Vienna is known as the “city of dreams” and also…
On top of a mountain, everything covered in white, powdery snow, the sun coming through the clouds. Putting on my skis and letting go, feeling the cold wind blowing in my face as I get faster going downhill, trying to do curves to slow myself down again a bit. Gorgeous scenery is passing by as I decent to the valley where a hot chocolate is waiting for me already.
Unfortunately this was a dream for a long time. As a kid I never went on a skiing holiday because my parents weren’t into that. Still I have been keen to try it out ever since. My experience with skiing didn’t go beyond going long skiing once or twice. Still I thought it is never too late to learn something new.
During my recent stay at Hotel Alpenpalace I finally got the chance to try it out. The hotel is situated in South Tyrol in the Ahrnvalley where you can find two good ski regions, one is Speikboden and then there is Klausboden. For beginners like me Speikboden was the perfect place to start. It has ski slopes for all levels of experience. After a good night sleep and a big breakfast, the receptionist called the ski school to arrange lessons for me and arranged transport. I put on warm clothes and met the driver in the lobby. The Skipisten are both just a short drive of 5 minutes away from the hotel, making it easy to even go skiing for only a few hours.
If you didn’t bring your own ski gear, you can rent a helmet and skis at the rental place just at the start of the piste (even snowboards and sledges can be borrowed).
Convinced that my friend who was with me and had several years of experience could teach me some skills, I told the ski school that I am going to skip the lessons and we took the lift up. The way up was gorgeous with a panoramic view of the mountains and the valley. The higher we got the more nervous I got also.
When we arrived at 2500 meters and put on our skis my friend tried to showed me some tricks but soon had to admit, that as a beginner it is better to take a few lessons before skiing down. Luckily there was also a ski school up there and lessons were easy to arrange. I could start straight away with a personal ski instructor. The most important thing you have to learn is how to brake by making a V-shape with your skis. Easy! Next was learning how to do curves. Not so easy! In that hour we practiced those skills, while slowly trying to go down a more difficult slope. Slowly getting better and better. At the end of the lesson I had to admit that skiing is a lot of fun and really addictive. You simply want to get better. At the end of the day we took the lift all the way up to the highest point and the view was stunning, while my friend went skiing all the way down- I took the lift to the valley and promised myself that soon I will be able to do this also.
If I compare my first time snowboarding with skiing I have to say skiing is much easier and more fun on the first day. When snowboarding I fell down lots of times and it was very frustrating at first. After a day in the snow I totally earned myself a big hot chocolate and I am very keen to continue learning how to ski.
What is your experience? Do you prefer skiing or snowboarding?