Livigno, like many European ski resorts is a quaint, ‘olde worlde’ village. Running through it is one main street lined with three storey wooden guest houses with colourful wooden shutters, like something straight out of Johanna Spyri’s Swiss tale of ‘Heidi’. Parallel streets are connected by short, steep hills. Every 10 metres there is a restaurant promising hearty traditional Italian fare. Sprinkled amongst the warm and welcoming restaurants are ski rental and ski attire shops as well as thrifty duty free shops touting perfume, wine, cigarettes and electronics at prices lower than any airport can boast.
We settled into our family apartment less than a five minute walk from the slopes (well, perhaps a 7 minute robot like walk in stiff, unforgiving ski boots and laden down with ski paraphernalia). The munchkins were uber excited to see real snow for the first time and could hardly wait to test out their Ski Dubai skills on real ski slopes!
Day 1 of ski lesson week saw my 3 join the excited huddle of super colourfully clad wannabe skiers, all of whom were awaiting their assessment to determine their appropriate ski level. Unfazed by the natural terrain and slightly icy conditions, my munchkins each showed off impressive snowplough technique and even managed to strut some sweet, albeit wide, turns.
DH, being the parent representative (dodgy knees…..what can I say?!!!), was not as slick as the threesome who use their age blessed lower centre of gravity to their full advantage. 50 metres and 2 wipe outs later, DH was confirmed a ‘beginner’. After a 10 year absence from the slopes, this hardly came as a shock!
The first two hour ski lesson passed as quickly as some of the downhill slalom skiers I had been watching. I waited excitedly at the bottom of the slope to greet my sure to be weary skiers after their first session in real ski conditions. The kids were full of excited chat whereas DH described his return to the slopes as ‘brutal’.
After a warm lunch DH was brave enough to take the kids back out on the slopes by himself. I felt torn: whom should I worry about more? The kids with 15+ hours of ski/snowboarding lessons under each novice belt or DH who had a 1 hour discovery ski lesson at Ski Dubai 2 days before we left for our holiday?
DS2 provided me with the answer when he recounted his adventurous afternoon: ‘Mummy, Daddy was sooooo slooow. I was tired waiting on him’!
It would seem Daddy was in good, albeit impatient, ski gloved hands!