Whilst spending a few days in Dorset post christmas, Andy’s dad came up with a ‘cunning plan’. He and Andy were due to fly off to Austria a few days into 2015, and unbeknownst to Andy, I was to join them a couple of days into their trip. All I had to do was keep my mouth zipped closed. Not easy when the last time you went snow (real snow, not horrid London slush) was 6 years ago and you’ve forgotten everything you need… a big thanks to all my friends who put up with numerous questions about socks/helmets/ski goggles in the days leading up to the surprise.
When the morning came, I couldn’t sleep with excitement. Which was good, because I had to leave for the airport at 6am. Off to Heathrow I went, to hop on my fllight, then a train, then another train… then a taxi.
I arrived in Zurich after a panic stricken moment on the runway when we were told we would not be able to leave for Switzerland until fog had cleared; up to a two hour wait. My train was booked for two hours after we were due to land… cue several text messages to Mr V about train times…changing taxi pick ups, and so on.
The views from the train were breathtaking. But I was still too excited!
12 hours after leaving the house I arrived in Lech, a beautiful Austrian ski village in the Zurs region. I dropped off my bag, handed over precious teabags to the taxi driver (don’t ask) and headed off to the bar, where Andy and his dad were waiting to meet someone who wasn’t me.
His reaction was priceless. Lots of swearing, smiles and sparklers, accompanied by prosecco.
Now, I might be one for a holiday, but skiing has never really been part of my holiday plans. Apart from joining a family holiday with Andy’s crew over christmas 6 years ago, I’d never even thought of paying to step foot on snow instead of sun. Last time was a bit of a sporting disaster; Andy, an experienced skiier, and I, complete newbie, decided to learn to snowboard together. Let’s just say Andy was awesome and I had a snowy arse. And a tantrum. On Christmas day.
This time, I was determined to ski, and enjoy it.
3 days of group lessons followed. Day one consisted learning how on earth to put skis on, (‘no there’s not a right and a left foot… you really are a beginner aren’t you?’) going up and down a slope so flat you barely moved, and generally being freezing. Day two, button lifts, snow ploughs and a lot of being shouted at: ‘GET OFF THE TOILET!’ Apparently I love to look like I’m squatting and skiing at the same time… wonderful.
Day three was our graduation day, and we were mighty determined to make it off the baby slopes and up that mountain. We nailed it! A bit hairy at times, but a group of us did a blue slope with only mild heart palpitations.
Thanks to this guy for putting in the extra time with me when lessons were over.
The couple of days that followed were honestly some of the most fun I’ve had in my life.
Mountain rainbow. Some snotty person on the chairlift told me I could only see it because of my goggles and it wouldn’t show on my camera. Proved you wrong, sir!
Yeow! Look at me go! ‘On the toilet’ of course.
Andy and I, Jan 2015 (above)
Andy and I, Dec 2008 (below)
By our last day, we were in serious need of some fresh snow. It hadn’t snowed since I’d arrived, and the slopes were getting a bit mushy. Our snow prayers were answered….
They were answered in a pretty big way. A foot of snow in 3 hours!
What an awesome few days. I can’t thank Mr V enough for inviting me along.
From here on, cold holidays are on par with hot ones. I never thought I’d see the day…
And to top it all off, we were treated to this beauty on our way home.