Thursday, May 12, 2011

Easter Holiday: Day 11: Beer/Wine & Chocolate tour: Sunday April 3, 2011—Innsbruck/Skiing at Axamer Lizum

This morning when we got up in search of breakfast, not much was open because its Sunday…so we ate at McDonalds. Breakfast was quick because we had to come back and get ready for skiing in the Alps. We got dressed up in our ski gear and headed to wear the ski was picking up. We got there ten minutes early. Thirty minutes later we were still standing here. In the blazing sun. In ski gear. People were walking by us in shorts and short sleeves and we were all in heavy ski pants/bib, long sleeve shirts and holding our hats, gloves and goggles. …Did I mention it was hot? And the bus never came! 

We check back with our hotel that said they didn’t know why I didn’t come because it should have come and sent us to the tourist information center down the street. They also didn’t know and said it should have been there. The man that was helping us recommended we go to the train station where the bus picks up hourly. Okay, lets rephrase this the way my brain put it together. We’z in valley. Valley is hot. We’re in ski gear. Blazing hot sun + ski gear + 20 minute walk to train station = very grumpy, sweaty Emily. But we got to the station and found the bus, and the bus ride up the mountain was very pretty. As we rode up the mountain, I couldn’t shaking the feeling that we were riding into the belly of the beast.But the scenery was breathtaking.

We got to Axamer Lizum right at noon and grabbed a quick lunch before getting our equipment and lift tickets. Get this, our lift tickets were not the handing little paper tickets you attach to the loop on your ski pants, these were electronic key cards. And the entrance to every lift was one of those turn-styles, so when you got near the machine sensed your card, and unlocked the style so you could go through it. 

Okay. So, we’re in the Alps, right. I’ve been skiing once before in my entire life. I get to the top of the “Bunny Slope” and let me just say Bunny Slope my butt. There’s no way this was Bunny Slope. This “Bunny Slope” was steep! So I start off down the slope with every intention of weaving my way down the mountain, but turning the way I learned to turn was not working here, there was no turning to be had! And a snow plow to slow down? nope that wasn’t working either. So here’s me, flying down the “Bunny Slope” trying desperately to slow down, stay on my feet and figuring out why in Sam Hill I couldn’t stop this wild train called Emily-on-Skis. And I needed to stop it. About ¾ of the way down I had resigned myself to either running into the building or completely planting it and hurting myself, neither one of those sounded like a viable option. I don’t know when exactly I resigned myself to certain dismemberment by building or crashing, it was probably some point around skiing over the third of the big ice sheets on the “Bunny Slope” that caused me speed up even more. Okay, before everyone gets too upset at the thought of me becoming either a grease stain on a window or a smudge in the snow, this story has a happy ending. I’m writing this, so I’m alive! Yay, alive! I like alive, I’m rather fond of it really. Some time during the last ¼ of it, I decided I didn’t like the thought of running into a building or tanking it, so I snow plowed like my life depended it, and managed to turn my skis uphill. And, like a miracle on ice, I slowed down. Slowly I turned back down hill and made it to a flat part. So much adrenalin was pumping through my body I was shaking, but had adrenalin high that matched no other adrenalin high I had had before. My legs were shaking so badly from adrenalin and fear could hardly keep feet under me, and leaned on my ski poles for support. My wild ride was over and I had kept my feet. Holy Shenanigans!

Needless to say after my Wild Ride I sat down for a little while. I thought it was needed considering I could not feel my feet and my vision was getting a little dotty, which is never a good sign. But sitting down isn’t good either, because my calf cramped up and I limped back to the lodge to take off my boot and get it un cramped. About this time Drew took off for the big slope and Kat stayed on the “Bunny Hill”. After I got my calf un-cramped, I put my skies back on and got back on the horse, so to say. Very slowly, I followed Kat down the “Bunny Hill”. Very, very, very slowly. The whole not being able to stop thing was really unnerving, I didn’t like it. In the next few times down this so called “Bunny Slope” I learned to turn, for real. None of this North Carolina shifting of skis that makes you turn, but real turning.

As the day progressed I regained my confidence bit by bit, and remembered why I enjoy skiing. But skiing in the Alps is hard work. And I’ll admit, having only been skiing once before in my life, I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew. It doesn’t having very often, I tend to handle what every life throws my way very well, but this time, well lets just say I’ve very glad not to be a grease stain on a building right now. So I spent  my day on the Alps on the “Bunny Slope”, which if you remember, isn’t much a bunny slope. Despite not leaving the bunny slope I’m very proud of myself. I kept my feet under me in the entire day, I turned how to turn properly and I got to ski in the Alps!
Kat and Drew went off to do the big run, I went and say in the little café and drank a coke, and two bottles of water. Boy, am I going to be sore tomorrow, but it was blast and I wouldn’t change anything about it, not even my wild ride. I had a wonderful day in the Alps, and next time I’m here, and I ski, I will make off the bunny slope.

Kat and Drew went to the top of the bigger slope. I didn't go, but I can appreciate the pictures!

We had dinner at a Thai place, and hit the sack. 

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