We arrived in Zell am See a little after lunch last Saturday. Thankfully our accommodation was ready for us at 2pm. So after getting some lunch at a little discount mall near the Aerit Express (a ski lift here) and a front pack nap for Evie we headed to our new house for the week.
We are staying in the lower part of the house and have a lovely view of the mountains (as above) from our kitchen-come-dining room. Zell am See has many different ski lifts and is situated on a gorgeous lake. You can even walk the entire way around the lake (about 11.2km). BUT our main goal for this leg of our trip is to get some serious mileage on the ski fields.
Now for the difficult part, logistics. Organising a day on the slopes when we were first married was a doddle. We got up, dressed and ate some food then headed to the slopes until we felt tired enough to return home for dinner. Let’s just say it is a very different story now there is a 6 month old and a 3 year old involved.
We booked Thea in for a ski lesson on Sunday morning from 10am – 12pm and planned for Craig to hit the slopes afterwards whilst I took the girls for the afternoon. First our car was coated in snow, which we cleaned off. Then we headed for a bäckerei for breakfast and Evie and I dropped Thea and Craig off for Thea’s lesson.
We headed home for Evie’s first nap and then went back to have a drink with Craig and to pick up Thea. Craig had an okay first day on the snow, but bemoaned his lack of snowboard. He picked up skiing last time he was in Europe, but felt a bit rusty and didn’t really enjoy himself as much as he does on a snowboard.
We ended up back to pick Craig up about 4pm, but it turned out he was at the ski field in town instead of the one he started from. After a hurried text conversation we managed to meet up and thankfully Evie fell asleep in the car on our way back to the original ski field to pick up Craig’s shoes and drop off the ski poles he’d borrowed from the rental shop there. Needless to say my right hand side of the road driving has improved significantly after so much time in the car.
As I have never skied before I needed to take a lesson. Unfortunately the ski schools here only run their absolute beginner’s group lessons on Sundays and Mondays and for a full day (10am – 3pm). This is a bit of a logistical nightmare when I am still breast feeding Evie every 3 – 4 hours during the day.
We decided to book it in and with a 1.5 hour lunch break for feeding and lunch we figured that we could probably manage it. Thea was booked into the mini-club in the afternoon so then Craig only had to solo it with 2 girls for the morning. We made sure we were both on the same page by creating a Google Keep note of our day. Below is a screenshot:
More impressively, it actually worked :-0!
I managed to stay for almost my entire lesson and only left because I was totally wiped from climbing hills on skis most of the day. Plus I stupidly didn’t have a water bottle with me so I was “parched as bro”. Evie coped brilliantly and took her feeds when I offered them without a fuss and slept well for Craig in the front pack and at home.
Plus the girls had an awesome time tripping up to the summit in the gondola and playing in the snow with Craig.
There was a meltdown from Thea at the end of the day when she refused to get in the pram. I’m pretty sure everyone heard her screamed refusals, until Craig finally ended up carrying her back to the car. She fell asleep on the way home.
We will not be booking an afternoon mini-club again.
Then it was Craig’s turn for a full day at the snow. We booked Thea’s mini club for the morning and thankfully she’d had a good sleep the previous night. That sleep must have done the trick, because she had an awesome time at mini club.
The day was super clear and sunny with a fresh dusting of powder from the night before. I convinced Craig to hire a snowboard despite the almost 50 Euro price tag. It was too perfect a day to give up a chance to hit the slopes.
For most of the day Craig hooned down the slopes, back to his beloved snowboarding. He came home refreshed after a few drinks and a fresh dousing of powder.
Me on the other hand, I had a hard day.
Evie was teething and refused her feeds for almost 6 hours and had to be rocked to sleep while screaming for 20 minutes for 2 of her 3 naps that day. It was rough; I was exhausted. But it was worth it when I saw how happy Craig was via his whatsapp messages.
I’m also lucky that Peppa Pig is such a great entertainer for Thea. I felt guilty about the level of screen-time for the day, but needs must.
All in all the first four days of our trip in Zell am See have gone pretty well, we’ve both had some solo slope time and the girls have coped. Minus a few meltdowns.
We decided that Wednesday was going to be an away-from-the-slopes day so that we could parent the kids together and enjoy some time as a family around the lake.
More on that later.