Last week me and my family took a (little) Ten hour road trip from Grimaud, France to Obertauern, Austria. We arrived in the afternoon around 2:00 pm and settled into our apartment. Its a nice place with two beds and a bathroom. (our bed, of course, was the pull out couch…). The floor was heated and it had a cosy feel to the place. The man at the counter told us where we could rent some skis and a snow board for Justin. They were very helpful and gave us their time to find the right size of boots for each of us. Dad’s german helped things a little for the lady spoke only a little english. We brought our skis back to the apartment (they have their own separate ski room) and when we were all settled in and dinner was made, I was readyto rest after two long days on the road.
Obertauern is in the Austrian Alps. Driving through the tall white mountains only made me more excited to ski there. The first day out of the apartment was great! We were literally at the base of the mountain and a 100 meters from the first lift. I was kind of nervous because i had not gone skiing in over a year.
Let me tell you, the quality of snow was amazing. Even if the skiing hadn’t been so good, the views at the top of the mountain took your breath away. With the sun shining, each mountain was its own spectacle. After a day of snowing the slope had a nice fresh layer of white powder. that made the snow light and easy to ride. Because I had a whole week to ski, by the end of the week, my skiing had improved to the point of whizzing down the mountain ahead of the others ;). I was like the wind blowing down the mountain without stop! I really felt this going down the slalom course where speed is your friend. The ride down the slope was fun even if you were a pro or just beginning. They were nice and wide allowing you to go at your own pace; it didn’t matter if you started a the top at the mountain or below, everyone ended up at the same place. When I look back on last week, I remember having a great time spent with my family and recommend Obertauern to anyone looking for a great ski trip you’ll enjoy.
Stonehenge and Avebury are prehistoric henge monuments located in southwest England. These sites are among the most well known tourist attractions in the world because of the mystery that has stumped archeologists for years. How did these giant stones get here? And why were they brought to this place?
Scientists believe that these sites were built around 3000 B.C. to 2000
B.C. That was over 5000 years ago! The first stones that were brought to
Stonehenge were brought from a site in Wales between 2400 B.C. and 2200 B.C. it is thought they were then somehow loaded onto large ships to be carried down river to a village some 100 miles away from Stonehenge. The stones were then most likely rolled on top of large logs to where they would be stacked on top of each other in a circular setting.
This was probably the same case for the stones gathered in Avebury for they are not too far away from each other. No easy feat when you consider that the stones weigh anywhere from 5 tons to 45 tons each! The stones that were brought there were composed in larger circular setting than Stonehenge and had a huge ditch with two smaller stone circles lining the inside.
The original purpose of these monuments is unknown. Perhaps they were places of worship? There have been many theories but evidence suggests that Stonehenge was most likely used as a burial site. But what scientists discovered about this place surprised them. Twice a year, on the solstices, the sun shines through the front stone doorway. This allows you to see which month you are in by how the sun rotates and shines through a different doorway each month.
To really appreciate Stonehenge and Avebury is to see them first-hand and get an idea of how massive the stones really are and why archeologists are so interested in these monuments. It is a nice place to go and reflect on the mystery of how humans with only the bones of animals and stone tools could accomplish such a feat.
Not many people in their lives get to go to the Olympics, whether its because it’s too expensive or if its just too far away in another country. No matter the case, it is truly a once in a lifetime experience. This year I am at the London 2012 Olympics. I’m having that very same experience. The first event we went to was tennis at Wimbledon. As a tennis player I was naturally excited to see this event. I have never before witnessed Top 10 tennis and did not know who I was going to see in this round of the semi finals. It turned out we were on center court and were seeing both men’s and women’s singles. As we entered the complex there was a big green board that posted who was playing on what court. I jumped up and down with excitement because I was not going to see Top 10 tennis, I was going to see Top 5 tennis! The matches were Roger Federer vs. Juan Martin del Potro, Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokovic. Anyone who follows tennis knows why I was so happy. To see all of them in one day playing at Wimbeldon is amazing.
First, it was Federer and del Potro. Del Potro looked fresh and ready for the match. Federer had fallen behind in the first set. Then, Federer won the second set and eventually won the third. The match took 4 ½ hours! Next, Serena Williams completely walked over the #1 player in the world, Victoria Azarenka in two sets. Last, Andy Murray took on Novak Djokovic, the #1 men’s singles player. Not a very good player on grass, Djokovic fell behind at the crucial moments of each set. The crowd cheered on Andy Murray, the home country favorite. He beat Djokovic in two sets, which made me sad, because I was rooting for Djokovic.
The family we are staying with here in Sweden love to go boating. They have a 30 year-old speed boat that they go on almost everyday. Their 17 year-old son, Albin, loves to whip people around on the inner tube. Its like trying to hold on to a merry-go-round going 35 knots in a circle. I also tried water skiing as you can see on the blog. Must think I’m pretty good at it…wrong! My mom took a picture of me in the few seconds I was up! But you just keep thinking I’m good at it and I won’t be ashamed.
Sometimes we even go out of the bay and onto the ocean. Albin was the first to inner tube out there. We were doing our best to make him fall off and finally he did. When we got him into the boat he said, “It’s @!%#ing cold!” and so we road off into sunset, warm and ready for the next day where it would be Albin’s sister, Filippa’s, birthday. She would be turning 12.