As Easter Break approaches, I feel it necessary to give you a brief update on a few recent events from the past week. Nothing TOO exciting you know just skiing in the Swiss Alps, meeting some llamas, and taking an actual foot tour of Feldkirch. Again if you aren’t interested in pointless details now would be your time to exit this site and visit again upon the next posting. Speaking of the “next posting” be sure to be on the lookout it may or may not (WILL) include details of my Spring Break jaunts in Paris, Vaduz, and Venice…I know you’re interested now.
Anyhow back to the details of the past few weeks. A few Sunday’s ago the crew decided we just HAD to go skiing at least once before all the snow melted away. And boy was this a good decision. If you have never had the opportunity to ski in the Alps definitely add that to your bucket list. The snow, the view, the atmosphere, everything was perfect! We were lucky enough to have a friend from Hungary that knows how to ski (and is REALLY good) so he offered to tech a few of us beginners the ropes before setting us free.
And let me tell you if I had not had teacher Benu I literally would have killed myself. No joke. The first time he put me on the TINY baby slope I headed downhill without being able to stop nearly running over small children and flying off the edge onto a steeper slope. Apparently my body doesn’t really understand the mechanics of stopping in skis. Oh and it didn’t stop there. The same tragic thing happened my second try down the slope, and on the third time Benu finally decided he would just stand in front of me and literally catch me when I started going out of control…which I immediately did.
After a few more times, and trying teacher Benu’s patience, he finally decided we could head to the “more advanced” children’s slope for some more practice. About an hour later I finally mastered…well really got about as good as I was going to get…and Benu said it was TIME. Time to take the ski lift up the mountain to the big kid slope and try out all he had taught us. Those of you who know me know I am scared of VERY few things, but let me just tell you I was terrified. I mean it would have been an entirely different story if I hadn’t flown down the baby slope out of control nearly killing children not once…but TWICE!
I stifled my fear to the best of my ability, and when we reached the top taking pictures before the epic trip down was the best idea yet. I figured if I was going to kill myself I might as well document the pictures before hand just to prove I actually WENT skiing. Stalling with pictures could only last so long, so after about ten minutes teacher Benu led us down the slope, and everything began smoothly. I realized the best way to stop or slow down was to turn rather than trying to stop head on, but….this tactic doesn’t always work (at least not for me).
We came to one of the steepest parts of the run, and I swallowed my fear and dove into the challenge; however, into the challenge wasn’t the only thing I dove into. I dove head first, flipping into the snow throwing my glasses and ear warmers every which way and nearly breaking a ski. Can you say splitting headache for the rest of the day. Oh and this wasn’t the only fall of my run. A few more spills and I had about had enough, oh and did I mention this was the easiest slope on the mountain?
Apparently snow skiing isn’t my sport. I blame it on the inability to lean forward in skis..I was raised water skiing. You LEAN BACKWARDS on water skis. Needless to say after a traumatizing first run the others somehow convinced me to try it again, this time was better, and by better I mean that I learned to fall more gracefully. Midway down the third run, we spotted a slope-side bar where I sat my happy little butt for the rest of the day and soaked up the sun, enjoyed good company, and watched the others ski down. Sure they made fun of me and called me a baby, but I guess I’m more like my dad than I thought. We both have the great ability to be perfectly content just sitting, enjoying the day, and watching the events take place.
I joined the others on their last run down, and had just as much fun as they did. Nothing beats lounging in a chair in the Swiss Alps with German background noise watching toddlers ski by with expertise like no other!
Yet another riveting activity that happened in the last few weeks was our discovery of llamas right down the road. I know it may not seem so exciting, but just imagine walking down the road and coming across a yard filled with llamas! You would get a kick out of it too!!
I won’t spend so much time on the llamas, because well that would just be weird so instead I will change topics to our walking tour of nearby Feldkirch. You may recognize the city as the one that we travel to for our grocery shopping among other things, but this time we were on a mission not for food, but for history and culture. We found a sign pointing to the tourist office which we followed and found a map showing the most important buildings and places in the city, and all were within walking distance! I guess that gives away just how small the town is, but compared to tiny Vaduz, Feldkirch is a metropolis!
We spent the day walking around, learning about the medieval history of the area, and exploring the town. While every trip to Feldkirch includes a stop at the local gelato shop, this time was a bit different because we had gotten sucked into buying local Milka chocolate from the grocery store we had made a pit stop at. Good chocolate, but I won’t sacrifice my gelato again!
I guess those are the main highlights of the past couple of weeks, but stay tuned for more updates on Easter break!
1. Movenpick (Swiss ice cream) is ice cream straight from God. No lie.
2. Perhaps the most important German word to learn is Lietungswasser. What does it mean you ask? Tap water! If you don’t learn this word you WILL get charged 5.6 francs for a bottle of water! Trust me, I know. Been there, done that, learned the word.
3. In Europe commas in numbers take the place of decimals and vice versa. That means in my Private and Corporate banking class 30.000 actually means 30,000 and 3,2 actually means 3.2. Talk about confusing!
4.Peanut butter isn’t apparently common outside of the United States. This being deduced from no one here ever having tried it! They do in fact sell it in stores, but no one seems to actually eat it.