A little background… I am from Vermont, USA, known for the beautiful fall foliage, maple syrup, green mountains, kayaking, mountain biking, start of the Appalachian trail, AND downhill skiing. Yes, downhill skiing, but I managed to make it through my youth, adolescents and young adult years with only one downhill ski experience (when I was around 6 or 8 years old). After that my sisters and I stuck to sledding, snow fort building, occasional attempts at the old cross-country skis and hot chocolate drinking in the winter. More recently we picked up snow shoeing, but had avoided the terrify idea of downhill skiing. However, when in Sweden, do as the Swedes do… Ski, so when the weather forecast looked good, my host Mom, Lena, and I decided to take a trip to their family home and see if I had a downhill skier hidden somewhere in me.
The following are excerpts I shared with my Parents:
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So things are lovely here in Åre! I have survived my first day of skiing!
The views from the top down into the lake are stunning… Some of the skiing TERRIFYING, but I’m getting there! I liked the bunny hill, I did well on the first “big” hill seen on the left here but fell on the last steep part… It felt very dramatic. (Mom would have been scarred, everyone else would have laughed I think at my roll spin snowflake move.) Glad for the helmet and quick release ski bindings.
But I don’t give up that easy so we did some more and my favorite part was getting to the top of the big mountain and sitting in the wigwam there by the fire eating bullar! I was able to relax and settle my nerves before trying the bigger hill (Above picture, bottom right) where I fell or “sat down” and lost a ski a few times but eventually made it down with Lena’s help and instruction.
Then lunch back at the house, a nap and after drove to another slope in the afternoon that I went down twice and felt like skiing with apple orchards on the sides (but really they were just the short mountain birch trees) that was fun. Except… when I missed the lift T and fell down taking Lena with me and then got bonked in the helmet by the next T which I figured would happen as I failed to get back up on my skies… Don’t worry I’m fine mom. Then the guy came out and helped us get on… Also I get scared at the bottom of that hill so I also fall “sit” there… Perhaps I am part fainting goat… Lucky for me this is not a vacation week so things were pretty quite and I don’t think I was in the way too much. I include these random failing because the pictures make my first day look perfect but in my head it feels very circus like and quite comical for any witnesses.
After the 2nd round of skiing we drove about the village, did a little shopping. Tasted some chocolates and picked up some food. We came home and had a nice dinner, talked some Swedish, watched TV and now time for bed. Off skiing again tomorrow at 9. Lena says I’m doing well, better than she expected. I think she is right but I hope tomorrow I feel more solid on my skies, because it really is fun when you feel solid and I want to go back to the wigwam haha.
(The starting hill)