Well, I was as hooked as someone could be - who loved the first trip and still spent the LAST EIGHT YEARS off of any slopes! I remedied this problem, finally, when I joined my church's youth group ski trip to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in mid-January. It was a dream!
About 30 of us left on Friday afternoon in a tour bus, getting to our youth hostel around 10:30 at night. I got to stay with a college student who met us there. The hostel was extremely nice, and affordable. The smell reminded me of some of my other study trips in Austria, when my fellow students and I stayed in similar hostels in Germany. We got up early on Saturday, enjoyed a nice breakfast, packed a lunch, and then promptly got stuck in all the traffic heading to the slopes. The 15-minute trip took us almost 45 minutes. Then we had to get our rental gear, and I decided to take one morning's worth of lessons, just for a refresher. Needless to say, I did not need to take beginner ski lessons again, especially since we worked on such basics as putting on skis, staying upright on the skis, stopping on minuscule hills, and just a bit of turning.
Still, after the morning I was tired, and I wasn't sure what other slopes I would be able to handle. All of the group met for lunch and sat in the snow near the gondola station.
I'll just let you all know about how amazing the trip was through photos!
|Here we are in the gondola at the base of the mountains. The parking lot was completely full! And look! Alps!!!!|
|At the top of the first gondola lift. Lots more peaks and trees!|
|This is where we had lunch - very relaxing, if not a little cold, because you sat in the snow.|
|This was at the top of the second gondola, for the two ski passes that I kept taking over and over again. I must have taken this gondola 25 times between Saturday and Sunday.|
|On the first day - me chillin' during the lunch break! I don't have ski goggles, but the sunglasses were helpful and necessary with the snow glare!|
|Here is the view of the slopes I spent the whole time skiing down.|
|Again, you can see all the skiers converging on the area behind me - one of the lodges and lines for the gondola.|
|On Sunday, we experienced "Foehn" - which basically means that the weather is warmer and sunny up on the mountains, and it is foggy and colder below. The snow kept getting worse and worse on Sunday, as areas of the slopes turned into mush.|
|Me and my Kaiserschmarrn! This Austrian pancake-like dessert is AMAZING!!!!! Read the Wikipedia description linked here, and be jealous!|
|Our youth hostel! We had full room and board, and the food was surprisingly satisfying! Other highlights here included attending the youth group's discussion time on Sunday night, and losing horribly in table tennis to the three youth leaders!|
1. Skiing in the Alps is unbelievable!!!!
2. I still love skiing, and can still ski relatively well, all considering my eight-year hiatus!
3. I will not take another eight years off before I ski again. California has more mountains that Missouri or Illinois, and, despite the high cost, I really think it is worth partaking in an activity that brings me such pure joy!