March 13, 2014


After much debate on where to go next and when, I headed back to Craftsbury for a relaxing week before heading to Europe. It was very much midwinter in Craftsbury, cold and snowy, but I can't complain as the skiing was terrific. I have found flying from the East to Europe isn't nearly as taxing as from Utah or AK unless...
The door of the plane breaks and you spend 3 extra hours on the tarmac in Newark and subsequently miss your connection in Zurich and then learn the next flight to Ljubljana isn't for another 10 hours.
But when in Zurich:

We took a fancy Swiss train into the city to pass the time. Unfortunately, it was raining so our exploration consisted of trudging from one old building to the next. We still managed to see some cool stuff and learn a thing or two. 

Old City Zurich

Looking out over the lake

Grossmunster- an evangelical Protestant church dating back to 1100!

St. Peter's Church-The largest clock face in Europe!

Looking across the river from above 
The Grossmuster is a great landmark

Elizabeth, excited to check things out
Needless to say, it was a long day and we were very happy to make it to Rogla. Rogla is a weird place. It is a resort on top of a mountain that very much caters to families. It has some alpine and nordic skiing along with an alpine coaster, kids song hour, pool, gym, and other all-inclusive resort like activities. Everyone stays in little bungalows or cabins so the top of the mountain is littered with funny looking buildings. Bummer for me, ours was at the bottom so we had a serious hike to our meals. Speaking of food, while the scenery is more reminiscent of Central Europe, the food has more of an Eastern European taste. In other words, we ate a lot of mystery meats in gravy and our plates only contained shades of brown. Food aside, I think Rogla has some really nice skiing and good trails. The sun came out just in time for the races! It was freezing hard at night making our races fast and furious. It was a good reminder of how aggressive racing in Europe is compared to our dinky SuperTour circuit. That said, I was taken aback by the aggression and didn't have the races I had hoped for. There were some good moments so I'm hoping to build on my weaknesses and get better results next weekend. I am also ecstatic to be back in the warm sunny mountains after a long period of cold Midwestern racing!
Boys racing

Taking a ride on the Alpine Coaster!
After 2 days of racing in Rogla, we packed up and headed west. It was a long journey, but we made some neat stops on the way. We stopped at the Bled Castle, which I went to 2 years ago, but not wanting to entertain myself outside the castle walls, I went in again to check it out. It's still amazes me to think how they could have possibly built a castle on top of a cliff so many years ago. I'm sure there were a few casualties in the process.

Approaching the castle

Looking up at the castle wall, it's really on a cliff

Looking down on the lake from the safety of the castle

Some fabulous views from up there

Presumably how they got water

Green Teamers Patrick and Elizabeth

Patrick judging me for taking a selfie

The non-selfie

Panorama from the castle

Patrick pretending he knows what to do in a church

The ceiling of the mini-church in the castle had some intricate paintings
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Patrick demonstrating what the hole in the bench was for. 

Such good views

Looking into the courtyard of the castle from the spy deck
Our drive took literally all day, but it was quite scenic as we worked our way through the Alps crossing the border of Austria and Switzerland before finally arriving in Italy. It feels like a little slice of heaven here. I have to say Italy has never disappointed me so I am very much looking forward to some great days ahead!

Italy is the best!