Time: 8am.  Location: Westbahnhof Train Station.  Destination: Zell am See.

Waiting for everyone to arrive for the Ski Trip with the BuddyNetwork, we all congregated outside the platform anxiously awaiting our five hour train journey to Zell am See.  Laughing the whole way and making ridiculous jokes, my friends Geoff, Hanif, Courtenay, Nicole, Tina and I made the train trip go by fast.

Switching trains to Zell am See was a cinch and we had just a short bus ride to our four star accomodation, Hotel Latini.  The creator of the BuddyNetwork gave us a short introduction and then we were able to check into our rooms and go rent our ski/snow equipment.  After getting everything in order, I laced up my shoes to go for a run around the beautiful lake Zell am See.  I ran for an hour and loved every minute of it…simply a gorgeous place that you would see in postcards and envy.

And for the first night’s themed party: Beach Party

Learning to ski was something I was excited for…and it was going to be so new! I met my ski instructor, Peter at dinner and we planned to meet in the lobby at 10am after breakfast to head to Zell am See for my first ski lesson.  Since I am from Florida, we really do not have snow ever and I have never gone anywhere in America to ski.

Peter began by instructing me in the basics: stopping with snow plow, making turns, etc. Then it was time to head up the lift to the top!  I was calm the whole way up until I realized that we had to get off and I was scared because I din’t know exactly how it was going to play out.  Luckily it was not super scary…until I faced my fear of the ridiculous view I had of the mountain and everything in the backdrop that showed me how high up we were.

I took my time getting down the mountain with crazy looking turns and stopping and of course, falling.  Once at the bottom, I was determined to go up a few more times and keep improving.  Peter was really patient and had full confidence in me that I could do it with my dedicated attitude.

And, so I did get better with each run and by the time my legs were on fire around 4pm, it was time to call it a day.  Hurray!  I learned how to ski!  And tomorrow would go even better since I had the basics down!

We headed to the apres ski party and talked for a bit before it was time to eat the longly awaited dinner.  After I was done eating, I was exhausted and I retreated to my room where I proceeded to fall asleep and sleep soundly till 7:30 am the next morning.

After breakfast, it was time to head to Kitzsteinhorn to meet my other ski instructor, Michaela to improve my ski skills.  Getting used to walking in the snow boots was an adventure in itself…and I did my best!  Going up to the top of the Glacier was quite crazy…it was a long haul which led me to believe this mountain was ridiculously high.  No big deal.

After another four hours of private instruction, my confidence skyrocketed and I was ready to go off on my own for the last day!  All of my hard work had paid off and I was pleased.  Especially since this was the visibility I was skiing in:

And lots of snow…

A recharging sauna, swim and steam session was exactly what I needed to relax and get my energy up for the pajama party after dinner.  We had quite a fun time!

On the last day skiing, I managed to do four runs (one accidently down a slightly more advanced, steeper hill) and in poor visibility conditions.  Happy as can be, I headed back to the hotel with my Finnish friends and got ready to head back to Vienna after swimming and having Chinese with Courtenay.

It was a wonderful trip and I cannot wait to ski again 🙂

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Zell am See & Kitzsteinhorn, The Glacier: Skiing in the Austrian Alps

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