skiingEager to take on the snow tops, we ventured to Cortina, Italy for what we pictured to be a peaceful and relaxing snow trip. Boy were we wrong – the only thing we ended up picturing was a face full of snow and a new set of blue and purple bruises.

This trip we had our good friends Jonathan and Nicci join us. Nicci was already in Italy visiting family and poor Jonathan had to experience our “traveling style” all on his own. The stress for Jonathan started with Phillipa running slightly late for the train to the airport. I am used to Phillipa cutting it very fine to catch any transport but I don’t think Jonathan was ready. Once we finally got on the train on time Jonathan started to relax but not after having a few heart attacks in between.

Phillipa hasn’t driven a car for a while now, let alone driving on the other side of the road, so lets just say if Jonathan wasn’t in the car we would have had a few more flavorsome arguments. After a few scares here and there we got lost even though we had a TomTom to guide us. Driving around Treviso trying to find our hotel (wrong address provided by the web booking) we found ourselves driving through the business district. The red light business district that is, which later on provided us with a sound show just before we called it a night in our bad Vegas style decorated room.

Driving through Italy we saw some very beautiful landscape with cute little towns and green country side. After driving all morning we finally reached Nicci’s Grandparents place near Morsano. Walking around the cute little town we noticed that every town had a clock tower. From Nicci’s Grandparents town we could see mountain tops filled with snow. After eating a lovely 3 course lunch provided by Nicci’s family (traditional Italian style) we decided to start the drive to the mountains for our skiing adventure.

As we were driving higher and higher more and more snow started to appear everywhere. Like kids in a lolly shop we got very excited. Snow was such a rare thing for all of us as we weren’t really skiers and living in the southern hemisphere we don’t have snow on our door steps every year. After checking in to a cosy little hotel we decided to go and play in the snow. All rugged up with all our new snow gear we went for a quick drive to find a small area were we started play (snow ball fights and snow angels). Heading back into town looking for food, we found a ski rental place and got ourselves all kitted out. With our ski gear all rented ready to go we headed back had some dinner and rested for our big day ahead.

Four newbies to skiing we looked up at each intermediate slope and started to freak out. Hoping there was a beginners slope near by we asked some English speaking skiers if they could show us on the map where the beginner slopes where. He kindly pointed out that there was a sign in the distance that pointed to it. The sign read Baby, perfect. We thought we could start with all the kiddies till we got our confidence up with this in mind we quickly made our way there. We have had lessons, how hard could it be, right?

As we got to the baby slope we found ourselves surrounded by many beginners of different ages so we felt a bit better. However, it seemed the younger the beginner, the better they were and the more it made the four of us look like fish out of water. We spent a good few hours skiing down the baby slopes and as our confidence grew we started to want more. We were “flying” down the slopes by then and even beating some kids so Phillipa looked at the map and picked our next mountain.

We made our way to the blue run which from our map said Beginner/Intermediate. It looked pretty scary but we figure it was the natural progression to leave the baby slopes and head over to the beginner slopes. Not listening to any of the clues that this was a bad idea, all 3 of us fell off the ski lift (Nicci was smart enough to opt this one out). As we watched the advance skiers fly down the hill we started to worry when the lift just kept going up and up. Getting to the top we could no longer see anywhere near the bottom where Nicci sat waiting for us. Phillipa asked to go first with Jonathan following. After falling over 3 times within 10 meters of the top, Jonathan got some confidence and disappeared down the slope. The slope being steeper than we had ever imagined, we started to panic and the screaming inside was getting louder and louder. Getting about mid way, I could no longer see Phillipa or Jonathan weaving down the mountain.

By this point, many of my limbs were crossed – not for good luck, but the lack of control coming down. Skiing down the hill with only hope for no injuries or broken bones, I finally see the end in sight. With other skiers racing down the hill it only made me feel more and more like an idiot. Only to be described as a learner driving in a car with hazard lights and hand break on. With much joy and relief I found myself in one piece at the bottom of the slope only to find both Jonathan and Phillipa a bit pale from fear.

Jonathan putting snow around his sore knee he later described his display of bambi on ice mixed with penguins trying to fly. He was also shattered to learn that none of us saw his final (unintentional) spectacular jump over the last slope. Spooked out we decided to get some confidence back on the baby slope before trying any other slopes for the time being. After a few more runs down the baby slopes Phillipa and I decided that the only way to conquer the hills in the short time we were here would be to get some professional lessons.

The next day eager but scared, we took the slopes with a fantastic teacher. With the professional know-how and the correct techniques skiing wasn’t as hard as we thought. Within 1 hr we were skiing down blue grade slopes (the ones we were MEANT to progress to) with a new confidence.

The next few days flew by and new slope after new slope we just pushed the limits as far as we could. With forward rolls, cart wheels and star fish leaps it would seem we were trying to do gymnastics on snow but in reality we were just trying to stay alive after a crash. There were a few times where each of us had a face full of snow and legs and arms in angles that we didn’t think possible. We finished up and drove back to the airport where we had a long trip home where sleep was on the agenda. A fantastic time with battle scares in forms of dark blue and purple bruises we left Italy with very tired but happy with did it.

Comments are closed.