8 Feb 2015

Guest Post: Skiing in Italy

With so much uni work at the moment, I thought it would be nice for Charlie (my boyfriend) to write a post on his recent trip to Italy, so that I can crack on with some uni work. Blogging is hard and takes a lot of time and effort and right now uni is my priority. Plus I thought it'd be pretty cool if he told you guys about his trip. Don't be too harsh on him, he's new to the blogging world so leave him some love. :) - S x 





2015 may is hopefully going to be a great year for travelling with Steph, we’re busy planning our summer travels to India and Indonesia, so what better way to start the year than by heading to Italy for a spot of skiing, without her.
  


Passo Tonale in the Trentino region of Italy would be the resort me and 7 old school friends would choose to play host to our yearly ski trip. This is often the only time all year I get to see old friends who have moved away so it’s always nice to catch up with them.
  


The Crystal ski group has always been our choice of company to book with. They offer very cheap all inclusive packages to most resorts in Europe. The last thing you want to worry about when you arrive at the slopes is hiring ski equipment and getting lifts passes. So for £650 we got flights, transfer, hotel, ski hire, lift passes and food. The only thing you need to pay for is lunch and beers apr├Ęs ski.
  


We arrived at the Hotel Eden just after 10 on the Saturday evening. The resort is a short 2 hour flight from Bristol airport and a 3 hour coach from Verona. By the time we arrived though it was already dark so we didn’t have time to collect our skis or passes.

The hotel is perfectly situated for skiing. It’s a small town so everything is a five minute walk (10 in ski boots). We weren’t expecting luxury, and neither did we find any, but after a long day skiing as long as there are hot showers and a bed it doesn’t matter. The hotel is family run and is decorated in a quaint Italian fashion, perfect to get you into the mood to ski.


After an evening wandering around the town discovering many of Tonales bars and pubs we ended up in Antares, or Disco Pub as the neon sign outside advertises. One feature of many of these bars is that of a strip pole. I can’t imagine there are many pole dancers in small Italian towns at the top of mountains so I can only assume their purpose is to embarrass drunk English tourists who have been roped into drinking many, many cheap vile shots. After sufficient alcohol consummation we headed back to the hotel to get some rest for our first day skiing.


 A large breakfast awaited us in the morning, not that any of us could stomach it. Coffee was the best choice. The Crystal ski team was waiting for us in another hotel and quickly got our lift passes sorted, along with suggestions of where to eat and other activities we could do. The ski hire was very efficient and had decent quality gear, which is always nice.  Before we knew it we had all kitted up and were on the first lift heading up the mountain.


One of the problems with going early in January is the days are still quite short. You can realistically only ski until 4pm, except on certain days when several runs are flood lit for night skiing, covered by the standard lift pass.

This year most of Europe has had very poor snow, the lower resorts struggling to fully open due to lack of snow. Passo Tonale luckily is one of the higher resorts so had just enough snow to open 38 of its 40 runs.


Having not skied for over a year the first few runs are always a bit wobbly, the cold air quickly sobering us up as we slowly snaked down the icy runs. There hadn’t been much recent snowfall so there was a lot of ice around, which didn’t make for great skiing, but higher up the snow was much better and we got through the first day without any major falls or crashes.


Often on piste restaurants are extortionately priced, yet we found many places to stop offering pizzas, lasagnas and other hot food for less than €10, which was perfect for lunch stops. The Italians really do make the best pizzas and pasta. In fact, all of Italy is very cheap! Plus the Italians are mostly welcoming and many speak some English, or make an effort to, which is more than can be said for some of us Brits trying to speak a foreign language.

Every year we go skiing we have a fancy dress day, this year was no exception. Fancy dress Wednesday, as it was coined, saw 5 of us hit the slopes in our costumes. Myself, dressed as a penguin, received several laughs from the lift attendants as we disembarked, but it was Jonny who received the most attention. His 80’s disco effort earned him a drink from each of us after the session. Matt, however earned the title for most disgusting outfit with his sexy sailor costume.



 After 7 days skiing and drinking it all becomes a bit of a blur of snow and beer so before we knew it our time was up and it was the last night. We had an incredible week and were exceptionally lucky with the weather and snow, which can make or break a ski holiday.

After returning our ski gear and packing our bags we headed out for the last hurrah, which turned out to be quite a thing. Many MANY drinks later, after the whole bar had done a conga line and after we had served ourselves drinks from behind the bar (with the bar staffs permission) we staggered home throwing snow balls at each other, reminiscing on what a fun week it had been.

Waking up at 6am is never pleasant. It’s even less pleasant when you’re still drunk. So dragging ourselves up we dragged ourselves onto the coach and then eventually onto the plane. Arriving in Bristol we said farewell, dragged ourselves into our cars and later still, dragged ourselves into bed. Until next year.



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