Last Tuesday, I went to learn to cross-country ski. The city of Oulu was offering a very cheap 7 week course with equipment included. So my American friend and I bundled ourselves up, as usual, and went in search of the stadium where the lessons were taking place. Without much fuss we found it (phew!) but realised that we had left ourselves far too much time to get there and had two choices… Either we freeze outside waiting for the lesson to start or we could find some hot chocolate. We went for the hot chocolate option. Surprising? I didn’t think so.
We found a place that sold hot chocolate and it turned out to be the big public swimming pools of Oulu. There were about seven indoor pools, a water slide for kids, small jacuzzi (not for kids… sies) and fountains that you could get a water massage from. The website says “Oulu Swimming Pool, in Raksila, is one of the biggest and most popular in Finland”. Note to self: YOU MUST RETURN HERE!
Anyways, so back to cross-country skiing. We returned to the stadium and went into a little room where there were loads of skis, polls and boots in great condition and up for grabs. OK. We are not in Cape Town anymore. So we found skis, polls and boots that fitted us and then, it was time to get out on the snow. EEEEEEEEK.
The instructors quickly realised that we were very new at this and left us to go round and round and round the stadium by ourselves while they trained the natives who were skiing on one leg up hills (well, not really, but almost).
It went well although I pretty sure a granny could have walked faster than we were skiing. We had so much and laughed at each other. We left, feeling like champions after only 45 minutes of going round and round a stadium. The next challenge for me was to take my newly acquired skiing skills to the country, which I would, the following Sunday with my Kummi Family (part two to follow)