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Published: April 7th 2008
So its finally "ski break"!!! Which means I am off to Austria. Yes, to ski the Alps!!! SAALBACH HERE WE COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Packed and spent the night at the Ailios
woke up at 3am, took a taxi to Turku, then a bus to Helsinki Airport, then a plane to Salzberg, Austria!
Arrived at the Salzberg airport, (where we could see the Alps already!) and met up with the Sunski (finnish travel agency) people, Hannu "Peltsi", and Katja "Kassu" (our Finnish guides), who loaded us into a big bus with fellow Finns and we bussed to Saalbach! We passed the most beautiful, quant little villages along the base of the Alps during our 2 hour trip. At least 8 different churches up on hills, and one castle! Then we arrived to SAALBACH!!! We had some lunch and explored the town a bit, then went to a sunski orientation. I rented my skies then we went to SPAR (the local grocery store) and bought some sandwhich makings for dinner!
Met with the sunski guides at the base of the lift.....
Ok, I can't do it. It was such a fantastic, unbelievable trip and it flew
by SO quickly that I cant even remember exactly what we did every day! But dont worry, I remember all the amazing smells, sounds and tastes of the Alps! On Monday night after an amazing day of skiing (ok EVERY DAY was an amazing day of skiing so im going to stop saying that) we (when i say we, i usually mean US (Marru, Heini, Henkka, and I) OR the whole sunski group) walked up this very steep road and boarded a HUGE snow cat that took us up the mountian! At the top there was a restaurant where we ate "all you can eat ribs and potatoes" and listened to this young handsome guy play us the accordian! After eating we played this game involving a stump of a tree, nails, and a pikaxe (spelling?). When we were done everyone went outside and grabbed a little red sled, then headed down the snow covered road the snowcat had come up! It was hilarious, we were overtaking the other sledders and hitting bumps, flying into the air and figuring out how to steer! About halfway down I was going SO fast when I hit some bumps that I flew off
frontwards and landed on my stomach sliding down the hill headfirst! My sled slid past me and I kept going down the mountian a couple meters on my belly!!! As I was sliding my pants were FILLING up with snow from the waist down so when I stood up my pants were FULL of snow, INSIDE!!! I (SHUCK) them out and started running down the hill after my sled. I was freaking out that it may have gotten to the bottom and I would have to walk 2 km back, but as i turned the corner this british guy was standing on the side of the hill holding TWO sleds! Thank goodness! I jumped back on my sled and the overtaking began again. I saw Marru aiti and she started laughing as I screamed passed her to the finish! 3 kilometers to the bottom! Great fun!
So here is the "general" about the six days skiing the Alps: It was sunny, warm, beautiful, slightly slushy, sometimes powdery, sometimes icy, sometimes like water skiing down a river on the mountian, but overall breathtaking. Not only all the views every way we looked, but also the intense skiing! I mean how
from the airplane
often can you say " yeah, I skiied down a 4 km black diamond slope on the Alps"? Really! WE DID! Henkka and I skiied for all six days straight while Marru and Heini (who was sick 😞 at the beginning of the trip) took a couple days off. We had this ski card so we didnt have to pay everyday we just went up the mountian! There were SO many different lifts to take up ( i think our guide said there are over 60!) which include at least 10 gondala lifts, many 6 person chair lifts, and some serface lifts! Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday we skiied in the Saalbach area but sometimes up on the mountian we crossed over to other ski resorts and really skiied SO many new slopes every day! Sometimes we would have to take a bus back to the center of Saalbach after skiing so far away!! Once we went down this 7 km slope! We stopped in the middle at a restaurant for some SCHWASSER (my new absolute favorite drink) which is like pink fruit juice, then continued down toward the road. That part of the slope was crazy, it was
on the sunny side of the mountian so all the snow was melting and there were dirt patches and parts where it was like water skiing because we were gliding down on top of a foot deep flowing river thing! The first three days were sunny and warm with no wind! Our finnish Sun Ski guides would meet up with us every morning, either at the base of the first lift at 9:15am, or at some restaurant up on the mountian around lunch time. Hannu(Peltsi) and Katja(Kassu) were our guides. They rocked, they were both amazing skiiers, and such fun people. Each day they would split up and one would guide the intermediate group, and one would guide the advanced group all over the mountian, then we would all meet up for lunch some where!
On day one Henkka went off with the advanced group, and Marru äiti and I stayed behind with the intermediate group. (I had no idea which group I would fit into, since we are talking about SKIING THE ALPS, so I joined the intermediate just in case!!!!). The second day I joined the advanced group, which was a LOT OF FUN, and it suited
me so much more!!!!! We FLEW down slopes, and went ALL OVER the mountian! In the past week I skiied over 145 km of the Alps!!! (my ski pass can prove it, with graphs of what slopes I went down and when!!!!!!!!) So I stuck with the advanced group the rest of the week, and when Heini was feeling better she joined us! At one point near the end of the day Heini, Henkka and I were the only people left with Kassu in the advanced group, going down the 4km black diamond that was a TAD icy, but "there were less people"! We rocked the Alps!
Almost every day we went to "after ski" where we danced on the tables, and sang to live music, or just hung out a different bars and clubs after skiing. It was from around 4-7 so we werent out late but it was a LOT of fun! Fabulous (ok....not fabulous...just funny) music was always playing and everyone was in SUCH happy spirits everywhere. It was rediculous and I loved it! The atmosphere was (in the words of my grandpa mike) PHENOMINAL! My favourite after ski place was the most famous called Hinterhagalm,
Getting off the plane
it was one of those cool things where you walk right onto the ground THEN into the airport!
where there was a live band and a packed dance floor! I also loved the ___GOAT PLACE___ where they had funny decorations of goats inside, that were animated and would
SO SINCE I CANT EVEN BEGIN TO GIVE THIS TRIP JUSTICE PLEASE READ THE CAPTIONS UNDER THE PHOTOGRAPHS, AND YOU WILL GET A BETTER SENSE OF WHAT I EXPERIENCED!!!!! AND OF COURSE JUST MESSAGE ME IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS!! I HAD SUCH A BLAST THE PAST WEEK!!! A TIME I WILL NEVER FORGET!! 😊 THANKS SO MUCH AILIOS!!!!!!
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