Monday, February 22, 2010

Ski Week - 2010

Here's the picture story:

Arrived at the Lauterbrunnen Train Station and Car Park - entry made easy as my name was on the list (made the parking reservation in September!). Almost makes you feel like a VIP; "yes, Mrs. Olson, you may drive in."

Then 4 bags & 2 ski bags were loaded up with everyone elses on the luggage cart attached to the train and off we went up the hill. This is what our favorite mountains look like in the winter (and my favorite guy):
Toward Grindelwald:
Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau (Maennlichen/Lauberhorn peaks in foreground):
There is a beautiful, long run from Kleine Scheidigg back down to Wengen - goes right into town and happened to go right to the street we were staying on. This piece required a little work if you didn't have enough speed - we learned quickly....
These black birds thrive in the mountains - mostly on tourists french fries!
Enjoying lunch - pic courtesy of the US military dads from Germany at the next table:
Ski School begins! After the classes were all set at the meeting point, they load all the kids up in an extra train to head up to their drop off point. Ski's are all placed (dumped) in the cargo wagon and then everyone heads on board with poles in hand. You're lucky if you have a seat - please don't get used to it during Ski Week in which the UK, Holland, Belgium, Germany, France and half of Switzerland are on Half Term for school. More on the crowding issue later....
It's an absolute torture to sit in the sun and drink hot chocolate/coffee while waiting for your child's class to come in at the end of their session. Doesn't Bart look miserable?
Bart and I took advantage of some free time to take a hike up on Maennlichen on his last day (Monday - he had to get back to work for the week). There was SOOO much untouched, perfect snow up there. I couldn't resist messing it up a little. We did have to test depths with our poles though, to make sure that once I 'went down,' I could get back up. :)
The ice rink in town - free for kids under 16 - OH YEAH! And they practiced wheeling their old mother around:
A pic of one of the little 'cars' - there are some bigger but not much. You can see it's crowded too? I had never seen so many people in this place - ever! Not my cup of tea. The 2 trains and
2 aerial gondola's that transport people up to the skiing were absolutely packed. I sat in a seat once on a train and the rest of the time stood - not comfy for 30 minutes squished up against people in ski boots - for my knees or my psychie. But I loved the skiing part so..... Kendra at her end of the week race!
Rachel at her's (2nd place!!!). As you can see, this is a picture of a picture - their group raced early! So even though I got there in time, I missed them :(. But the village photo center takes pic's so I was able to get one. :) For only 10 chf.......
So - we had a great week and the 3 things that made a huge difference were:
1. Chalet Adler - a small, basic apartment that just fit our needs and was right on the Kinderhill/run coming into town. We basically put on ski's outside the front door and skiied down the beginner slope into town and to the train station for the ride up to the 'real skiing.' The convenience was wonderful and the landlady very nice.
2. Half of the UK was in Wengen. OK, maybe not half, 1/3. While this disturbed me from a "too many people here and I am a wee bit claustrophobic when squished on trains and overheating" level, it was great for the girls in Ski School. Previous Ski Weeks had them in primarily Swiss German speaking groups so they often felt left out as instructors didn't switch to English as much. This week, they made friends and had a terrific time - never complaining about going each day. We also liked the variety of mountain this area has to offer - they skiied a lot of different terrain. (Maybe that's another point itself)
3. Two daughters who were a delight, good-natured and like doing things together. What more could a mom ask for?
Thus concludes our successful Ski Week for 2010 - more stories will filter out I'm sure but hope this satisfies Gma E. :) Love you and missed you Mom!


Susan said...

Today I'm doing laundry and catching up on this and that, including blog-reading! I'm delighted to read that your week went so well - the photos look gorgeous! I hope your knee is o.k. Looking forward to seeing you later this week :-)

MOM E said...

You know...some of those pictures look like they have painted backdrops..very nice...did you use your little Canon SureShot?

Olson Family said...

Mom E!!! I photo-shopped nary a one of these! Yes, I did use the little Canon. Weather was cooperative and those mountains, they don't move, they make very good subjects. The girls on the other hand............

Laura said...

haha it is funny that you felt as a VIP when they said your name was on the list. I laugh because I understand the feeling, it happened to me too. The best skiweek I had was a couple of years ago in Argentina. I went to have a maxi week in las leñas and spent the rest of my holidays in Bariloche. Let me tell you that some of the best views in Argentina are found from the beaches of Lake Nahuel Huapi surrounding Bariloche. The staggering views could be appreciated from nearly any part of town. One sight-seeing hot spot that can be found in the city is in the town’s civic center. Here you are bound to find others relaxing on a park bench or sitting in the grass pastures while soaking in the views. These picturesque mountain ranges may inspire you to see more. I can´t explain how much I enjoyed it! They were my best ski vacations! I invite you to go and see it for yourself!