So, got up fairly early yesterday and caught the train to Garmisch. The first 4-5 hours of the train ride were great. I was enjoying the german countryside, had my tunes on, groovy. After I hit Munich, though, I just wanted to get here and it was another hour and a half, plus 45 minutes between my train arriving and the one leaving for Garmisch.
Got checked into the hotel just fine, and I was informed that they did indeed have extra space in a “ski week” class that was ramping up. Ski week is a sort of amazing thing that the Edelweiss Lodge does, where you can get equipment rental, lift tickets, and all-day instruction for a full week for what would normally be about the price of any one of those three things. It’s an amazing deal. I signed up to learn to snow board.
Then I went out to walk around Garmisch. Sorry no pictures, it was late and I kinda wanted to find someplace to hang out, like a pub, where the camera would be out of place. (The big one).
Anyway, I got downtown too early, so after walking about and grabbing dinner, and there being no cabs at the taxi stand, I started to walk back to the hotel.
It was (sort of) good that I did…I walked by a place advertising the awesomeness of their guinness, with an advertisement that literally DEMANDED that I patronize the establish. Not one to flout an authority when the authority is, after all, in the right, I stepped inside. An attractive barkeep was the only occupant, and when she greeted me in a charming british accent, I knew that I would have to have a couple of pints.
But the real kicker was when I noticed the beer selection. They had about 8 different brews from English breweries that we the sorts of beers I simply haven’t been able to have in germany. Stouts. Ales. Unique and flavorful.
I may have stayed a tad too late. Some say. Also.
The next morning, after a mere 4 hours of sleep or so, I hauled myself out of bed, got a shower and as much water as I could get my hands on, and got over to the sports lodge to start my lessons. After a brief (and confidence uninspiring) false start, where they had my bindings on backwards, things got going.
I had a lot of fun. I didn’t break anything. We’re in a really small group, just four of us, learning from an instructor who’s pretty good and very entertaining. The only downside is that the slope we’re on is pure ice, which makes it very difficult to learn to turn.
BUT! I’m doing well. I’m the only one of the four that figured out my turns without having the instructor do a literal hand-holding run down the slope, and the instructor has been profuse with her praise. And it is a blast, although I was dreaming all afternoon of actually getting on a slope with snow and trying that out. I almost think at this point that I won’t be able to handle it after the ice.
I made about twice as many runs as anyone else, and pushed myself to keep it coming as much as I could without endangering myself. The theory is the “10000 hour” rule…where repetition and only repetition can make you good at something. I’m hoping by the end of the week I’ll have enough chops to perhaps get a snowboard rented in Norway next week and some time in up there too.
I kept falling on my left side. My left shoulder and wrist are both sore, and my left ass-cheek took one really impressive blows, but (FSM continue the trend) I haven’t done any serious harm yet.
After getting back to the hotel, even though I’d been encouraged to go on a neat gorge tour by my classmates, I crashed. I showered off, got a fan blowing over my snow gear (I sweat enough so that it might as well NOT be water proof), and took a 3 hour nap.