Another English lady fails to get to grips with the slopes…
So I survived. Just.
Like a Hollywood epic, the much anticipated and long dreaded ski trip had plenty of ups and downs or to be more precise, tears, tantrums, a turning point – and finally, triumph.
DAY 1: Tiny Towels
We arrive at the pension. It has the tiniest towels I’ve ever seen. There’s no complimentary soap. Before anyone accuses me of being spoilt and western, Czechman notices these two facts first.
DAY 2: My Debut
As predicted, things do not go well. Unflattering comparisons are made to Bridget Jones’ performance en piste in that cinematic masterpiece, Bridget Jones 2.
I fall over. A lot – and lack the upper body strength to get up again unaided. There’s nothing more ungainly than watching a grown woman floundering around in the snow like a carp out of water – with skis and attached.
Unfortunately my sufferings do not end once I get off the slopes. I realize while putting on my normal footwear that I have twisted my ankle. I’m told that this is impossible to do this in ski boots. Once Czechman realizes that my self-diagnosis is correct, I’m accused of injuring myself on purpose to avoid further humiliation – sorry skiing. I hobble back to the pension, squealing with pain every five steps, in somewhat low spirits.
DAY 3: Sports Injury
Czechman goes off to The Big Slope which has one of those proper ski lifts that you actually sit down in. I’d love to have a go on one but you’re only allowed on if you’re wearing skis, which thanks to my sports injury – the first one of my entire life – I won’t be doing any time soon.
I manage a bit of swimming in the pool at the pension then hang out in the jacuzzi or ‘whirlpool’ as they say in Czechlish. Whirling on your own proves to be a bit boring. I go back to our room and attempt to do the crossword at the back of Žena a život. There’s one clue I can definitely complete with some confidence.
Kočka (anglický), three letters…
No animals were harmed in the taking of this photograph
I may not be able to ski but I am a Czech speaking genius. Sort of.
DAY 4: Defeat?
Ankle not swollen but still painful. Being in the mountains surrounded by skiers and snowboarders in a hotel run by two international ski champions with ski trophies lining the bar makes me feel like a bit of a prat.
I consider heading back to Prague and leaving Czechman to piste it up alone.
Perhaps I would have done but
a) I discovered a café with the best hot chocolate in the world
b) I couldn’t manage to read the bus timetable properly without adult (i.e Czechman’s) assistance.
DAY 5: The Turning Point
Using a potent combination of bribery (hot chocolate, fruit dumplings) and emotional blackmail (“but isn’t it nice when partners have a shared interest?” Umm, yes, but does it have to involve the risk of physical injury?) Czechman persuades me to get back on those skis.
Getting to the top of the kiddie slope is by no means easy. I have to place a rapidly moving pole with a disc attached to the end between my legs and hang on for dear life. I manage to do so successfully and even remember to release it in time so I don’t end up on the ground.
I also master the snow plough or gliding wedge: that’s the technical term for pointing my skis towards each other to make a big V shape. I can even stop by means of an oblouček to the right. I still fall over sometimes but progress has been made.
There were moments when you might even have said I was enjoying myself. Don’t tell Czechman though or he’ll drag me back to the mountains faster than you can say waterproof insulated trousers …
Bridget Jones demonstrates the snow plough. Sort of.