Friday 23/1/15 – last day skiing and it will be an easy day just to put a full stop on this holiday … sad as three weeks just goes too fast.

Plan is to catch bus from Monte Pana to Saltria and ski in Alpe de Suisse (Seisser Alm) with lunch at Zalingers.  All of the names here have two versions, one in German and the other in Italian as this area has been in dispute between Austria and Italy for many years.

To start this last day off, Paul & Dee Dee did the World Cup run to San Christina while the others the perfectly groomed black run from the top of Ciampinoi.  The group this morning is minus Rod & Amanda, two David’s ( sick), … by now attrition rate pretty high and it certainly has wind down feel about it.

One can take the town shuttle bus down the valley to St Ulrich, but we opted for another new experience.  We skied to Monte Pana and boarded the 10:10 bus to Saltria.  This is an on mountain single lane snow covered road with drops on one side and cliffs on the other – bit hairy.  Half way along (in a passing bay), we needed to wait to allow the return bus to get past.  The Alpe du Suisse area is a large wide open bowl with easy skiing and bathed in sunshine today and is located above the town of St Ulrich in the valley below.  We described it as ego skiing today as you could not really do a thing wrong here (apart from Paul who in his enthusiasm took a wrong turn and we had to go and collect him !).  I took the opportunity to get the last of group skiing GoPro video for the DVD.  At 11:30, we went in for early lunch at Zalingers – a must visit restaurant if you are in val Gardena – bit out of the way, but fantastic food and nestled under awesome scenery.  A few more runs after lunch, then took the bus back to Monte Pana, from where we could ski right back to the bottom of the Ciampnoi lift and then the shorty 70 m walk back to our hotel.

End of skiing for the 2015 Europe ski tour.

Once again, swim, sauna, and then the mundane pack bags and ready for tomorrow’s departure.

Downstairs at the bar, the group congregated for the last time at the hotel bar.  The thong nomination speech from Adam was excellent as he took the opportunity to ” award” the thong to everyone by noting all the characteristics they displayed during the tour.  For example, such as Paula and myself being the group leaders and Paula kept going on her bad knee, David not giving his stock to Melinda, Rod the party boy who sucked in his unsuspecting victims for long sessions at the bar (remember day 1 in Davos and Adam was his first victim and could only ski half a day on his first day on slope!!) , Dee Dee was able to bounce back quickly after big nights due to her youth, Lachlan having love affair with fluffy pillow, Mel flipping to skiing after starting with boarding and giving it her best shot, Eileen for turning up, Tosco for giving up his time to help Mel, and so on.

During Adam’s talk, a drunk pommie, newly arrived, tried to interrupt and tell us how sorry he was that we were Australians.  I did raise my voice to him basically saying he was not welcomed here and not to interrupt our proceedings.

Then Paul, Tom and Dee Dee got up and sang the song “travel man” to the music of “piano man” – it was a great compliment to us as well as having a dig at other tour members – see text.

Dinner excellent as always, settled room accounts then bed.