Current Location: Åre, Sweden
I woke up this morning to see light cutting through the shutters right into the heart of our lakeside cabin. The sun had finally pierced the thick gray clouds over Åre and the way it hit the mountains and reflected off the snow made waking up to the winter weather seem alright (I would even dare to say magical). Everyone around town (and even the town itself) seemed to move about a bit faster with the excitement the sun brought out after days of continous snow and lashing winds.
Yesterday, after having my second fall-free class in a row and finally conquering both of the green slopes at Duved (one of which had a rather steep hill) I finally began to feel that I truly was becoming skier. I've even got to admit that at one point I told myself that the green slopes were feeling more and more like warm-ups instead of actual runs (pretty big words to say, I know).
Although my first attempt at the t-bar lift during class left me rather scared about going up again because I fell off (although right at the very last hill since it was quite steep) once I reached the top of the mountain it was really an amazing view. It was a sunny day and in all directions I could see Åre in all its natural glory as I was now above the tree line. To be honest, I rather regret not bringing a camera with me (right now I've really got to concentrate more on sking and not taking pictures at top of hills haha) but hopefully by my next ski trip I will be more confident with bringing one along.
At the top of that hill, I truly felt like I had become a skier because this was the top of Rödkullen where different blue, red, and black slopes originated and this was also where a more experienced skier can easily ski to the bottom of other slopes and end up at different ski sites miles away (yup it was a pretty legitimate slope).
When we finally skied dow ... it was amazing. I followed in my instructor's path at a leisurely speed while making wide turns and taking every opportunity to practice speed control and proper stance (I've found that I end up leaning backward when I go faster than I would like therefore losing control ... and making me go faster still). We finally reached the bottom of the hill after about 20 minutes of sking and I could feel the sting in my legs but it was probably my proudest moment in my short sking history as I had made it down a blue slope ... and I didn't crash once.
With my great accomplish, however, also came more exhaustion than I had experienced in my last few days of sking and after class I decided to take a personal day from sking by returning to the cabin ... and falling asleep. When I woke up I decided to enjoy the shy Åre sun and what resulted was a walk through town and on the lake, culminating in the photos that you see in this post.