The tallest hill in Denmark is about 180 meters high. So, it’s safe to say that this country is very flat. The (lazy) runner in me appreciates this topography fact. I make up for the lack of cardio boost with a few sprints and call it good. I do not miss planning my running route based on whether or not I feel like tackling a particular hill that day. However, I do miss mountains. I miss looking at them off in the distance, imagining the vast wilderness that surrounds them. I miss hiking them. And this year, we missed skiing them. Talk about not knowing what you’ve got until it’s gone. I think I took the mountains in the Pacific Northwest a bit for granted. Having good ski slopes within an hours drive seemed…normal.
Here in Denmark, we were told that the closest place to go skiing is about 3.5 hours away, in Sweden. Danes take motor coaches there…FOR THE DAY! We used to drive 4 hours to Whistler and wonder whether staying only 2 nights was worth the drive. Sweden as a ski destination was not exactly on our radar. When we decided to do a family ski trip, we looked into flights to Austria, Switzerland, France – in search of real mountains. But those options involved a lot of planning…and a lot of money. So when friends asked us if we wanted to join them for a weekend of skiing in Sweden, we said, “Sure, why not.”
Getting there: We rented a van that accommodated 2 adults, 4 kids and 1 babysitter. We used our friend’s company vehicle for 2 adults (the moms) and all the gear. We drove to Helsingør and took the ferry across to Sweden.
Isaberg does not really have a ski village per se – but there is a “high street” with a decent grocery store and things you might need. We rented 2 small cabins in an idyllic setting, in the woods. It was perfectly hyggeligt in every way. The skiing could have been bad and I would have been happy with this cozy get-away with friends.
We found it funny that “snaps glasses” were included in our pre-stocked kitchen. A necessity – right between “mugs” and “glasses”. So-very-Scandinavian.
I am happy to report the skiing was not bad at all. Granted…for Seattle readers…we basically drove 3.5 hours to get to the equivalent of Snoqualmie Pass…but it was really quite ideal for the kids. The lift-tickets were inexpensive and they had a great kid’s slope with a little rope tow (which is actually free) and then a slightly more advanced hill nearby. We signed Matea and her friend up for an hour and a half of ski school, which unfortunately didn’t go so well for Matea. Apparently it was lost in translation that a “beginner” should already be able to snow plow to a stop and go up a large rope tow. Matea did not feel comfortable in the class, so we worked with her on our own and she did great.
It was Dahlia’s first time on skis. She took to it pretty naturally and was a happy little ski bunny. By the time we left she was going down the kid’s hill on her own and snow-plowing to a stop.
The girls quickly learned that warming up in the lodge with warm drinks and yummy snacks is all part of the skiing experience.
I have a feeling we might be back here again next year.