Skiing Switzerland

I am on a new quest, inspired by a new friend, Jacquelien. She decided she needed to upgrade what she wanted in her life, so she made a list of 101 Desires in 1001 Days. Sounds a little risqué, doesn’t it?  It’s not (well, neither for her nor me). Instead, it’s a fun way to get clear what you’re up to for the next 2 to 3 years.  On her list? A new home, parasailing…

And on mine?  Well, I said we should meet to parasail because it’s been on my list for quite some time. And skiing. For a couple of years going to Ski College in Park City, UT has been on my list.  This year I’m adding a new goal: ski Switzerland at least 14 days in each of the next two ski seasons.

We were just in Portes du Soleil with our friend, Amy. One thing I loved about skiing there was that if you’re not careful with the trail/run signs, you’ll wind up across the French border without your passport! HA! That just cracked me up. There were mid-mountain restaurants where you could get steaming Nutella crepes, All ski resorts should have those, don’t you think?

It was a beautiful day, and the place lived up to its name — look at all that sun!

24 Feb 2010-1

I’ll share more of the list as it develops. What would be on your 101 Desires in 1001 Days?

Saas-Fee: Swiss skiing sojourn set to song

Stefan’s company sprung for a weekend trip to Saas-Fee, and we tacked on a couple extra nights to make a little holiday of it. Fun!  Here’s a wee bit of our trip (unfortunately not much of Stefan’s beautiful skiing, he can shoot and ski at the same time so he did most of the filming).

I’d never taken a funicular inside a tunnel — exciting! It’s the way up to the world’s highest revolving restaurant and a large under-glacier ice pavillion. There were lots of non-skiers up there, too.

I rented different skis every day because I’m looking to buy new ones. I can really tell the differences now. Don’t think I’d buy any that I tried. I had Salomon Equipe 3V Powerline racing skis one day — grippingest skis I’ve ever used, and it made a big difference!  I was able to easily go faster than ever before.  They were soooo heavy to carry around, though. They might have been more ski than I need now… but in a year? Who knows!

Note: Rates for the historic Hotel du Glacier on Expedia are per room and pretty much everywhere else it’s per person (read: double the price).

Saas-Fee Set to Song from Rebecca Self on Vimeo.

The song is Heartsounds by David Lanz from this Grand Piano compilation.

That’s a message for you at the end, Mom…

a weekend in Davos

We didn’t have school on Friday — carnivale holiday designed so the students can go to Venice, I guess… so Alesia, Nathan and I went skiing in Davos for a couple of days.

They found a fabulous little pensione about 20 minutes away from Davos, the Hotel Bellevue — we were booking last-minute rooms and everything in town was full, but this was waaaay cheaper and the chef was amazing. Two of these photos are from the parking lot; the photo in the top right corner is out the window in our room.

I had the thickest, most fabulous comforter I have ever seen. This is one of my favorite parts of travelling in German-speaking cultures… the comforters are fabulous.

The first day we skiied at Parsenn, which Jessica and I skiied when Andrew and she were out here last month. Here are some new scenes I shot from there. You can click on them to see them larger. To me, it looked like we were in the Himalayas…

Not a bad view for a day at play (or any day, for that matter, huh?) At one point we were on a chair lift and Alesia said, “We’re skiing in Switzerland… because we live here.” That made us all just crack up spontaneously and simultaneously. It’s become our running joke. We’re all Southerners and new here and it is amazing to us still.

And then we ate at McDonald’s.

Let me explain…

We were starving before we took the funiculare up to ski, and McDonald’s was the only quick thing to eat. It was right across the street from the ski area. Though I was appalled at the idea of eating McDonald’s in Europe, I have to say that burger was actually really good… it tasted like the same ketchup, onions, etc. but it had real meat and enough that you could tell it was real meat. The french fries were done just right and reminded me of home. The best part of this photo, though, and why I took it is that McDonald’s has ski racks… see them back behind Nathan and Alesia? That cracked me up.

I wish I had taken photos of our food at dinner… because it was really, really good. I had a thin cutlet of veal that had been flipped over like an omelet around prociutto and gruyere cheese. It was really, really good. With homefried potatoes. Yum. The next night I had jagerrosti. I may have to do a whole post on this Swiss potato thing rosti. This is not the time for that… I diverge.

The next day we skiied at Rinerhorn, which has my new favorite ski run on the planet. This is where the locals ski in Davos. It was almost completely empty (compared to Colorado). It’s also almost all t-bars … really old-fashioned lifts where you just hold onto a bar and it pulls you up and you are totally exposed to the elements and you can’t fool around or you’ll fall over since you’re just standing on your skis. Anyway… I was having some technical difficulty because I didn’t bring my goggles and the weather was bad… it was snowing heavily and the run we loved started all the way at the top of the mountain and went all the way to the bottom. By the time I got all the way up with the t-bar, my eyelashes were frozen clumps of snow. This photo doesn’t fully convey the magnitude of my technical difficulty. I ended up going down with my eyes closed at one point, whcih was actually good practice for feeling my edges. There was nobody there and this run was wide and gently sloped and fabulous, so it was fine. It was so much fun. Really perfect.

Here’s just another shot from my morning walk with Mufasa. Ho-hum. (I’m kidding.) Can you believe how beautiful it is?!

We came home early today. Mufasa slept in the car — just getting away is a bit tiring for him, it seems. He is such a good traveler. He just goes wherever I go and hangs out just fine. Today we met an old couple from Finland and they asked where he was from. When I said Boulder, they talked on and on about a trip they took and how they loved Lyons, CO. Mufasa makes friends everywhere!

I’m making friends, too. I taught them how to play Settlers of Catan. It’s been a long, long time since I played. I can’t play without saying the bizarre but funny phrases that Dave and Kim (who taught Steve and me how to play) made up to go with certain parts of the game. In fact, lots of stuff came up for me… just memories of being in our big house on Lombardi Street, having friends over, playing til late into the night. I miss playing with Glenda and Craig, but I don’t miss even a little bit being in that marriage. Anyway, the game just topped off a great weekend.