27 January 2007

Bye bye Emma - come back soon!

I dropped Emma off at the airport this morning :-( She's been here all week and although my new work project has been busy, we had a great time together. Culminating last night in nice nosh at Bar 11, which is a restaurant/bar/nightclub situated on the top 11th floor of the old post office headquarters building over looking the whole Amsterdam cityscape.

Last weekend Emma and I went Skiing to Garmisch. I used some left over Marriott points to stay in the swanky Riessersee hotel which was needed as there was not much snow about. Only the glacier was open but as I thought I'd give skiing a go for the first time that was all I needed! Emma also hadn't skied for 13 years so there was a few bum sliding moments but in all in we were blasting down the red runs confidently by the end of the second day. Emma was a little slower but stayed on her feet more, I was a bit speedier but normally ended up on my arse at some point. Think I can count the number of runs I made without stacking it on one hand!

Can't say I'll be going back to Garmsich tho. We were blessed with blue sky on Saturday but because of the recent storms the gondola was closed. Top that with the fact the Garmisch was the only place within miles that had snow because of the high (2600m+) glacier and the train ride to the top was a nightmare. Hundreds of people crammed in a train which quite cooly wound it's way up and then through the mountain. But queuing for nearly an hour, then about the same time again on the train was not fun. It was even worse coming down, even after taking the rental shop owners advice of stopping at the top for food and beer in the restaurant. Up top the conditions were not bad for skiing, good grippy hard packed snow and we spent all of the time on the first day on the 3 blue runs by the park as shown in the picture below:

The second day was thankfully quieter with a little fresh overnight snow and an open cable car. This cut the journey up time to under an hour but still not as much fun as ski in ski out accommodation. Visibility was poorer so no pictures to take except for the top cable car station to show how cold (-8) it was and the power of the recent icy storms:

This day we ventured off the blue runs and onto the reds to make use of the only chair lift running. Everything else was T bars :-( The fresher snow and the longer runs helped our performance and there were a couple of runs without falling over with some fast speeds that personally I wasn't feeling in control of!

The last day I chose to snowboard to keep up the practice for joining the boys in Whistler in February. With no new snow, crusty wind beaten off piste, damn T bars and limited terrain area available, I actually wished I was back on the ski's. But hey we still had a good giggle and although it is technically possible to get a skier and a snowboarder on the same T bar, it is best to go separately unless you want to spend the whole journey up trying not to collide with each other!

Ah well safe journey babe and next time in March won't be so adventurous with my parents visiting at the same time...

Here's the full set of pics ->

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