Skiing Trip to Kranjska Gora, Slovenija

We had a fantastic two days of skiing at the Kranjska Gora Ski Center¬†in Slovenija. It was the perfect place for beginners with short lines, several intermediate runs, and an excellent ski school. There was plenty for the kids to do besides skiing, with a toboggan run, playgrounds, etc. The highlight was Owen, Oliver, and I making our historic¬†first run together down a major mountain. We all took the tow rope up together and came down. The boys absolutely loved skiing and wanted to do more. I really enjoyed it and my skiing is much better after last year’s initial trip. Nadia was an champion taking care of Ocean and Oliver, getting them set up with lessons and occupied while I was with Owen.

The Next Lindsey Vonn?
Oliver with his teacher

Bill’s Thoughts on Skiing

I rented skis and spent a day on the mountain with friends. We watched our children’s races and had a day of skiing for ourselves. It was a long time since I went downhill skiing and by the end of the day, I felt more comfortable. The runs in Europe are marked blue for easy, red for intermediate, and black for difficult. We mostly went down red and I could handle them. I did feel a bit out of my league on the steeper reds. On our final run from the top to the bottom, I felt the “buzz” of skiing and really was having a great time. To get to the top, one takes a train, then two chair lifts. We skied all the way down to the ski school for the award ceremony. It is amazing how long the runs are. Being from Michigan, with hills and not mountains, I am always impressed with the length and variety of slopes in the Alps or Rockies.

I am not sure however, if the joy I felt on the slopes outweighs the cost and hassle of skiing. Renting the equipment (36 euros) and a lift pass (50 euros) are crazy expensive. The day felt crowded, as there were lines to get on the train and chairlifts, lines for lunch, and lots of people all around. I think there are too few ski areas for the number of people that want to ski. I prefer the solitude and ease of cross-country skiing. It is also a better workout. Downhill skiing is a nice family day outdoors. Nadia will never downhill ski, however. Owen loves it and Oliver I think will like it once he is a bit older. I am still not sure if we will have a ski holiday in the future. Once again, I don’t think the costs and hassles outweigh the fun. I do have a newfound respect for downhill skiing in the Olympics. The speed they attain is amazing. The Austrians are organized the week of skiing was as easy to organize as it could be. We all received lessons (classic cross country, skate cross country, and downhill) and got on the slopes or trails immediately upon arrival.

My lunch on the mountain was great without kids and the wheat beer and “Jagr Tea” was delicious and motivating for my afternoon ski down.

Europeans Love Their Spas

A classic Euro photo in the hotel spa sandals and robes. With our hotel stay, we have access to the Alpentherme water park. It has an outdoor pool with views of the Alps, water slides, and a children’s swim area. The kids love it. I like walking through the hotel in robe. They even have a “Sauna World” in the water park and in typical European style, it is complete nude. I haven’t mustered the will to visit that part yet. In the Puritanical USA, this would be scandalous.

View of Bad Hofgastein from slopes above the village

Bad Hofgastein is a small town (around 6,000 inhabitants) near Salzburg. It is a major ski resort area and with all of the 278 connecting ski lifts and 860 kilometers of slopes, it is a skiers paradise. Owen is really taking to skiing and I am going up with him tomorrow. Very pricey however, and a two-day ski pass for Owen and I costs 126 euros (ouch). This is definitely a vacation we won’t be doing alot as it is very expensive. We are having a great time however. Nadia and I did some more cross-country skiing today.