The sky was brilliant blue against white snow when we arrived in the Swedish ski resort and mounted the Jämtland flag. I was staying in a ski lodge close to the centre - and to the lifts - with my oldest friends, 'girls' I've known since school and who, as the years pile on, I realise know me rather too well...
For instance when that same afternoon of our arrival I was with one of my friends in the Tott Hotel ski hire shop, I disappeared round the corner to look at a sales rack (once a shopaholic...). Wondering where I'd got to she (naturally!) went to look for me in the adjacent bar where a noisy after-ski party had just started.
|These pictures were actually taken in the bar the following afternoon after we'd been up on the mountain.|
Which we did indeed do over the next two days. Not that we were fanatical about it; since most runs in Åre end up or go past a 'kaffehus' - cafe/bar/restaurant - we took advantage of the amenities and had lots of lovely breaks for resting those rarely used thigh muscles need for skiing (ok, I know they're used for other very important activities too but not for hours on end...?), chatting and generally admiring the scenery and people watching. You can tell I'm not a very energetic slalom skier, something the Englishman has never quite understood, but for me being on the Swedish or Finnish Alps means more than just the actual activity of skiing or the wonderfully fresh mountain air. I'm also at home, with friends or family, as well as getting the all-important snow fix that I so crave here in London.
Here are some pictures of Åre this time around.
|View from my bedroom window - not bad?|
|A view from our balcony - the pale yellow building is Tott Hotel|
|Another balcony view.|
|A view later on in the evening as the sun set over Lake Åre.|
|Loungers on the balcony covered with local, organic lamb skins.|
|One of the pistes in Åre - not exactly crowded...|
|Early in the morning when we feared a snow storm would stop play. It didn't - the weather cleared up later.|
|There was even sun in the afternoon on the pistes.|
|Oh, how I wish I was still there!|