Winter Olympics – try a new sport on snow or ice?

Hi,

This is where you think hold on, is this not a travel blog anymore?  As will be explained later, the travel part of this post is when we advise anyone who wishes to throw themselves down an ice circuit on a glorified tea tray or subject themselves to extreme G-forces in a bobsleigh. We tell you where to go, but we neglect to inform you of how to get there and where to stay. Professional blog? Not from us, sorry.

Has watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi on TV inspired you to try out any of the sports? The BBC has been asking for photo’s on Twitter of people taking brooms to work in support of the Great Britain curling men’s & women’s teams. The response has been phenomenal, here are photo’s of the Army curling with a tank and the Scottish rowing team.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

_73137679__73130138_army

_73137806_scottishrowers

And a link to a video of Southampton FC players ‘human curling’ in their dressing room.

Curling is a Scottish dominated sport in the UK, there is only one venue in England (Tunbridge Wells in Kent) and none at all in Northern Ireland and Wales.

The Tunbridge Wells venue

http://www.fentonsrink.co.uk/

A lot of the participants seem to don fancy dress as part of a corporate event.

~resized-crpd-Hendricks%209

For some of the more adrenaline fuelled sports like the luge and bobsleigh, the UK has no ice track, so a trip to Europe will have to be made.  The Europeans name for a tourist bobsleigh is a ‘Taxi Bob’. Ride the ‘Taxi Bob’ at up to 120kph and experience the turns at up to 4-5g……..

pano_bob

Igls, Austria (Fully booked for Winter 2014,  Summer available) http://www.olympiaworld.at/en/sport_aktiv/eissport/bob_rodeln_skeleton.php

La Plagne, France – http://www.la-plagne.com/en/winter/plagne-experiences/bob-experience.html

Germany

Altenburg – http://www.bobbahn-altenberg.de    (The link for Altenburg is in German only)

Koningssee –  http://www.koenigssee.com/en/bobrafting-bobsleding.htm

Or a ‘bobraft’ at Koningssee,

Resized_16331200220122018_302x450

Oberhof – http://www.twz-oberhof.de/de/index.php?cs=2-3 (no tourist facilities?)

Winterburg –  http://www.bobbahn.de/taxibob.html

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy  – http://www.nozio.com/europe/italy/veneto/belluno/cortina_d_ampezzo/destination_guides/taxi-bob.htm

Cortina track by flikr user – Chaps the idol

Piste_Eugenio_Monti

Sigulda, Latvia – http://www.bobtrase.lv/en/services/4-taxi-bobs There is an English language button, but everything is in Latvian at the moment.

Lillehammer, Norway – http://www.lillehammer.com/en/Product/?TLp=394702

Zweierbob auf dem Olympia Bob Run St. Moritz - Celerina

St Moritz, Switzerland – http://www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/winter/en/activities/scintillating-st-moritz/sports-in-st-moritz/bob-rides-for-visitors/

The oldest track in the World can be ridden in 75 seconds, apparently. And the run to the toilet afterwards takes a little bit less than that. 

Alternatively, there is a Summer version in the UK that runs on a metal track with wheels.

nick-tob-2010-197x300

Toboggan runs in UK

Swadlincote, Derbyshire

http://jnlswadlincote.co.uk/tubing/

Llandudno, North Wales

http://jnlllandudno.co.uk/tubing/

Chatham, Kent

http://jnlchatham.co.uk/tubing/

Bracknell, Berkshire

http://jnlbracknell.co.uk/other-activities/tubing/

Plymouth, Devon

http://jnlplymouth.co.uk/tubing/

Also at Robin Hill theme park, Isle of Wight

http://www.robin-hill.com/rides-and-activities/fun-rides


This photo of Robin Hill Adventure Park is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

Where to find ski resorts, snow centres, dry ski slopes and ice rinks, all year round, not just for Winter.

An interactive map of Great Britain, showing snow centres, dry ski slopes and ski resorts

http://www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/infoandadvice/uksnowsports/ukslopesmap.aspx#.Uwi7Q-

Ice rinks – Interactive of map of the UK.

mPOUk http://www.icesk8.co.uk/

Snow Centres – A UK and Europe listing

http://www.onthesnow.co.uk/news/a/580729/the-uk-s-indoor-snow-centres

Photo (below)link – http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/304213 – by Phil Williams

Snow_slope_at_Xscape_-_geograph_org_uk_-_304213

All of the venues above offer snow and ice fun to children from 3 or 4 years old. Including the popular sno-tubing a.k.a. donutting. Supervision from a responsible adult will probably be required, as will a deep wallet or purse as well.

Tips for travel

Put some photo’s of your home town/area on your mobile device. this is a great icebreaker at social gatherings on holiday. Or take some postcards, if you are technophobes like us.

Or just have photo’s of your family, or pets in cute positions, lol

SAM_0770

Remember the taking pegs tip from a previous post?  Why not add a long length of string for a make-shift washing line? Perfect for warm weather countries, as long as it’s not the typhoon, monsoon or hurricane seasons.

And Another Thing….

Sochi 2014 Olympic Park

Olympic Park 2014

By Atos International [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The cost of the Sochi Winter Olympics has been estimated at $51 Billion, more than all the other Winter Olympics combined, wow. That is a ridiculously high figure for what has become a Putin vanity project, to show the everyone the Russian ‘bear’ is still alive and still a major player on the World stage. Unfortunately, the reality is a rather different picture, composed of corruption, poor quality workmanship and shoddy mismanagement.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/07/putin-iron-grip-cant-stop-sochiproblems-going-viral

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/shortcuts/2014/feb/04/sochi-double-toilets-winter-olympics-

2014http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/sochi-2014-winter-olympics/story/journalists-athletes-take-twitter-show-poor-and-funny

Adler Arena – Speed Skating

2013 WSDC Sochi - Panorama

By Atos International [CC-BY-SA-2.0 Photo original use link -(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Just think how many poor Russians could of been assisted with all the money spent on the Winter Olympics.  And the longsuffering residents of Sochi have been put through hell, with disruption or even cut off from gas, water and electricity supplies. As this ‘Forbes.com’ paragraph explains;

Meanwhile, many of Sochi’s 335,000 residents had to endure months without running water and power outages that occurred almost daily as major construction went ahead with minimal regard for local well-being. At least 2,000 families were evicted to make way for the Games. While promising the “greenest Olympics ever”, the government has shown consistent disregard to the environment. Thousands of hectares of forest were cut down in protected Sochi National Park, as well as in a nearby UNESCO World Heritage site. Predictably, critics of the despoliation are intimidated with arrests, trials, or similar abuses of power.

Quoted from the link below.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidadesnik/2014/02/18/sochis-50-billion-vanity-games-a-reflection-of-putins-shoddy-dictatorship/

As is so often the case with showpiece events like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, The elite are treated like Kings & Queens with money no object, in these supposedly austere times. The so called ‘common’ people are cast aside like unwanted rubbish, their need for housing and of heat, fuel and light within that accommodation cruelly ignored.

To  President Putin and his Government I say this. Your spending of $51 Billion on a mere vanity project shames Russia, but shames you even more.  You seem hell-bent on returning Russia to the bad old days of the ‘Cold War’. Why not focus instead on moving Russia forward as a manufacturing and technology giant?  If China can re-invent itself as an economic powerhouse, after the famine stricken Chairman Mao years, so can Russia. After all, Russia has the resources to make major changes if it so desires. It just needs the will to do so.

Thanks for reading,

Mr & Mrs G

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s