The start of skiing season in Pamporovo 15-16 December 2001
The start of skiing season in Pamporovo 15-16 December 2001We are heading to Pamporovo on 15 December Saturday. Last few days skiing was possible on one of the ski runs of the resort and we are hoping to do some good skiing. Unfortunately the weather is not very cold, so reaching the resort we are a bit worried if the ski runs will be ok. After Assenovgrad (a town on our way to Pamporovo) we have some 70 km of climbing the mountain, and getting to the top we see that the snow is not much and even worse - it is melting! In an hour we reach the town of Chepelare and we have 12 km more to Pamporovo. Still the same, snow cover is not increasing. My friends are also worried... What's the alternative? May be we will do some clubbing in the bars and discos of Pamporovo, instead of skiing for first time this season :( The other group of 6 people, went to Pamporovo earlier this morning, so they should be on the top trying the ski runs. All of us are very eager to talk to them, so finally we decide to call them by mobile phone and find out what are the conditions. Guess what? They say they are on the lift and the skiing was excellent. So, finally, when we reach the resort we are happy and relaxed. It is 3.30 pm, and we have no time to get our gear and get to the runs - lifts are closing at 4.30! However some of the girls from our group, decide to jump on the lift and get to the top, to see by themselves if skiing was really OK. In the evening they told me that it was not a good decision, because they almost missed the last lift from the top, and the guys operating the lifts were desperate to go home and they run the last lift back on the highest speed and my friends almost freezed for the half hour on the lift back... We are staying at Malina chalets which are located within 5 minutes walking from the lifts, and are ideal for our purpose - each wooden chalet accommodates 4 persons in 2 separate bedrooms and has all standard facilities. It is quite warm in the chalet, there is private toilette and bathroom, TV, fridge etc. It seems that the chalets are maintained in very good condition, and would be excellent choice for group of young people (like us) or a family with kids. Decide to have a dinner in the restaurant of the village, which is basic, but cozy, has a fireplace on wood. The staff of the restaurant have no work (the season has not started yet), so they seem very happy when they see us entering the place. I am not surprised that the prices here are 2 times higher than those of a similar restaurant in Sofia. It's quite usual for any resort in the world to have higher prices. I am ordering a local speciality and it is good tasting. The coffee is good too. I'm sure that people working here are enjoying their last 'unbusy' days before Christmas when the resort gets really crowded and it is even a problem to find any room available. Finishing our dinner, the girl asks us if we want our breakfast meals tomorrow to be brought in the chalet. M-m-m, that's a good offer, yes please. Breakfast on the next morning is not much (as usual) but it's tasty! It gets dark at 5-5.30 pm so we are going to our chalets to have some rest after the 3 hours driving from Sofia. What a surprise, it starts snowing! Good. We are 2 km from the centre of the resort, so no one seems to be willing to go in the bars there. Some of the people from our group go to another restaurant near the village to have some drinks and chat. It still snows... In few hours I decide to go to the centre of the resort to buy some things from the shops and I see that already the streets are covered with snow - it is not very easy to drive the car. Looks that it will snow the whole night... On the next morning we are extremely happy. The snow cover looks quite thick, and it keeps on snowing. It is cloudy and quite cold. After we have our breakfast we go to the pistes. Some people of our group do not have own equipment, so we first go to the ski depot, which is next to the lift station (lift No. 5). They collect all they need and we are ready to go. It's the very beginning of the skiing season, so there are not many skiers in the resort. Mostly Bulgarian, and some Turkish skiers. Coming by jeeps or family cars, with skis on the top. They seem very excited of the fact that soon they will be skiing for first time this season. We are feeling the same. No queue on the lift. Even it is 10.30 am the lift is going up almost empty. In 20 minutes we will be on the top, below the TV tower, skiing downhill. The lift is going above the red ski run, which looks OK, but no skiers can be seen there. May be they are on the easier tracks. Before we reach the top, we can see the TV tower coming out of the mist. I know that there's a cafe on the top of the tower, but this year it is closed for re-construction, hopefully it will be open in a couple of weeks. In few minutes we are on the top. The snow cover is really good. The good thing for Pamorovo is that the slopes are covered with grass, and almost no rocks. Therefore Pamporovo needs very little snow to have good skiing conditions. It seems that the people maintaining the ski runs have done their job in the best way. We can see one of the snow machines coming to us. Yes, they look busy. After the machine the cover is perfect. And we are going... Have enough space on the ski piste, as I told you the first skiers are coming just now. We can see some skateboarders too. Few hours later we are tired, but happy. Next few months we will be skiing!
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