Sunday 30 August 2015


Lalalala.... oh, hello! You're still here?!

Yeah, sorry about the ridiculously long blog silence. It due to a mix of lots of things, really. Enjoying married life being one of them, of course! Although people keep asking us, does it feel any different? And to be honest.... uhm, kinda? I mean normal day-to-day existence is pretty much the same. Just with extra added eternity. We've also been away for a fun weekend, plus we've had the sheer delight of the Prime Minister trying to boot us out the country*. So, you know, it's been busy.

* Uhm, well, not Tony Abbott directly or anything. Mainly the immigration department. Again, this will no doubt feature in all it's monotonous, bureaucratic glory in another blog entry. Suffice to say for now, we are fine and staying put, like the naughty immigrant squatters we are.

So with all that going on, what to talk about first?! Hmmm, being so out of practice with the art of bloggery, I think I may take the easy option and go with telling you about our fun weekend, because  (1) it's educational* on Australia, (2) it's not wedding-related, and I'm gearing up for a huge WEDDING FEST in the near future, so I am giving you a break, and (3) it's the most recent thing that's happened, so I can remember it still.

* You will learn precisely ONE new fact. That you may have already known about. What?! This isn't National Geographic, you know.

Ok, so are you ready for an exciting piece of information?! Drum roll, please..... Australia has SNOW. Yes, I know! Who would have thought! I certainly didn't! It's so special here that Australians literally say they are "going to the snow". That is one of my most favourite expressions here, it sounds so sweet, "Ah, yeah, we're takin' the littlies to the snow this weekend". LOVE. IT.

Thanks for the photo, Rebecca M!
So when I found out my friends from work were "going to the snow", well naturally I had to invite myself and Jan along! After all, our ski/snowboard stuff is looking embarrassingly underused in our garage next to the perma-sunny beach. It deserves an outing!

Even more exciting, the location of 'the snow' is merely a six-hour drive away! Oh be quiet, Europeans, a six hour drive in Aus is still 'just down the road*'! And what a road it was. After the fight to get out of Sydney, you end up on a pretty straight, open road with gorgeous views all the way to Canberra.

* It's worth mentioning, it's pretty damn hard to get lost anywhere in Australia, at least in a car, given that mostly there is ONE ROAD going to the next town/city. I can describe getting from Sydney to Perisher as basically, right out of Sydney, right, left, right again and you're there. The sat nav is most despondent with its lack of usage.

Once we were around Canberra, we went down another long road which I don't remember the actual name of, but will hereafter be known as Kangaroo Graveyard. I have only once before seen so many dead animals at the side of the road - and that was in Scotland where the rabbits there seemingly have learnt nothing from Watership Down. And for the first time, I realised why it is that people here always look highly worried when you say you might be driving at dusk. The reaction is a bit like if you were living in Transylvania and mentioned you were popping out for a moonlight stroll. But seeing these huge, muscular mammals lying by the side of the road makes you realise there's a mighty big difference between a rabbit and a mahoosive kangaroo hitting your car - so we proceeded rather cautiously, and sadly, down the kangaroo gauntlet.

After stopping off for a filthy McDonald's and some snow chains (mandatory in the national parks at this time of year), we finally started heading up into the mountains to our 'luxury' chalet and spa hotel. It was a huge building, with it's very own fountain out front, and looked quite impressive against the hills behind it. However, luxury may have been pushing it somewhat. The room we had paid a significant amount for elicited the response from Jan that it reminded him of going to the Czech Republic before the Berlin Wall had come down. Now, please don't get me wrong, I'm not one of these snobs who goes on TripAdvisor to denigrate a hotel because they haven't used the right thread count on the Egyptian cotton bedsheets, but let's just say, it was rather basic for what we were paying. On the other hand, downstairs had a big roaring fire, and a lovely bar with comfy sofas and we had a three course meal each night that was most definitely the right side of YUM. Plus, it had that thing that all serious boarders and skiers will pay for - location. They provided guests with a minibus to take you the final 10 minutes to the lifts.

So up and early on Saturday morning (with Jan in full GEM* we were off to the skifields!
* German Efficiency Mode

The party people...
Everyone had told us to expect the Australian snow to be crap compared to the lofty heights of Europe and North America, but we were pleasantly surprised. They'd had snowfall quite recently, so there was enough to make the slopes fun and not too icy. The weather was stunning - blue skies and sunshine, and there were lots of little areas to explore and have fun with. For sure, it's not got the range of its northern hemisphere counterparts, and there was way less off piste stuff for Jan to enjoy (haha, sucks to be a boarder!) but we still had loads of fun and the views were gorgeous.

Blue skis and white stuff

We went to Perisher on the Saturday and after a shamefully early night, we were up and off to Thredbo (another mountain about 30mins away) on the Sunday. Thredbo has some slightly longer runs, which was nice, and we had another beautiful sunshine day of exploring the area. When it was time to come down and go home, we took a route under the lift (there wasn't much other choice) which a fellow boarder claimed was "fun, but a bit green". No, this isn't some funky boarder language - we were literally skiing over grass by the end! We just about made it though. Now we just had to face the six hour drive 'down the road' home again....

TL:DR - check out our awesome ski trip!