So this weekend, or break is what I should call it because we had 4 days off, I stayed at the center while everyone else traveled to there unique and exotic destinations that they found worthy of a 4 day break. I decided to stay behind and catch up on some alone time. A friend of mine once told me of this idea she came up with. She thinks that extroverts feed off the energy of other people, where as introverts, while they still may like to be around people, they need time alone to reboot and energize alone.
Thursday I just hung around Salzburg, ran some errands, cooked some food, watched a movie, putzed around with a little homework, went climbing and just enjoyed my alone time, without 40 other people crammed into one building.
Then Friday I woke up a little later than I should have, but nevertheless, bought a ticket to innsbruck and enjoyed a lovely 2 hour train ride.
The city is beautiful, mountains all around, a beautiful river, and christmas markets all over! At times, I felt like a bad tourist, because I wanted nothing to do with the usual, museums and churches and museums, but I just wanted to do my own thing. I walked around the old town like 4 times, I felt like I was doing laps. But I would just remind myself to slow down and enjoy everything, the buildings, the locals, the tourists, the river, the mountain views, the clouds. And so I did, it was an excellent day trip.
It was such a great day trip that I decided to come back the next day, but this time, not just to innsbruck but from innsbruck I took a bus an hour south to have the best day that I have had in a while.
This is what my backpack looked like: (please note that the bag was second hand, some hippy in portland wrote "NO WAR" on the pack, not me.. not that I don't support the statement, ;) but still)
I got to the ski resort, wandered around looking for a place to sit, the resort was very different from what I am used too. I obviously was not in the place where people were changing into their ski socks or ski boots or lying out 150 different layer options but, just sat and pulled my boots out of my bag, threw on socks and geared up.
I also never found cubbies or lockers to stash my other stuff but luck for me, I was prepared and carried everything i brought on my back.
So I followed the crowds and got into a gondola that carried me up several thousand feet of snowless rock and dirt that slowly changed to snow dusted and then finally to snow covered and people covered runs, all surrounded by beautiful peaks.
I soon realized that I was super-dooper out of shape and had semi-forgot how to make a telemark turn. Even so, I was having so much fun. It took me forever to get down one of the runs , with several stops to control the burn, and to take a breath. Only one small crash later I was riding up the next chair over, that went even higher.
At the highest point you can get to via skis, over 3000 meters, I looked around at the mountains surrounding and noticed that there was more on the back side!
Words cannot describe the views, so I did the best I could, with my iPhone camera:
Because thanksgiving was just a few days prior, I was thinking about what I was thankful for, and it was this, skiing in the Alps. Being in Europe in general, having to opportunity to do some really amazing things and have some even more amazing experiences.
Even with some of the longest lines I have been in, (to get down from the skiable glacier to the base of the mountain, there was one gondola line, and at the end of the day, everyone sat in line, for like an hour, to get back down), It was so worth it.
Here's to my first time skiing in the Austrian Alps, on a beautiful November day.
[Some other memories that just popped into my head about thanksgivings: I thought about thanksgiving of 2001 where we bought a bigger vehicle because little baby Ellie was getting bigger. How thankful I am to have those 13 years. I thought about thanksgiving 2010 when I totaled my papa's truck because I had discovered snow drifting for the first time. How thankful I am that no one was hurt, and that my parents didn't kill me! I thought about thanksgiving of 2012 where I spent it with my new best friends in portland. These are just a few of the memories that I thought of. I am just really thankful for everyone I know and everyone who loves me!]