View from our hotel balcony. Wouldn't you want to wake up to this sight everyday?? :)
My boyfriend and I booked the insanely overpriced last minute flights and hotel in Switzerland for the sole purpose of trying skiing during the Easter weekend. See, I don't remember ever including skiing in my to-do list in this lifetime, but it was in his. And since it could be our last trip together that year, we just closed our eyes, purchased everything, packed our bags, and left.
We went to a ski village called Arosa, which is 3 hours from Zurich. I swear I didn't know anything about the place, I just heard my Swiss colleague mention it because he was considering taking me there instead of Mt.
Pilatus last time I was there. (Besides, it was the only Swiss ski resort with a name I can spell and remember :>)
Our hotel Hotel Sonnenhalde (which, when I translate on the web, always says "Sun Waste Dump" :p)
The journey was really loooong. On Saturday, we were up by 4 am, we were at Cork Airport by 5 am, and our first flight was at 6:20 going to Amsterdam. From Amsterdam we had to take another 1 hour flight to Zurich. From Zurich we had to take a 2 hour train ride to Chur and from Chur we had to board Arosa Express which took 1 hour to get to the top. When we arrived at Arosa, it was already 4 pm.
Basically, Arosa is a village just below the ski pistes entirely dedicated to snowsports and tourism. You'll find lots of hotels, shops, restaurants and ski lifts in the area.
We stayed at a hotel called Hotel Sonnenhalde (when I translate this in Babelfish it always says "sun waste dump" hehe).
It had a balcony and a view that I wish I could wake up to every single day. *sigh*
We spent our first evening walking around, familiarizing ourselves with the place, and planning our skiing plan for the next day. We weren't able to do much though, as most of the shops were closing by the time we arrived. We realized that people were serious when it came to skiing attire. They were wearing ski pants, matching ski jacket, and had their own boots, masks, skis, or snowboards. We didn't bring any! We could rent the skis and boots but there was no rental for the pants and it was impractical for us to buy them since they were for one time use.
The next day, we woke up really early to find cheap ski pants, only to find out that most shops are closed on Sundays! We have booked for private skiing lessons at 10 am and it was already 9 am.
We had 1 hour to find the pants and get dressed!! By 9:30 we finally found pants with the help of a very nice girl in the nextdoor shop. It was like the reality show I used to watch in Singapore wherein they give someone a makeover but they have to shop for everything and prepare within one hour and work with a certain budget.
Right after our first skiing lessons at the kinder ski piste :p
We finally made it to the shop and had our snow boots and ski fitting. I put the snow boots on and it felt really weird. It was like rollerblades without the wheels and 3x heavier. I could hardly walk in it, it was so constricting, I felt like I could trip anytime. And then there were the skis! You only put the skis on once you are in the snow which means you have to carry it all the way to the ski piste. It was so heavy I wanted to cry!
Thankfully the piste wasn't very far off.
Our instructor was an old guy, Kasper, who has been to Manila, Banawe, Boracay, Iloilo, Cebu, and Davao on his own 5 years ago. I haven't even been to all those places.:D He's a backpacker and for his age, he was very strong. He taught us how to walk with the skis, how to go up properly, and how to stop. The funny thing is, we were in a ski piste with children 5-13 years old and none of them were falling. I fell 4x! as in wa-poise fall ha! Kasper had to pull me up all those times. haha
Weeeeee!! (don't let the picture fool you, my jump wasn't high at all :p)
It was fun though. By the end of the session I was able to ski down from the highest point of what we called "Mount kinder." :)
After the lessons, we had lunch at a pizza place and then we decided to go up the highest ski point, Weisshorn.
If we cannot ski down from there we might as well absorb the sights. And up there I had three realizations.
The Coke side of life ;)
1. That Mt. Pilatus is NOTHING compared to this. Here you see alps everywhere! No walls, unlike in Pilatus. It was just snow, clouds, and alps. beautiful.
2. That people actually ski down from here! Unbelievable! Parents with their kids just start going down from there like it was no big deal. What?? They can fall down and die anytime! I can't stand the height and steepness. Skiing probably isn't for me.
3. That when we finally have kids, I'd like to take them skiing as early as when they're 5 years old. Kids are fearless and quick learners. My boyfriend has been informed of this plan. ;)