Aug. 1, 2015

"You'll hate skiing," everyone told me. Incessantly. Why is everyone so determined that I would hate skiing? Is it my general dislike for exercise? The outdoors? Fun? Well I ignored the negativity and went skiing in Queenstown.

Queenstown is a scenic place. It's small, certainly not city-sized, and home to mostly Irish people I assume because all we heard were Irish accents. Unless you wanted to do an activity, it wouldn't be worth visiting for more than a few days. It doesn't actually snow much in Queenstown, just on the mountains around it. This meant it wasn't the beautiful alpine ski village I'd always dreamt of. In fact, you can't really stay on the mountains. This is handy to know if you're booking (we didn't know. It was not handy for us).

The descent is rather spectacular
The couple taking this photo were funny. "No you're getting too much of the path! Move the camera to the left!" He takes the picture and hands us the camera. "Here you go, I lots of extra path in it."
This street has no story but I thought it was nice

Everything is extreme. All around you there are bungee jumpers, paragliders, snowboarders and speedboats. Look upwards and you'll see someone doing parachute flips at any time of day. We engaged in the least extreme of all the activities on offer: Beginner ski lessons.

Those little dots are paragliders. It's hard to capture the extremity.
Our only photo of skiing features neither of us, and nobody skiing.

I will say this, once you actually get to ski downhill for a significant period of time, it's pretty fun. However I have never in my life encountered a hobby with such a huge amount of apparatus and organisation. We went to the ski shop to get fitted for over trousers, jackets, gloves, ski boots, skis, poles and glasses. You then carry or wear all this onto a half hour bus, walk into a big room in your ski boots, which tilt your legs forwards and make you look funny and feel horribly uncomfortable. You wait around, being organised, carrying skis, dropping skis, then trudge up a big hill and learn how not to fall for a few hours. Initially I hated it. I was already planning to go home after lunch. When we got to slide around the beginner slope, narrowly avoiding the hoards of children who would be better placed on the ultra advanced slope, I enjoyed it. For the 2 minutes that I slid down. Then you queue up for ten minutes to go on a very slow travelator back to the top. I'd say 20% of my day was spent skiing. But I didn't hate it, so take that everyone who told me otherwise.

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