Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
For the winter school holidays (Vinterferie) this year we stayed with friends in their chalet in Grindelwald, Switzerland.
We caught the train from Geneva to Lausanne and spent a few hours in Lausanne before catching the train to Grindelwald via Bern and Interlaken Ost.
We enrolled our children (7 and 9 years old) into half day ski school for 5 days at Bodmi resort. They had previously had 2 x 1 hour joint private ski lessons last year in Donico, Italy. We watched the YouTube videos of the Bodmi ski school and chose Blue King as the level that is appropriate for our children. Their instructor agreed and they learnt a lot and enjoyed their week of ski school. On Thursday they had a slalom race and we watched in amazement as our children skiied with confidence, control and ease through the slalom course.
On Monday I caught the gondola up to First ski resort and skiied with our patient Swiss friend. The blue slopes are more challenging than those I’ve skiied in Italy or Australia and I had some sweaty moments as I made my way down the Oberjoch course and others. Our friend gave me some useful pointers and didn’t make fun of my rudimentary skiing style.
We made an agreement that he could ski each route as many times as he liked while I carefully and slowly made my way down. He usually managed two runs to my one. The difficulty of the gradient and side slope and the sloppy conditions of the snow meant that I had tired legs by the end of the day.
On Wednesday I took our children up to First ski resort and they skiied really well. I was amazed by their competence and confidence and I was relieved that they waited for me at the bottom of each slope.
It was relaxing sharing a large chalet with our friends and we all enjoyed it. We took turns cooking and it was nice to eat together. The children always had playmates and every evening the adults could relax and talk without interruption. The people in Grindelwald are friendly and many greeted us as we walked around the village.
Three afternoons we went ice skating in Grindelwald village. Our daughter and the 7 year old boys enjoyed pushing wooden chairs around the ice. When she took a break from skating one of us enjoyed pushing her on the chair. It’s a lot safer to hold onto something stable while skating. I am afraid of falling on the ice and causing a serious injury so I am very cautious.
We had a lovely time. It was an expensive week despite having free accommodation and only needing to rent some ski gear. Switzerland offers a good standard of living for its residents and the tourists subsidize it.
We were fortunate to have beautiful sunny, warm weather, which was a welcome break from the dark and rainy conditions in Trondheim. Of course, the downside of warm conditions is that the snow was partially melted in the afternoons and icy in the mornings. It seems that global warming is going to cause increasingly poor skiing conditions and I wonder what the future of skiing is like once there is less snow that melts quickly.
There really is something absurd about downhill skiing. All of those middle class people wearing expensive gear spending a lot of money on lift tickets, accommodation and travel to slide down a hill before being pulled back up again. Considering the difficulties I had with the steep slopes at First resort, the absurdity of downhill skiing and the expense I don’t feel inclined to go downhill skiing again in a hurry but I’m glad that our children learnt new skills and enjoyed themselves.