Happy, merry and a merry happy festivities and new years to one and all. Back in Tuzla, our happy merry season has drawn to a close and looking at the detritus of 2 weeks worth of unpacking littering the house, I can reflect that it was a good merry happy festive moment.
Two weeks of luxury for us, with the first week skiing near Sarajevo. I was a bit worried about this. My entire family (and their girlfriends) were flying out for Christmas and I wasn't sure if it was going to live up to billing. There was unlikely to be any turkey, it was going to be very cold, there hadn't been any snow and we had no idea what the accommodation would be like. We've never been skiing with the boys who haven't shown much enthusiasm for the cold and snow. There was the potential for a disaster.
I needn't have worried. The apartments were amazing, it snowed buckets, the rental equipment was brand new, the lifts open the day we needed them to and everything was so much cheaper than the Alps. The family settled in beside many fires and were pleasantly surprised by what Bosnia had to offer.
The boys were given a sledge for Christmas and spent most of the week careering down various hills at highly unsuitable speeds and loving it. Adam ventured onto skis, and surprised everyone by a) not hating it and b) executing a few rather good parallel turns. He was less keen to try out the button lift so relied upon the lift of Mummy or Daddy dragging him up the hill. We may not have done as much skiing as usual, but we certainly got exercised. Luke is not such a fan of the snow and proved to be more of the apres ski hot chocolate kind of boy.
Being Bosnia the ski resort is remarkably child friendly. The nursery slope was gentle with a button lift which adults could walk beside to ensure children remain upright and reach their destination. Restaurants were not too crowded and no one minded if you lingered over your (homemade) blueberry juice. Indeed the waiters were more inclined to entertain the kids than bring the bill allowing the odd long, decadent hot chocolate.
With Christmas only celebrated by the (catholic) Bosnian Croats in Bosnia, Christmas is not a particularly big deal in much of Bosnia. This meant that the Christmas week was not particularly busy. So once the snow arrived, (overnight on our first night) there were no lift queues and very clear pistes with plenty of powder and no one else. D and I were the first ones up the lift on Christmas morning to find a clear run, amazing views and not another soul. I completed the moment with a suitably spectacular face plant.
In fact the whole skiing outing proved so successful we are thinking we may have to repeat it for a weekend in February. This is a huge and unexpected bonus.