You may have seen a post I shared a few weeks ago about the KTH Outdoor Club and the different events they do. Well, last weekend I was lucky enough to get back out with this group to go on a weekend skiing trip.
There are some great Swedish wintertime experiences that I could never at home in Ireland: ice skating on frozen lakes, seeing the northern lights, going to an ice-hockey game. These I’ve put together into a kind of “Swedish Bucket List”. Skiing was definitely up the top of this list, even if I was slightly terrified to try it out.
There are places closer to KTH to go skiing but to get to the best slopes we decided to go north, 8 hours north, to a place called Åre which is famed for its skiing facilities. We took the night train from Stockholm’s Central Station on the Friday night. Like most Outdoor Club events, we were a group of international students from all over the world. The train journey was great chance for everyone to get to know each other. The journey was surely a long one, but’s always exciting to get to sleep on a moving train and wake up in another part of the country.
Half of the group were experienced skiers, but five of us had never been on skis before, so this was totally new for us. Thankfully those who knew what they were doing were very generous and helped us find our feet. This did take some time and a lot of falling over, but by the end of the first day, we were all able to at least tackle the easiest slopes.
We spent the night in little cabins just outside of the town of Åre. Here, we made a huge amount of delicious pasta together (hunger being the best of sauces) and spent the night chatting and playing cards.
Day 2 was a much better experience for us newbie skiers. I was surprised at how quickly everybody learned and before long we were cruising down the easy slopes and even trying some of the more advanced ones too. By the time we got the train home we were all exhausted and delighted to have a big journey in front of us to sleep and rest. The views from the carriage were incredible as we took off from the beautiful mountainous region. Hopefully I’ll get to go back up to Åre sometime soon, this time with a little bit of experience under my belt!