Monday, 7 May 2012

Skiing in Slovakia

8-15 January

Look at all that space I get TO MYSELF!
First off: I <3 skiing. It was one of only a few things on my ‘have to do/see’ list when I left. The other two being Egypt (tick) and Turkey for ANZAC Day (tick). Later on I added Iceland and sailing in Croatia (Let’s see how they pan out later…) So I was very happy to be finally setting of a ski holiday :) I went through a company called Mountain Paradise, which offered flights, transfers, half-board hotel accommodation, ski gear rental and ski lift passes for a good price. We had a good flight to Krakow, Poland, and got through passport control/customs easily. That’s one of the good things about Europe – it’s sooo much easier to get through country borders then it is getting into Aus.

Once arriving in Krakow we were getting a transfer to Jasna ski resort in the Low Tatras. I must admit I was a bit worried when our driver was a bit late! I hoped he hadn’t forgotten us… Turns out we had arrived early, and they had hit bad traffic on the way to the airport, so no, we weren’t forgotten! As we drove further up the mountains it began snowing. Before we left I had been looking at the weather/snow forecast, and it didn’t look overly good. As it was I had nothing to worry about – at the end of our time in Slovakia, our driver said that the last week had been the best bit of snowfall the Tatras had seen in a while :) I was so happy to get good snowfall, particularly after the UK had failed to deliver this year. Mum missed out – she should have come skiing with us!!

Anywho, we arrived at our accommodation for the next seven nights, and found out we had been upgraded for the first two nights. Instead of a standard twin room, we were in the two bedroom suite! After over a month in hostels, a room to myself was absolute bliss. AND it had a bath :D. We dropped of our bags and headed back down to get our ski gear and lift pass.

Why couldn't we keep the suite?!

The next morning we met up with our ski instructor, and it was time to hit the slopes! After seven years since the last time I had skied, I thought I picked it back up rather quickly. I was soon racing down the beginner slope very confidently. I love the rush of going fast! Adam, on the other hand was a complete beginner, and quite nervous (which is understandable – those slopes are slippery!). So I went off on my own a bit, while he got one-to-one tuition. See the video for Adam's first day of skiing!

The beginner slope at night
After our first lesson we went searching for some food. We went to of the restaurants on the mountain, where we had a bit of a culture shock. Slovakia probably isn’t one of the 1st places you think of to go skiing in Europe. This shows in that there are very few tourists, and most of the skiers are local families (I swear some of the kids who were skiing couldn’t even walk yet!). As such, English isn’t spoken as much or as well, so trying to figure out what was actually on the menu was a bit tough. And the pictures really didn’t help. So, after 1 failed attempt at eating some more traditional Slovakian food, we stuck to eat at the place that had an English menu, and we knew what we were eating. So, we mainly had pizzas for lunch – but they were really yummy pizzas! Dinner was included, and we had a choice between a pasta or meat based dish. An adventage to being in Slovakia is that food and drinks were CHEAP :)

On either the first or second day, after our lesson we went for a walk down one of the ski slopes. Well, mostly walked – there was one steeper bit, where we slid down mostly on our bums. That was fun! Turns out that bit was a red/medium part of the run, whereas if we had turned left we would have continued on the blue run. I managed to convince Adam to ski down this longer steeper run – and we both made it down in one piece :). The 1st day we did it, it was quite icy, and as it turned out, part of the bit we slid down on our bums was also part of the blue run. So I went down that VERY slowly, making big zigzags. As the week went on however, we got more lots of snow fall, and the powder makes you go slower, so it was much easier to go down. The downside to that is that on the flat bits you need to work a lot harder! By the end of the week, I was pretty confident at going faster, and I could ski down the run, faster than taking the gondola up :P

You can see quite a few indiviual snow flakes here

Close up 
Snow Angels

In the middle of the week we had a ski lesson free day, so decided to make it a totally ski free day. We walked another run – well, some of the time I slid down on a plastic bag. That was fun, but could have the potential to be dangerous – it’s hard to steer plastic bags! I would have loved to have skied that run, but wasn’t keen on doing it by myself, and Adam definitely wasn’t keen to do it, so I had to stick to the beginner slope and that one other one I was talking about.

Check out the view from the top of the mountain - Please ignore my voice... it sounds weird :S

Just lying in the snow, looking up

Beautiful day :)

Eventually it was time to hand back our ski gear and head back to Krakow to catch our flight back to London. I left Slovakia thinking I was a pretty good skier – I mean I only fell over a maximum of five times in the five days of skiing we did. But I was keen for some more skiing…


Anonymous said...

Nice but where is pizza pic