Saturday, February 25, 2012

From the Switzerland of Central Asia to Switzerland!!!

Since my Dad didn't want to go skiing to let his forehead heal from last night cut, we figured we woudn't go skiing. As we were talking to our host, a teacher at the elementary school, about our plan to just wander around town, he jumped on the occasion to ask us to go talk about Canada to the school children.

We kindly accept his offer and arrange a meeting at 14h30. 

Before going to school, we were to meet again with Hayat to conclude our trip. 

We met with him at the CBT office. There was two other fellows who were there to ski. jared (that we previously met in Karakol) from Montana and Julia from Siberia where already there talking about the future of skiing in Arslanbob.

We all left to go to the local restaurant. I haven't completely forgot the day I've spend in bed, but since we were there, I just hoped that I wouldn't get sick! We drank a few beer and cheered with some pretty full cup of vodka to a really nice place.

As we left to go to the elementary school, my Dad and I were quite happy! On our way, we met Jared and Julia who were heading to the bunny hill to teach some kids how to snowboard!

We finally stayed about 1h30 talking about various thing about Canada and also just world travelling. There was probably about 75 children in the classroom and 10 teachers that came over to listen to us!

It was great to have been able to communicate with them a bit of information. We have internet and it seems that whenever there is something that we don't know; we can just google it down but for them, there isn't any good source of information as internet (that is really, really limited in the village!)

We left the following fairly early as we haven't bought our plane ticket yet and the flight was supposed to be at 16h30. After the 3h30 drive, we finally arrived in Osh to finally learn that our plane was to leave at 18h30…. We ended up at the airport with more than 6 hours before our flight! There certainly wasn't much to see. I was really surprised to see how many airlines that I've never heard of were flying to Osh!!!

We finally arrived in Bishkek at 20h30. We had a fairly short night since our flight to Europe was leaving at 5h30AM the following morning. It was certainly a great adventure that trip as been! I cannot guarantee it will be my last trip in this part of the world since the people were so friendly!

View Kyrgyzstan in a larger map

Everything went fairly smoothly and from Bishkek, we stopped for a layover of 1.5hours to refuel in Baku, Azerbaijan, the straight to London (about 6 hours) and then to Frankfurt (only 2 hours). We we bought the plane ticket back in November, we didn't had a clue of where would be the good skiing conditions so that's why we chose Frankfurt. 

After buying a fulfilling lunch, we caught a train to Geneve (about 6 hours). From there we were welcome by my Dad's friend, Antoine and Caroline. We were pretty exhausted from our 23 hours of travel.

We spend the following day shopping and planning our next trip. Antoine and Caroline kindly lend us a car for the 2 coming weeks to roadtrip with. It was hard to try to nail the good skiing destinations in Kyrgyzstan because of the lack of information. Europe is the exact opposite: way too much possibilities!

Fortunately for us, it had snowed just before we landed in Europe and there was about 10-20cm of snow forecast to a resort not too far from Geneve, Leysin. It is so easy to lose the focus on skiing since there is so much to do and so much to see!

By looking at the maps, it also seemed that the resort had some interesting off-piste. Unfortunately for us, those runs were closed due to high avalanche danger.

We wandered around the resort trying to avoid a really bad sunburst that seemed to have affect most of the resort. 

We finally found some good snow in the trees that were left totally untouched!!!

We ripped them all day until the resort closed!

At the time of writing, it is still snowing outside, so we are staying overnight here, and we'll see tomorrow morning what the plan will be!


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