Welcome to Finland!

“Why Finland?” is a question we have been asked a lot. “Do you have family there?” is the popular follow-up question. No we don’t – we just thought it would be different. We’ve been to the Alps before on several occasions. And it is beautiful. But why not try something new?! So to Finland we went! šŸ™‚

Sunset, Ruka

Ruka (pronounced Roo-ka) is a small ski village ; the largest in Finland. Continue reading

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Skiing near SLC : Alta, Beta, Cookie!

So… here we are – my third skiing blog. Following my Austrian skiing and French skiing attempts, I confirm that I have not improved. I’m still terrible and my bottom still has a fatal attraction to the ground.

We started the day gently with a walk in the snow (no skis involved) to take in the beautiful scenery of Alta, Utah. The crisp air, sunny blue skies and beautiful mountains conspired to create a very pleasant stroll indeed. Just when I thought this might be for me after all, I saw an infant ski class follow each other off a cliff one by one like lemmings (they were unhurt and delighted, I should add. I was not.)

Alta ski resort, near SLCWe hadn’t packed full ski gear for this trip obviously, so it was just a matter of wearing normal trousers and a waterproof coat and hoping you didn’t fall over.Ā  Continue reading

La Clusaz : drinking hot chocolate and watching snow fall

My boyfriend wanted to visit a ski resort outside Geneva, and I put a pin in a map and found La Clusaz, which is near to Annecy, France. And what a find! This is a little gem of a place; a small village with the “rustic charm” and “alpine feel” touted by holiday brochures. It really is beautiful though, with a small church and chalets all around – none of those concrete monstrosities you see in some ski resorts.

La Clusaz, FranceYou can walk through the village in about 10 minutes, however of course that is not the point – it is impossible to walk briskly through the village without stopping to look at all the shops. Continue reading

Skiing around Grenoble (aka. How not to use a ski-lift)

From Grenoble we had a series of day-trips to ski resorts. I had been skiing once before (see my Skiing around Salzburg blog) and although I’m not going to be signing up to the Winter Olympics anytime soon, I love the scenery. So I’m always happy to go up into the mountains. We visited the Tourist Information in Grenoble, which provided us with good information about the Ski bus. Basically ski buses leave Grenoble bus station at around 6am every day, headed for most of the ski resorts in the vicinity. It was well organised, convenient (apart from the 6am start šŸ˜‰ ) and good value (the bus tickets plus lift pass cost around the same as the lift pass would cost on its own). I would definitely recommend it as a day trip if you fancy trying out skiing, but don’t fancy a full ski holiday. We had three separate days out at ski resorts around Grenoble; Chamrousse, Villard de Lans, and Les Deux Alpes.

Chamrousse

Our first ski resort was Chamrousse. We found the ski rental shop and I was pleased that there was a nice gentle baby slope right in front of it, with a drag lift.

ChamrousseSoon it was time to get on the chair lift to get to the bigger slopes. No-one could have predicted what happened next. To cut to the chase, I ended up lying across a chairlift, partly on a small child. I’m not proud of this Continue reading

Skiing around Salzberg

In a vaguely sporty moment we decided to get a bus from Salzberg to a nearby ski resort. This proved more difficult than first expected, but we ended up trying two resorts, by public transport and a private bus.

Attempt 1: Werfenweng

Train from Salzberg to Werfen. Very good. Bus from Wefen to Werfenweng. Not so good. The timetable online was obviously out of date so we missed the bus and ended up taking a rather expensive taxi instead. The tourist office was helpful and gave us a new timetable for the bus.

Once we arrived at Werfenweng however I fell in love with the place. Cute ski chalets, a quiet ski resort, and lovely big baby-slopes (photo below). I had never skiied before and was surprisingly not like Bambi, but managed to actually ski. In amateur fashion of course, but what matters is I was on my feet not my bottom. I absolutely loved the baby-slopes, but when it was time to move on to a steeper slope, I found this way too steep. Nothing in-between.

Werfenweng baby slope! Continue reading