and you know the possibility of crashing full speed into a tree. But on day 4 something changed and all my fear and somehow my pain disappeared and wow what a feeling it was. There is no greater feeling than whizzing down a glistening mountain, in gorgeous sunshine, with the wind rushing past you and no other sound except other skiers passing you by.

The next few days were phenomenal and I even progressed to the red slopes. The last day was the pinnacle - we stopped for lunch on an outside deck overlooking the Alps. The sky was a burning blue, and I sat on my rocking chair with a thick blanket over me just appreciating the beauty in front of my eyes. I found myself thinking how peaceful it was in the cars, horns, no nothing. Just silence and spectacular beauty...and everything just felt so clean, the air, the mountains, all of it so pure.

Talking to some of the ski instructors I found myself a little envious of the happy simplicity of their lives. Most were born and bred on the mountain, never visited a big city, brought up in a tiny village, and they seemed extremely content. I found myself wondering if I could be happy living somewhere like this?

My experience on the mountain was so memorable and after experiencing the rush of skiing I am itching to go back. I'd love to hear about your mountain experiences?

Photos Copyrighted 2011

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