Although I’ve seen 10 winters already, I haven’t really experienced and frolicked in an abundance of snow. I’ve always wanted to walk in a winter wonderland where snow is not immediately shoveled out of the way. Of course, I am writing with a very tropical mindset. I grew up in the Philippines, after all, where holidays are defined by fun under the sun and lots of laughter in sandy beaches. The coldest holidays that we have is playing on springtime temperature in the country’s summer capital, Baguio City. So, I just used to imagine sipping hot chocolate overlooking white, snowy slopes.
And it happened last Lunar New Year at the Alpensia Resort in Pyeongchang, the site of the 2018 Winter Olympics. From the time my family spent our Summer Holiday at Alpensia last year, we have set our mind on going back for winter wondering at the promise it brings during a winter holiday.
We spent the holidays with friends. Our three families would hole up in our 2-bedroom rented condominium unit at the Holiday Inn & Suites for lunch, dinner and relaxation time.
The children know how to take care and entertain themselves and we, adults, are left to our own entertainment as well. If we had planned earlier, we could have billeted ourselves all in one location. Unfortunately, we only started talking about vacationing together a week or two before the Lunar New Year holidays. Good thing, our two family friends are game with driving back to their accommodation at night time and going back to the ski resort for the day’s activities again. Nevertheless, it was a great vacation for our families together.
Although the Lunar New Year is known to have notoriously heavy road traffic going out of Seoul, we only did 2 hours and 30minutes from Myeongdong to Alpensia, Pyeongchang. Not bad at all! After we settled down, we brought the children for sledding (LeRuof and DeFourth sledding) while one family went to Ocean 700 and another immediately enjoyed the slopes for an afternoon of skiing. Hubby and I have no experience in any winter sports so sledding was the easiest and safest activity we can bring our two sons to…. Hahaha.
But kids as they are, they look at everything as play. And play they did. Enjoy fully they did as well.
Then we rested for the remaining of the afternoon and enjoyed the night view over good wine and great conversation courtesy of friends.
We spent the next day, the Lunar New Year, on the slopes. Ooopppsss, bunny slopes for us, hahaha.
Skiers would immediately notice something’s not right in the picture. Yap, my feet wasn’t firmly attached on my ski. You see, this was after the accident when a reckless tourist crashed into me and I fell flat on my tummy. For a moment I was lying on the snow immobile hearing my son crying towards me. Poor kid! Good thing, I didn’t have my ski on when that happened because I was carrying my son’s ski uphill. Two things were on my thoughts while I was down there seeing only snow: 1) that he did not recklessly crashed into my son who was just beside me: 2) good thing I did not have my ski on or else my legs would have unimaginably twisted. Day tourists in tour buses were aplenty that day of the Lunar New Year So the bunny hill wasn’t exactly safe. We’ve seen 3 men recklessly and uncontrollably went down the slopes and crashed into the net… And me!
But that didn’t dampen our party’s spirit. It was snowing heavily and the skiers in our group loved it!
By the time we went back to the unit to relax, the balcony was a powdery white
While we were preparing for dinner, the boys were indefatigable . They released their energy some more. It was a really good, snowy day to play, after all.
On our next day, everyone was out except me! I rested (leg and neck were a little bit sore from the fall) and slept and prepared a little birthday surprise for one of our friends. They all left that afternoon for Seoul while our little family stayed for another night. We went around checking and decided not to go inside the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. I remember reading about this and wanting to get to experience it. But being surrounded by the natural landscape of Alpensia in all its snowy glory, it has lost its charm, I guess. So we opted to just watch briefly from the outside (it’s walking distance and we can see the structures from our view from inside the Alpensia grounds) while the boys were playing.
I loved our last day!
This was our destination:
We didn’t go to the Ski Jump Tower last summer but we didn’t want to pass this chance this vacation.Before all the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics athletes and delegates crowd in here, we wanted to go up and check on the beauty of the Taebak Mountains. The Ski Jump Tower will be the venue for the ski jumping and the ski jumping part of the Nordic combined events.
There ‘s a monorail that will take you up to the tower. We opted to do a little adventure of our own and hiked up the snowy mountain up to the tower with our two boys in tow.
Hubby found a hiking trail right in front of the entrance of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival.
Quite steep for us. Good thing hubby found ropes meant for hikers. How thoughtful of them.
View was amazing even from the foot of that tiny mountain:
I loved how we were covered by these trees but they cannot fully shield us because they too are powerless against winter. Comes spring and summer, these branches will once again be rich with its green leaves.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep.
and miles to go before I sleep.
and miles to go before I sleep.”
– Robert Frost
We finally reached the top!
And from where we stood, we breathe in the fresh air and marveled at the beauty before us. From the bottom of the Ski Tower, this is the view opposite the grounds of Alpensia.
Still from the bottom of the Ski Tower, photo below is the view of the grounds of Alpensia with its hotels and the magnificent mountain ranges outlining the skyline.
And these are the ski slopes of Alpensia with its hotels, water park, Convention Center, Concert Hall and even the venue of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival (bottom, right side of the bridge). This is the view from the viewing deck of the tower.
Glad that we made it to the top. We’ve been there, we’ll tell you all delegates and athletes of the 2018 Winter Olympics, hahahaha!
Before we left, we wanted to see again the small island fronting the Intercontinental Hotel. The lake was frozen, as expected. There wasn’t much to see and do but rest before we had to go back to Seoul.
It was a great vacation. And my Firstborn exclaimed, “Let’s go back again on Spring”.