Sunday, 16 January 2011

♫ She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes... ♪

The first Friday since coming back after Christmas, I was invited to go to Saalbach to see the annual 'Mountain Attack' race, where hundreds of skiers take part in a 6-mountain uphill hike and downhill ski. Anstrengend! The skiers start in the centre of Saalbach, run to the bottom of the first mountain (Schattberg), put on their skis and begin the exhausting climb up.

As mere spectators, we took the cable car to the top of Schattberg where we later would meet the skiers at the end of their first climb. Being slightly scared of heights, getting into a little glass box with 5 other people and dangling from a rather thin looking piece of string, wasn't exactly comfortable but there was a good view of the village and of the skiers. Looking straight down was a mistake though!

After around 35/40 minutes, the first skiers reached the top of the mountain. They all looked like it was a stroll in the park! I would've been on my hands and knees at this point! At around the 50 minute mark, my teacher's husband appeared so we cheered and encouraged him.

We went back down to village in order to get food and went to THE poshest hotel restaurant I've ever been in. The chairs were so posh, my teacher's sister insisted I had a photo in one. What a princess!

Since we'd been up the mountain and in the restaurant, the centre of Saalbach had been transformed. Instead of a cobbled highstreet, there was now a piste! And the skiers ended the race by coming down this piste and turning the corner to meet the TV reporters.

So, after seeing this and the excitement it created, I have decided skiing doesn't seem that uninteresting any more! I want to give it a go. Even though it looks scary (the cable car went over a black piste, which was basically vertical...) and I'll fall over lots, I feel less apprehensive about shelling out for skiing gear and more inclined to learn.

Oh, and I also spoke more German than I've spoken in a long time. SUPER!

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