Ski waypoints with a crazy touch

Some crazy good, some crazy fun, and some just crazy, simply for the heck of it

  1. Gulmarg, Kashmir, India (3979 m, with the highest ski lift in the world) This was crazy good (great snow conditions), a bit scary (experienced both an earthquake and a snow storm while there), as well as crazy fun (the ability of being hauled to the lift on a sled). Hotel Highlands Park is worth mentioning, complete with the mix of really good service, beautiful views, coziness and lovely food.
  2. Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (5895 m) This one was just for the heck of it, having reached the summit carrying mini skis “just in case”, of course I couldn’t resist taking a few turns.
  3. Chacaltaya, Bolivia (5420 m) Feeling nostalgic since there is no skiing here anymore – the glacier melted away in 2009. Climate change is happening now!
  4. Yabuli, China (1374 m) Crazy cold, at – 38 °C – my coldest ski experience. I suppose the resort has changed since I celebrated one New Year there, admiring one of the world’s longest toboggan runs parallel to the slope and hoping for an alternative to the “Deer penis soup” on the menu. Happy New Year! Lots of fluffy snow though.
  5. Tiffindell, South Africa (2900 m) I was warned by so many, not to go travelling on my own in South Africa, but had an amazing time. Great fun in the African snow!
  6. Oukaimeden, Morocco (3258 m) How bizarre! Some used donkeys instead of the ski lift, and standing on top of the mountain with snow under your boots, looking out over the desert sand, is a weird experience.
  7. Thredbo, Australia (2037 m) Snow gums with oil rich leaves made the air filled with eucalyptus smell that could have fooled you to believe your were inside a cough drop, and the crimson rosellas (red and blue parrots) close to the slopes were such an exotic sight.
  8. Yong Pyong (Dragon Valley), South Korea (1458 m) No powder, but hard snow on well-groomed slopes and efficient service. It’s a wonder I reached the place though, because of so many language difficulties, and even a bigger wonder I managed to find my way back to Seoul!
  9. Mt Olympus, Cyprus (1951 m) Crazy fun waypoint on a road trip around Cyprus, combining sunbathing with skiing.
  10. Nevis Range, Scotland (655 m) Crazy bad snow conditions – unfortunate timing, however worth the trip because of the good company and new acquaintances.

And…here are some photos:

Road trips with girlfriends

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I start with Barbados. I really do recommend anybody who will visit Barbados to rent a Moke and take a trip around the island. It’s the perfect way to take in the different colours of the island, try out different beaches and find one’s own little favourite spot. One such spot that my friend, Joanna, and I discovered was The Round House Inn and Restaurant in Bathsheba. Yummie sandwiches and a stunning view!

Another road trip that was great fun, was the one I took together with my close friend, Pernilla. We both like Greece, and wanted to see more of the country, so we started by going from Athens to the cosy town of Arachova. I immediately took to the place. The hospitality of the people, the many nice and welcoming restaurants and bars and the proximity to both Delphi and the skiing at Mt Parnassos made it the perfect starting point for what we wanted to explore. Looking for a nice place to stay there? A tip is Xenonas Iresioni. From Arachova, we drove to Meteora, where the complex of monasteries can be found. A truly amazing place, not to be missed out on a Greek road trip.

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Where to next? Why not a tour to Romania, among the castles of Bran and Peles and the ski resort of Poiana Brasov. This is a trip I made together with my sister, Madeleine. We stayed in Poiana Brasov, where the ski resort happened to be in a special mood because of the hosting of the 2013 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival. Exciting in itself. We had planned to visit the castle of Bran, but ended up setting off on another side trip as well, and by chance came upon Peles Castle, which turned out to be the highlight of the trip. Oh, and the café onsite served some delicious cakes.

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Another memorable road trip was the one I took together with my niece, Amanda, in Ireland. We visited so many beautiful places and made new friends, so it’s hard to summarize it in just a few words. Well, here is just a hint; We went to see Blarney Castle, where one can find Blarney stone – the stone of eloquence. We had chosen to stay close by, and because it was such a nice place, I find it a good idea to mention Blarney Vale House B&B here.

 

Another friend who has come along for a great road trip, is Anna. She and I decided to try out the skiing in Andorra and combine it with a stay in Barcelona, and oh what a nice idea that turned out to be! We made a first stop in La Molina, where we also tried the skiing. I can recommend the crepes at Costa Rasa Café in the middle of the slopes. We discovered the nice hospitality of this little place. Then it was time to move on, to Andorra. After a quick stop in Andorra la Vella (by the way, a place I would like to revisit), we continued to Pas de la Casa. All I can say, is wow, so much better than I had expected! Good skiing in the daytime and several nice places to choose from in the nighttime. On to Barcelona. This was during the Christmas holiday season, so all over Barcelona there were twinkling lights.

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Last, but not least, I will mention a trip to Scotland. The itinerary for this road trip was something like this; Starting off from Prestwick airport heading towards the Edinburgh area. Visit to Rosslyn Chapel. On to Perthshire and the friendly town of Braemar, where we stayed the night in cosy Braemar Lodge, with its own malt whisky bar. Visit to Edradour distillery. Then, on to Aviemore. The Cairngorm Guest House there provided the friendliest of welcomes. After that we stopped in Fort William and tried the Nevis Range skiing as well as the skiing at Glencoe. Finally back to Glasgow. We were in no luck when it came to the skiing (terrible snow conditions), however came upon the cosiest places, enjoyed the beautiful sights of this part of the world, and got to spend time together, me, Pernilla, and Anna.