Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dolomities, Italy


I had the absolutely privilege and pleasure of joining Romana, her husband, two daughters and another couple and their son for a weekend of skiing in the Dolomities, Italy.  We left bright and early (9am) on Wednesday March 23rd for our 8 hour drive.   I think I had been packed for about a week, skis were loaded, bags stuffed into the two vehicles, and the five us were comfy/cozy stuffed into Romana's car.  Since it is ME we are talking about...nothing ever goes smoothly.  About 10 minutes outside of Tabor, Romana luckily pulled our their passports for some reason....all the blood drained from my face as I realized that I did not have my passport.  The family following us, pulled over and waited as we retraced our steps back to my flat so I could retrieve my passport....
me in Salzburg

The drive was great.  We stopped every two hours to rotate seats since the person that had to sit in the middle in the back didn't have the most comfy position.  We stopped in Salzburg for lunch and enjoyed the warm weather and much needed bathrooms.  Before we arrived in Austria, there is a stretch of road that a game is played.  Apparently it is played by MANY Czech families, since I have talked to some other people who also play the same game in this place.  The game is called:  Count the Prostitutes.   But since we were there early in the morning, we didn't see any....I guess it was too early for them to make any money.

Camp Vidor
After our long drive, we finally arrived at Camp Vidor, our accommodation.  It is a wonderful place where you can stay in cabins or you can bring your RV or simply just bring your tent.  Our cabin had two bedrooms (one for us girls and one for Romana and her husband), two bathrooms, and a kitchen!  It was JUST PERFECT!!!  We unpacked and settled in while Romana cooked us spaghetti for dinner.

our cabin was the top one
Thursday morning we were all up bright and early at 7 am.  Unfortunately none of us got any sleep.  All through out the night we all heard strange noises and were all thinking the same one had said anything outloud until the next morning when Romana commented that we had a ghost...sure enough...that is what we had ALL been thinking.  All night there were strange noises and they were loud so no one slept.  No one let our ghost bring down our spirits (get on words...ha...I crack myself up) and we doned our ski gear and headed out for what the wonderful Dolomities had in store.  On a side note, we ended up naming our ghost, Zach, and he was very busy every night.  We think it was actually the water pipes but we like the ghost theory better.

Pozza di Fassa
Restaurant at top of mountain
Camp Vidor is located in the Pozza di Fassa area and you could ski from right outside our camp to the lift.  It was brilliant.  On Thursday we just stayed and skied the Pozza Di Fassa area and skied Baffaure and Ciampie runs.  I cannot even express how amazingly beautiful the nature was.  The mountains were gorgeous and the snow and weather was perfect.  The sun was shinning, the mountain was empty, the runs were long and you really could not ask for anything better  (well...maybe a hot ski instructor but no such luck).  We skied all morning and stopped at top of the mountain (2354m) at the restaurant for lunch and sun tanning. The Italian pizza and coffee was superb.  The weather was so nice that most people sat outside in lounge chairs and soaked in the sun while taking a break from skiing.

me day 1
Again...since nothing is ever easy for me....the disaster was about to happen.  Around 2 pm we were skiing down a run and I got separated from Romana and the rest of the group.  Romana called me to find out where I was and through no ones fault, I misunderstood the conversation.  I thought Romana said to go done the mountain when she meant, go down to the lift.  So....I went down the mountain.  My luck, the run was the ONLY black diamond in this area and I FOUND IT!  Mind you, I am not an advanced skier, I am not a beginner either.  I am more of the take my time, I will eventually make it down the run, type of skier.  But I am definitely NOT a black diamond skier.  This is where the bad knee and tears come into play.  As I was going down, I quickly realized that I was NOT where I wanted to be.  About 10 minutes into the run, Romana called back and I tried to explain where I was.  A nice Italian couple over heard my conversation and waited to tell me where I was, that it was a black diamond, and that the only way to go was thoughts to that were:  DUH!!!!!!!!!  I sure as heck was NOT going to hike back up so the laws of physics dictates that the only direction to go is down!!!!!  ( pictures capturing the black diamond experience)

My mom taught me how to ski but since I have not skied in about 10 years I was/am a little out of shape.  My mom's voice rang in my mind, telling me to traverse back and forth, back and forth....while doing so, the tears started to fall, I think I swore a couple swear words, I know I definitely screamed, "I HATE SKIING" at some point through the waterfall of tears.  I finally made it to the bottom a little after Romana and crew zipped down the hill to meet me.  Through tears, I explain how I had fallen on the slope and twisted my right knee very badly and landed on my left shoulder.  If I was watching myself through the fall...I would have scored it a 8 for most classic, skies flying everywhere, fall. Priceless.

The Dolomities
Then we went BACK UP the mountain to the restaurant where they dropped me off and went to ski some more.  At 4:30 they came back for me and we headed down the slope that would lead us back to camp.  It was an easy enough run but I was soo exhausted, my knee felt like a knife was stabbing it, and my legs were shaking so bad, that I had to stop every five minutes to rest.  I was soooo embarrassed, tears were falling again, I was a mess.  All I wanted to do was get back to camp, crawl in bed, and drink a lot of wine.

When we got back, my knee was completely swollen and we got snow from outside to make an ice pack.  From then on...I was the gimp.  Lucky me.  Lesson learned:  I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the skiing atmosphere and being in the mountains, but I don't like skiing.

restaurant on way up to Sella Ronda
Friday everyone wanted to ski Sella Ronda, which is the HUGE, GIGANTIC mountain in the middle of the Dolomities that people ski around.  It is an all day ski experience and one that I was not going to be partaking in.  We drove to Canazei and I bought the round trip lift ticket so I could go to the top of the mountain, take pictures, look around, hang out at the restaurant at Belvedere (2377m) and then go back down to Canazei.  Canazei is awesome.  It is an Austrian/German looking ski resort with many restaurants, shops, and cafes.  The sun was out and it really was a win-win situation.  I got to sit at a cafe, read, drink Italian wine, coffee, ice cream, while the rest of the crew could ski and not be slowed down by me.

View from Belvedere

view from Belvedere

Views from Belvedere area near Sella Ronda

Sella Ronda

me just chillen at Belvedere

Sella Ronda

what I was doing while they were skiing

everyone has this picture but at the beach in a bathing suit....thought it was appropriate to give the skiing perspective of heaven :)

me finding things to do in town
Saturday everyone went to ski Marmolada which is another huge mountain area off from Sella Ronda.  I stayed back at camp, read, sun bathed, walked to town, drank coffee, shopped, read, shopped, read, and then met up with everyone around 4:30 for dinner, etc.  I absolutely had a blast, despite my hurt knee.  Even if I NEVER skied again, I would still go to the Dolomities for a trip.

Sunday we left around 8am for home.  This time, everyone was exhausted so most of the drive back was spent sleeping.  We were all eagerly awaiting the area so we could play our:  Count the Prostitutes game again.  Just when we crossed the border from Austria back into The Czech Republic we were able to play the game.  We counted 16 prostitutes in about a 2 mile stretch of road.  It sounds kind of bad to be excited to count the prostitutes but "when in Rome...."  I guess 16 is a new record.

1 comment: