Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Skiing in the Alps

It occurred to me while on my February break that I have now accomplished a life long dream.... skiing in the Alps. Jamie, Ethan and I headed to Italy and Switzerland to meet up with Bryan (a friend of mine from Seattle who is living in France right now). It was the trip of a lifetime!
We realized that for three people, it would actually be economical to rent a car and have a little freedom on a big road trip. As this was my first time renting a car, it made me feel OLD. It was a 12 hour drive to our condo, and the journey was half the fun. On the way to Cervinia, we stayed at an old prison that has been converted into a hotel. It is in a super funky/artsy neighborhood in Ljubljana. Our cell was complete with bars over the door.
After our jailbreak, it was Cervinia or bust! Driving into the Alps, we finally got a view of the Matterhorn (the biggest reason we decided to ski at Cervinia and Zermatt) which got bigger and bigger as we neared the mountain. As it turns out, our apartment for the week was set at the BASE of the Matterhorn, and the entire ski area had fantastic views of the mountain. I would hate to count the number of times I looked at the Matterhorn and was blown away by how impressive it is.

Our six days of skiing were fantastic. The weather was beautiful and we all had a great time... believe it or not, six days didn't seem like enough skiing. We even enjoyed "apres ski" a few days, complete with a live band and some great dancing.
Although we were sad to leave the mountains, we had more adventure awaiting us on the way home (not to mention my legs were shot from all of the skiing). To break up our drive home, we planned a night in Venice. While Venice has never been on my list of cities to visit, it was incredible. Driving into the city, Jamie and I were trying to navigate while Ethan drove to our hotel. Finally, Ethan made the comment, "maybe we can't drive to our hotel." Sure enough, we had to take a boat! The canals were fantastic, there really were gondolas, and we travelled everywhere around Venice by boat. What a strange, but interesting city.

We arrived back in Belgrade to find all sorts of excitement over the split off of Kosovo (more on that later). The trip was the trip of a lifetime, and I am ready to ski again before the end of the year!

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