The time that I fell off the ski lift in the Czech Republic!

As lovely as Rokytnice nad Jizerou!
As lovely as Rokytnice nad Jizerou!

Rokytnice nad Jizerou is lovely.

it’s in the Bohemian mountains of the Czech Republic and last week, I told you all about how to get there, where it is, and why we went there!

It’s skiing season and Rokytnice nad Jizerou has got eighteen (18) kilometres of wide pistes, excellent facilities, an adrenaline-inducing snow park, and wonderful views of the surrounding Krkonoše Mountains in the Czech Republic.

In fact, whether you’re a complete beginner or whizz down the slopes like a world champion, you will find what you’re looking for in Rokytnice.

Experts say that before you put on a single ski you should think carefully about which of the ski areas suit you best. There are five (5) of them. There is Studenov (near the centre of the village), Sachrovka, Modrá Hvězda, Bah’ynka (which are basically side by side) and Horní Domky which, with a splendid location on the slopes of the Lysá Mountain, has the longest slope in the country!

If only I had thought of that.

I’m a sucker when it comes to getting into trouble. Remember that time that we went to Inverness in Scotland, and the B&B landlord had forgotten that there were three (3) of us, The Music Producer, “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I, instead of (2) two…

My poor boy, who is taller than I am, had to sleep on a child’s camping bed which was jammed against the bedroom door, jammed against the bathroom door, and jammed against our very small British double bed!

On the city-kart in Leba, Poland before the chain and seat broke off!
On the city-kart in Leba, Poland before the chain and seat broke off!

Or what about that time that we went to a little village on the Polish Baltic Sea, and even though the sun was shining and everything, there was hardly anybody there and the circus, the cinema, the ice-cream waffle shop, the bicycle stand, the restaurants, and all the shops except for two (2).

Were closed!

Do you remember that time that I thought it was a good idea to climb up a live volcano in Bali.

Well, it wasn’t!

Akwaaaard!
Akwaaaard!

Have you forgotten when even though I can hardly ride a bike at all, I thought it prudent to go on a rural off-the-beaten-path mountain bicycle tour in Indonesia and ultimately fell in a ditch causing my guides to run into a panic!

How about the time that I was attacked by monkeys and they pulled my hair. Oh yes, they did!

Korean art and craft.
Korean art and craft.

And don’t even get me started on the horror of horrors and complete stupidity of flying all the way to Korea when actually, we should have been going to Qatar!

You would have thought that I had learnt my lesson from years ago, when I first came to Rokytnice nad Jizerou, and learnt to ski….

I mean, if you’re looking to spend your holiday just skiing or snowboarding, then Rokytnice nad Jizerou is just right.

Horní Domky or Grey Beard!
Horní Domky or Grey Beard!

Because of the terrain, Rokytnice nad Jizerou offers skiing and snowboarding for every level. It is recommended for beginners, skilled and very advanced skiers, of all age categories.

If you like slopes with greater difficulty, variety and width, or you’re an upper intermediate to advanced skier, the ski resort – Horní Domky is perfect. It has over 14 kilometres of perfectly groomed pistes which boast a width of up to 100 metres and a range from 630 to 1,315 meters, and is the best ski location in the Czech Republic in terms of its position, exemplary ski slopes, and facilities.

It is popular mainly for its large span of snow diversity, and the extent of its downhill courses.

It is dominated by Mount Hora, which is accessible by two (2) four-seat chair lifts and six (6) pole lifts. One of the chairlifts is the starting point of the Krkonoše cross-country skiing arterial trail and even takes you up to the Krkonoše National Park.

If you’re a snowboarder however, then Roktynice nad Jizerou won’t let you down as there is a snow park with several jumps, obstacles and its own lift popular for travellers and tourists, who love to Freestyle. On a length of over 11.4 kilometres you can ski on the blue, red, or black ski runs.

The Professionals!
The Professionals!

Only go on the black run if you’re ready.

I’m a strong red skier but when I was a blue skier in the 90’s, I decided to go on the black ski run with a bunch of friends who had been skiing for years and thought it might be fun, if we all skied together.

I guess you all know where this is leading!

We decided to go on the black run.

Me included.

The pole lift put in between your thighs!
The pole lift put in between your thighs!

We drove up and began to slowly ski up the hills of Horní Domky on the pole lift above. You know the one. Where the seat is put in between your thighs and you are whizzed along. It’s quite relaxing and as long as you don’t doze off completely, and you hold on tightly, it’s quite a pleasant way to go up.

This is what it looks like when you're whizzing up the pole lift!
This is what it looks like when you’re whizzing up the pole lift!

At some point, we began to climb higher and as such, the ski lift had to reflect that change in atmosphere and altitude. We went on a two-seat chairlift.

Now for the non-skiers among you, when you’re in a two-seat or four-seat chairlift, you’re outdoors and exposed to the elements. Most importantly, the skis are already attached to your feet so that you can quickly ski off. Away from the lift as the chairlift doesn’t stop, and automatically swivels around so that you must GET OFF!

I was supposed to be in a chairlift with my boyfriend at the time, but I somehow missed my seating, and ended up going on the next one.

The Alpine ski lift in Rokytnice nad Jizerou!
The Alpine ski lift in Rokytnice nad Jizerou!

Alone.

I was in an unfamiliar area and the speed at which we were climbing up those mountains was dizzying. I wasn’t completely in my seat and neither was I comfortable. At some point, I got confused and found that my skis were trapped in my alpine ski lift.

I tried to untangle my legs so that the skis would be in front of me rather than behind me, but I couldn’t.

So I lifted the ski bar.

Oh dear! What to do!
Oh dear! What to do!

And fell straight down into the forest!

I found myself face-down in a lot of snowy powder with my glasses stuck to my face!

I was in shock, and so was everyone else.

The empty chair!
The empty chair!

I could hear echoes of shouting, screaming, and frantic waving. All I could do was look on as my chairlift staggered emptily away into the cold distance.

The first thing I did was to check my legs.

They were at a funny angle.

Where are my skis?!
Where are my skis?!

And then I wondered where my skis were.

Then I burst into torrent of tears.

Luckily for me, gravity had flung my skis away from me. I was seriously bruised and in shock, but I had no broken bones.

I was in the middle of the forest and I was completely and utterly alone. There were no mobile phones in those days, and in 1994, the Czech Republic was an undeveloped East European country. Waiting for help would mean that I would freeze. I could see where the chairlift was supposed to go, so I began to walk towards the direction of the next chairlift station.

i_m_in_shock_look_i_have_a_blanket_by_teamfreewillangel-d62zdp0I began to search for my skis, put them together, stuck them in the snow, and began to walk. And shed tears, and talk to myself, and shed more tears.

I was in shock you see.

By the time I got to the chairlift station, it was 1.5 hours later, all my friends were enormously worried, and I couldn’t talk at all.

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/24/murder_intrigue_and_the_mysterious_origins_of_vodka/
A needed shot of vodka!

Happily, I was sat down, and a jacket was put around my shoulders. Somebody also slipped me some vodka.

I needed it as I still had to get down from the mountain!

One of my girlfriends’ gave me her skis and then she went back down into the forest with her boyfriend to find mine. Both of them on a tandem of one ski each!

Ha!

Never try to ski with equipment that has not been measured or weighed for you in mind. I was much taller and weighed less than the girl whose skis I was now using.

And it showed.

It’s a dangerous game as the skis kept slipping from my feet….!

I saw the the Mountain Rescue Service in action. They were quick, efficient  & top notch. Sadly, they didn't exist in 1994!
I saw the Mountain Rescue Service in action. They were quick, efficient & top-notch. Sadly, they didn’t exist in 1994!

It took me 1.5 hours to ski down a black run that should have taken 30 minutes.

I was wet.

I was cold.

And I was scared.

I was scared of hurting myself on the slopes, but the only way to get down those slopes was to ski down them.

The ski map of Rokytnice nad Jizerou.
The ski map of Rokytnice nad Jizerou.

I did it.

I finished the black ski run.

I lived to tell the tale.

And then I didn’t ski for 10 years!

I went to Andorra (a tiny country between France and Spain). I went to Southern Germany. And in 2009, I went back to the Czech Republic.

To Rokytnice nad Jizerou.

What I should have done was to get a guide to go with me or simply not go up the black ski run mountain at all, but you live and learn right?

Right!?!

Ski School Yetti in Rokytnice nad Jizerou.Since I don’t ski every year, I always make sure to brush up on my skiing skills and reflexes by booking a few lessons at a reputable ski school. The school that I go to is called Ski School Yetti, is right next door to the Hotel Stary Mlyn. Very convenient not only because you get a discount if you’re a guest of the hotel, but also because it’s only 5 minutes away from the piste itself!

Hurrah!

It’s owned by a bear of a man called Petr. He’s Czech and speaks German and a little English but all his ski instructors are young Czechs, full of energy and enthusiasm, and speak either fluent English, fluent German, or Polish.

In many cases, more English than anything else!

Jakob, my son's skiing instructor.
Jakob, my son’s skiing instructor.

You can learn or improve your skiing, snowboarding, snowkiting, or snowtubing. You can also rent all the ski equipment that you need. And as I told you last week, skis go quickly and Czech prices are out of this world!

I paid 1,522 kc or €55/$62.00 for my son’s skis, poles, boots and a helmet for six (6) days. That’s equivalent to €9.20 or $10.50 a day! I also paid 3,591 kc or €131/$148.50 for advanced ski lessons for children between the ages of 9 – 12 years old in a group of 4 – 8 children. The class started with 5 teenagers and by the middle of the week pretty much ended up being a private class for one, as parents tend to ski with their kids as the week progressed.

I used to do the same.

The old days!
The old days!

I was ill that week and couldn’t ski, so I was pretty relieved to know that my son was never alone whilst on the ski piste! The cost of €22/$26 per day is astounding for ski lessons of four (4) hours per day. Not only that, but the daily ski pass for kids were 270 kc or €10/$11.50 per day and 50 kc or €1.80/$2.60 refundable deposit for the chip cart.

My ski improvement lessons for middle-advanced classes would have cost 2,280 kc for three (3) days or €83/$95 or €28/$32 per day. My ski rental for five (5) days would have cost 1,220 kc or €44.30/$50.50 or €9/$10.30 per day.

You can always leave your stuff, if you need a break. It's perfectly safe.
You can always leave your stuff, if you need a break.
It’s perfectly safe.

I thought that I would recover from my illness and kept the skis for four (4) days but I had bronchitis and was forced to spend most of my vacation time in bed! Petr knew I had been ill. In fact, everyone knew that I was ill, and didn’t charge me!

Thank you Petr.

ANY APRÈS-SKI?

Fun & games in Austria!
Fun & games in Austria!

Rokytnice nad Jizerou isn’t the Austrian Alps and you’re not going to find many people doing the conga here! Having said that, there are ski schools for adults and children a-plenty, equipment rentals, ski service, restaurants, fast food booths, paragliding, a mountain rescue station (which I saw in action), a few small discos and a TESCO!

Parking is free of charge and there is a ski bus service which is completely and utterly free, to take you from one ski piste to the other.

I’d say that if you’re looking for a good time, there’s plenty of good food, cheap booze, and skiing to be had.

You’d best bring a group of friends or the family with you, and get the party started LOL!

I don’t think you can get any better than that!

Prosím!
Prosím!

For more information, please contact: The ski website of the Czech Republic.

For more information, please contact: Rokytnice nad Jizerou.

For more information, please contact: Ski School Yetti,

A local Czech snowboarder.This article is not sponsored and even though I received a small discount, all opinions and the delicious Czech dishes that I had, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Next week, I’m going to concentrate on the rustic delights of Czech food. You can read the tweets that I sent of Rokytnice nad Jizerou under the Twitter # tag of #RokytnicenadJizerou, #Rokytnice, #HotelStaryMlyn or #skischoolyetti.

You can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

Strictly Stand Up – The English Comedy Night is going to take place on 25.02.15 at the Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin.

I’ll be participating in the pre-ITB Travel Massive event on 03.03.15. If you’re a blogger or just fancy a knees-up, come meet us. It’s going to be so much fun!

The actual International Travel Trade Fair – ITB – will be taking place from 04.03.15 – 08.03.15 and after that I’ll be off travelling to the next destination. More exciting info in March!

If you’re not in Berlin in February, it’s not too late!

February is going to be warm and dandy!

Watch this space!

Returning to Rokytnice nad Jizerou. Because we're worth it!
Returning to Rokytnice nad Jizerou.
Because we’re worth it!

I’m thinking of taking a small group of people to the Czech Republic next year. Who’s with me? Would you consider skiing in Rokytnice nad Jizerou?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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53 thoughts on “The time that I fell off the ski lift in the Czech Republic!

  1. OMG hoe frightening falling from a chair lift!! We are not skiers so have no idea how those chair lift work but didn’t realise a person could just lift the bar mid-air. Always assumed it was like a theme park ‘ride’ bar where it locks into place until it gets to a certain point before unlocking for you to jump out.

    So relieved to hear you weren’t seriously injured!

    Quite a post this was 🙂

    Like

    1. It really was guys. It was frightening! Normally, ski chairlifts are enormously safe but if you rock, shake or lean on the bar, it’s dangerous. I was rocking and shaking the chairlift and remember, it was 20 years ago, and they couldn’t see me! Perhaps they can now. I don’t know. I guess with chip technology and cameras, they can.
      The last time I went on such a chairlift was on a summer hiking trip in Austria in 2007! And as soon as I saw that very same type of chairlift I started shaking, but I had my son with me at the time so I had to keep it together. Believe you me, I sat right back and didn’t move until we got off!
      I’m not scared of heights so I feel more comfortable on a gondola or cable car LOL!

      Like

  2. Oh wow! My misadventure happened when l was helped off the chair lift. He patted me on the back to wish me luck..and down l went, screaming all the way. Loudly! For some reason, l made it down without falling till the bottom. This guy came up to me and said “and you said you didn’t know how to fall” 😉 . I was shaking. It was the bunny slopes, but l did not go back up, just got up and enjoyed the view from the bottom, and waited for my friend in the lodge. No..thank you. I don’t think l will ever have the courage again. Too old to have broken leg, hip etc :-).

    Like

    1. Yikes! That’e even worse kemkem especially when you think it’s all over. And it isn’t…!!!!
      I try to be vigilant when I’m skiing these days and yes, for the same reasons. I really can’t afford to break anything.
      Too painful! 🙂

      Like

      1. I think I would have 🙂 I did a pretty similar thing my first (and last) time skiing – I didn’t have any proper gear and ended up on a black slope. I was alright for a while but then came to a really steep bit – thankfully an English family came along at that point! The dad took my skis to the bottom of the horrible bit and I slid down on my arse 😉

        Like

      2. Bugger! And on a black run on the first day! Oooooh! It hurts just thinking about it. You sliding on your bum I mean! 🙂 It’s amazing how lucky we all have been over the years…!
        ‘Fancy learning how to ski for proper or was it the end of the ski road so to speak? Literally!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m not really that into winter sports – unless drinking Glühwein counts 😉 It actually wasn’t sore but I did end up with a huge mountain of snow between my legs by the time I got to the bottom 😉 Yeah, the amount of stupid shit I’ve done, it’s a miracle I’m here at all 😉

        Like

  3. This is such an amazing story, I’m so impressed that you found the courage to ski down that mountain after falling off the chairlift! It was a shame you missed out on skiing this time because of your illness though, I hope you make it back onto the slopes one day 🙂

    Like

      1. Sweden is a pretty amazing place so if you have your ways past, check it out! 🙂
        I’m actually already in New Zealand, it’s summer here at the moment though so I’ll have to wait a little before I can go snowboarding ;D

        Like

    1. True! A fear of heights would make it even more of an issue and I’m not going to lie. It was truely horrifying but.
      I’d still recommend going skiing as long as you go with a trusted, reliable school and with a qualified skiing instructor LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I seriously just about had a full-on panic attack simply from reading this. You poor thing! I don’t think I’d EVER go near a ski resort again after this experience.

    Funny enough, I was just skiing in California yesterday and telling my friends I always have this irrational fear that I’m going to leap off the lift into the forest below and therefore always insist on pulling down the bar, wimpy as that might be!

    Like

    1. Thank you Kristin! I’m awfully surprised that I finished the black run myself! Somehow, I think it was the shock and the adrenalin of fear, that kept me moving LOL!
      And keeping the bar down is one of the wisest things you can ever do. I still shake and tremble whenever I see a similar skilift…..!

      Like

  5. Oh my god, this sounds terrifying! My heart was beating in my chest as I read this. The chair lift is my biggest fear about skiing (although I’ve never actually skiied and have no coordination, so maybe the skiing part should be my biggest fear), and people have SWORN to me that you can’t fall off a ski lift. What liars.

    You are amazing to ever ski again after an experience like that!

    Like

    1. It was terrifying Jo. The shock probably kept me going. And the tears. I was really crying and honestly, I’m quite a controlled person LOL!
      Skiing is generally safe but like any sport, you do have to keep your wits and your surroundings, about you. If you can ride a bike, you can ski. They say. Funny that, as I learnt how to ski years ago but couldn’t ride a bike! And it’s rare to fall off a ski lift. Really rare. I was just stupid and extremely lucky that I hadn’t broken anything. You’re so sweet Jo but honestly, it wasn’t bravery that got me going back on the slopes, it was the fact that 10 years later, my son was learning to ski and if my job is to keep him safe, then I’ve got to get back on the slopes. Having a child makes you think beyond, so I went back LOL!
      He’s 13 now and is a far superior skier. 🙂 🙂

      Like

      1. About that riding a bike thing…I might have managed to fall off my bike and break my arm when I was 11. I might ironically have been taking my Cycling Proficiency exam at the time. I might even more ironically have been taking said exam for the second time. Maybe.

        And supposing that were true, I might also not have got back on the bike in the 13 years since. So even if you did start skiing again for your son, I still think you’re pretty awesome! 🙂

        Like

      2. Thank you so much my sweet! It wasn’t easy and I think we’re pretty similar when it comes to the bike thing. I went to cycling school in Berlin (Ho! Ho!) and finally learnt how to (officially) ride, then I went to Poland and propmtly crashed into someone! No one was really hurt except for my own guilty conscience and so although I can and do ride, I don’t like busy roads. In fact, I don’t like cycling on roads at all! I went on a rural cycling trip in Bali last year, it was pretty awful as there were steep hills and rivers and bumps and rice-fields and well, read it for yourself. I made it, but only just! Here’s the link: https://thebritishberliner.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/how-i-went-on-a-bicycle-tour-and-fell-in-a-ditch-in-bali/

        Like

  6. Wow! That would be so scary. I can see why you didn’t ski for so many years afterward. I have never been skiing. I would consider trying it at least once, but I’ll definitely have to remember to check which run I’d be going on so I don’t end up in over my head.

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    1. Thanks very much Amanda! It was horrifying at the time but I’m really glad that I managed to get over it. It in the end!
      Skiing is a great sport which I enjoy enormously. If you want to try it for yourself, go for it, just ensure you get a great skiing teacher, to give you a good start LOL!

      Like

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