Winter sports to me is what Extreme Ironing is to you
Ever heard of Extreme Ironing, Underwater Hockey, collecting navel fluff, Toe Wrestling and Bog Snorkelling?
No? That’s not surprising, since these sports and hobbies are considered to be weird and obscure. Meaning that for most of us it is hard to relate to these activities and to understand why anyone would do this for fun.
Well, for me, sports in general, and winter sports in particular, are as incomprehensible as Extreme Ironing is for you. Winter sports is not my thing. To put it mildly.
The weird world of winter sports
Yet I spent one whole week in Tirol recently, out of my free will, at least, sort of.
My only reason was to be with my Frits and his children. Who all looooooooove skiing and snowboarding.
It was nice to spend time with them and I can entertain myself wherever I am, so I was fine, but that doesn’t mean that I was any less baffled and bewildered. Here is why:
Why winter sports is not my thing
- it is cold, there is snow, it is snowing, the streets are extremely slippery. Hate it!
- there are queues for the ski-lifts, so you’ll be spending a lot of time waiting. Not my favourite pastime.
- everything is crazy expensive, from rides with the lifts to the clothes in the stores. It’s becoming predictable, but the bottom line is: …hate it.
- 95% of the stores in the villages sell sports-stuff; not interested.
- you stay in small villages (I’m a big city gal; I find villages and small towns usually boring and suffocating)
- there are mountains all around you; I don’t like mountains. I like to be able to see the horizon and to know that I can get out and away.
- most people you see around you here are sports-people, wearing (ugly) sports clothing. Even in the hotel. Boring! The majority is dressed in shapeless clothes in blues, greys and blacks, with some neon colours here and there. Helmets, gloves, oversized glasses. No fiesta for a fashionista. Sigh…
- you’re surrounded by people wearing their skis over their shoulder, walking like crippleds in those enormous ski-boots. Surreal. Bizar. Why?
- everybody follows the same rhythm: up early, skiing till 2 or 3 pm, then apres-ski (=drinking alcohol), maybe a sauna or swim, an early dinner and off to bed. Variation and individuality are not a big thing in a winter sports resort. Yawn…
- hip, cool, quirky, alternative, trendy, design…it seems non-existent in Tirol. At least, I have not found it, apart from Sweet Little Home, a chalet in the heart of St. Anton, that seems a bit different inside and out.
In other words: the whole set-up seems like a lot of suffering, work and hassle to me. Like self-chosen torture. I really don’t get it.
Yes, it looks pretty on a sunny day
Of course snowy mountains look beautiful on a sunny winters day. No doubt about that.
But do you know that feeling that you can have, when looking at a gorgeous scenery? You look at it and you can only sigh. You breathe in deep, it feels like your heart will burst out of your chest from pure joy and happiness and you feel intensely content. You’re one with the world around you and all is perfect. Do you know that feeling?
I do. Oh, I do!
But I don’t have it when looking at even the most picture perfect winter scenery.
I admit, I had a few moments, during my week in Tirol, when the sun was shining brightly over the snowy mountains, that I felt it, a teeny tiny bit, for a split second, but in general, no, winter scenes don’t touch my heart.
They don’t enchant me enough to travel thousands of miles for it, to spend thousands of dollars and to endure sufferings for it.
I can’t help it. It’s personal. Some people love the tropics, others love snowy mountains. To each his or her own.
Why choose St. Anton for winter sports
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at St. Anton in a more objective and positive way.
I do think that IF you are into winter sports, that this village is a perfect choice. There are a lot of ski and snowboard possibilities in the area, for all levels, and it’s famous for it’s vibrant apres-ski-life.
What’s NOT to like, for a winter sports lover?! I guess that might only be that it is an expensive place. Undoubtedly there are lots of cheaper places elsewhere.
Let’s have a closer look at our hotel (Hotel Post St. Anton am Alberg), at St. Anton am Arlberg village, at Lech, a village close to St. Anton, and at the scenery in upcoming articles, shall we?
How about you? Are you a fan of winter, mountains and winter sports? What do you like most of it? Or can you relate to my feelings?