Okay, we’ve been skiing twice this year. Excessive and unnecessary? Maybe, but it’s also one of our few extravagances, a plus point to the continuous juggling act of credit, wages and debt.
In January we spent a week in the fantastic Austrian Skicircus resort of Saalbach. Record snowfalls made for some exhilarating skiing, on the Tuesday myself and Mandy managed to ski around the entire valley, which at the time seemed like a marathon effort, or even a mini adventure.
The mountain food in Saalbach is first rate, Tiroler Grostel with black pudding on a boozy Wednesday springs to mind. Also the nightlife in the quintessential Alpine village is pretty good, if a little rowdy. One point though, it’s not cheap.
I was glad that Becky and Roger had their first ski holiday here, and both coped admirably with what is essentially a steep resort. Many of the blue runs are easily red, and there is a general lack of long wide gentle slopes for beginners to tackle.
Last week we returned to the SkiWelt village of Soll with Mark and Sarah, where we spent a week in January last year. This time we stayed in a family run hotel down the road and two of Mark’s friends, Ian and Richie, came along for some board action, so to speak!
The superb snow we had in January continued and we spent most of the week messing about in knee deep powder, essentially, playing like children. Mand got hold of a pair of original Big Foot skis and proceeded to fall heavily give herself a black eye, which was thankfully the only injury this year. I was paranoid that people would think that I’d been knocking her about! Which I have, in self defence.
I can’t often forget about my general inability to cope with daily life and be genuinely happy with the task in hand. For me a winter holiday offers escapism, an opportunity to be surrounded by the beauty of a clean and inspiring environment. Okay so it’s a bit smug and middle class, but if it offers a bit of respite from the madness, I honestly don’t care.
Bring on 2007.