Feeling the need for speed (and moguls) these two devout Coloradans gathered a group of other ski/board addicts whose ski legs were itching and flew off the island in search of a long weekend of some winter satisfaction. We have to admit, in our thinly disguised arrogance about skiing the best slopes and snow in the world in Colorado, we had little expectations for skiing Bulgaria. I must report we were amazingly pleased with Bansko and had a fantastic time with a great group of people.
A mixed group of skiers/snowboarders, we proved that we can cross cultures between the two and actually enjoy it!. We usually started off the day together and eventually went our separate ways in search of favorite terrain (Mel and Richard to their bumps and others to their speed slopes). We always met up for dinner at a local tavern. (I must put a plug in here for our lodging at the Pirin River Ski and Spa. Comfortable, quiet rooms and great service were highlights. And Jimmy had dreams about the awesome breakfast that was included every morning.)
The best part about traveling with a group is you come home with a lot more stories. Some were educational; like learning on the last day (after standing in the gondola lift line for over an hour each morning) that we could simply drive and park at the top of the gondola and begin our ski day there. Some were frustrating; like driving around in circles in the town of Bansko looking for our hotel and listening to the irritating voice of our Tom-Tom lady reprimanding us…”when safely possible, turn around.” Little did she know how impossible turning around was with snow banks piled up around us on every side as we inched our way through the tiny, dark one lane streets. Only an Italian driver could maneuver so expertly – thanks Gio! Some were surprising; like learning just how delicious a Bulgarian BBQ could be and how friendly and accommodating the Bulgarian people are. Some were entertaining; like Jimmy demonstrating his ski boogie dance at the top of the lift in front of God and everyone, and evenings full of Jenn’s story telling talents. All in all, a memorable trip full of great stories.
Our time in Bulgaria was very short and designed specifically for playing in the snow, so we didn’t have a chance to peel back the layers of this interesting culture in any depth. It left us itching to return in a warmer season… Another trip – another blog!