G’day Adventurers… Roo here! It’s my turn to take over the blog because Tony is busy writing!
It’s been a very busy couple of months for us. I mean, Christmas is busy for everyone but we also had to pack up our entire lives on NYE and cram it into a storage unit in preparation for our next trip overseas… As usual, we declared that we owned far too much stuff and yet couldn’t seem to part with any of it… Luckily it fit into the 3m by 3m storage unit we’d paid for. But only because it was also 3m tall!
It was hard leaving Perth this time. Even though we were looking forward to 6 months of adventures around Europe, my dad is selling the family home up in the Perth hills. We’ve got a whole lot of memories tied up in that house. I’m really going to miss its gorgeous views and abundant wildlife! Also, since my sister finished her Phd, we’ve been getting into climbing, and spending a lot of time together. I’m definitely going to miss my family 🙁
After we said our goodbyes to friends, family and 30 degree weather it was a quick (well, 19 hour) flight to London from Perth. Another 3 hours on a bus and we were back in England, catching up with Tony’s parents after a year apart. It’s usually just as we are about to set off on a trip we realise we are totally not ready, and this was no exception. Of our expected 6 months travelling around Europe we had exactly 3 weeks booked in an alpine village in Austria…
…at least we did, until we got an email from Booking.com apologising that they had double booked us! It was a frantic few days while we tried to make alternate plans. Pretty much the entirety of Austria is booked solid over February, so we settled on Slovenia after reading about it being a little-know gem for cheap skiing holidays.
The day before our flight we bought the last few bits of winter gear we would need in the Austrian Alps. I was really excited to replace my threadbare snow pants with some hot pink North Face ones for a bargain price of £28. Turns out I fit into male ‘youths’ pants, which could be lengthened as they grow taller! Although I don’t know many 14 year old boys who are confident enough to rock full-on hot pink pants!
The night before our flight to Austria was scheduled for snow… now EVERYONE knows it never snows where Tony’s parents live in Somerset, right? Wrong apparently, because it snowed enough to not only cover the ground, but enough to panic the Bristol airport staff who decided that instead of finding a snowplow, they would just cancel all the flights that day! Which was not ideal because the next available flight we could transfer to was in 2 days… and left from London Gatwick. On the upside, we got a free night at the Gatwick Hilton after the 4.5 hour bus there, and we blatantly abused room service – all on Easyjet.
So from an initial plan of 3 weeks, our sadly reduced 8 nights in Austria was now down to 6! Luckily the day we finally arrived it was snowing and so beautiful and I LOVE SNOW SO MUCH!!! It was a bit tricky to get all the way to our alpine accommodation via public transport as unfortunately our snowboard bag had been damaged on the flight and instead of handles Tony now had to heave it around by brute force and 2 bits of rope supplied by the luggage desk.
All the hardships of travelling with huge amounts of luggage was worth it on our first trip up the Rosshutte mountain. We rode the funicular train up to the top of the ski run and stopped to take in the epic view.
We enjoyed 3 awesome days of snowboarding on Rosshutte, each run is 3.5 kilometres long and winds between snow covered trees. The people were friendly and the slopes almost empty at times. We rekindled our love of snowboarding and made a pact to try and return to some snow at least every couple years!
Unfortunately, my boots started leaving bits of themselves behind, and by the end of the week the soles had almost completely separated from the boots! Mind you, Tony and I bought most of our snow gear 11 years ago when we did our first season at Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand, and it was second hand then…
We were really sad to leave Austria , but looking forward to the train journey through the Alps and to snowboarding at Slovenia’s biggest ski resort. A couple of Austrians on the train journey were flabberghasted when we said we were going to Slovenia to snowboard and we didn’t realise why until we got to Maribor and there was not a spec of snow anywhere to be seen! But we caught the bus up to the ski resort with hope…and to be fair there was SOME snow. They’d scraped it all together into one pathetic run down from the top of the mountain to the bottom. However it was mostly man made snow, more like granules of ice, and you could see the grass and rocks right through it in places. It was sort of like expecting a feast and getting a cold Pot Noodle.
So, we spent 2 days cancelling and desperately trying to rebook things, and we’ve managed to find accommodation back in Austria and a 9 hour train that gets us back there in time to get some more snowboarding in before the season ends! The ten days in Slovenia we are using to our advantage by catching up on blog posts, doing some climbing… and Tony is hard at his third Sci Fi book!
So, yeah… it’s been an interesting start to the trip! In fact I coined a new word: ‘Glitchuation’ – when everything goes wrong at once and you’re stuck trying to deal with it!
At times it felt like a house of cards falling down – the double booking led us to Slovenia, the cancelled flight cut our first stay in half, then the baggage handlers ripped the straps off our snowboard bag and my boots disintegrated… Slovenia turned out to be a muddy hole (at least as far as snow goes), everything else was getting booked out from under us and at one point we realised we were going to be homeless on my birthday! I said to Tony, “Oh God, what if it carries on? What is the next six months going to be like?”
He replied, “At least I’ll get a book out of it!”
I’m so happy for him.
But at least it gives you lot something to look forward to! Along with lots of Austrian snow pictures! 🙂