All posts filed under: Wanaka

Time to grow up: Stitch’n’Bitch goes Wine & Wool

Last year I joined the Wanaka Stitch’n’Bitch group – a bunch of Ladies (plus one extremely good-looking guy – Hi, Rich!) who met up once a week at Barluga, ordered mulled wine and knitted, crocheted and gossiped for a couple of hours. I loved it! There was a fire going, I learned a lot about Crocheting and you got a weekly update on gossip in Wanaka. Such a good way to settle into town and meet new people. I was a bit disappointed when I heard that Stich’n’Bitch got cancelled this season as Barluga didn’t really exist any more… but luckily the Swedish crew came up with something even better: Wine & Wool (you can always rely on the Swedes when it comes to that kind of stuff). Every week we met at another living room, everybody brought a bottle of wine, their current craft project and Sanna usually something home-baked. Unfortunately, I never took proper pictures but I know someone who did (any pictures coming up on your blog, Lollo?). Until then, here are some snapshots from …

Work hard, play harder. When the Austrian crew goes partying

My last week in Wanaka is filled with fun, too much fun sometimes. So it happened that after a sweaty night of Dancing in the Dark on Wednesday and crazy dancing at the staff party on Thursday we celebrated our fellow Ski Instructor Markus’ birthday on Friday. Lederhosen, Party Hats and Beer pong where just some of the highlights while I was there…. unfortunately I missed what happened after midnight – but getting up early on Saturday morning for a skiing road trip to Ohau was a pretty good excuse to head home. Happy Birthday, Markus – thanks for the fun night!

We’re all in this together – aren’t we? Well, not at staff parties.

As I think about it – staff parties are somehow very reflective of the company culture. I’ve seen them BMW style – where it’s all about the style and very classy, IKEA style – where it’s all about the fun and the people and now Cardrona style – where, to me it seems, it’s a lot about the alcohol and some seriously crazy partying. Or is that because of its employees? Last year, I didn’t know what to expect: I bought my staff party tickets – consisting of entry, bus to the venue, food voucher and four drink vouchers, hopped on the bus to the Albert Town Tavern and stepped into the Pub without expectations – but was surprised anyway: The tables were pushed to the sides to create a wide and empty space – no tables, no sitting opportunity, just a huge empty room. Everybody who was already there huddled together like a herd of sheep in one corner of the room and chatted in little groups. Since there was nothing in the room, not …

Kasspotzn – Crafting Cheese dumplings Austrian Style

Rumour had it that there’s a “Spätzlesieb” in town! Apparently one of the Austrian (from Vorarlberg to be exact) instructors took his cooking equipment around the world and as soon as we heard about it we wanted it. (For the non German speakers – that’s a piece of metal used to make dumplings). It took 12 eggs, 1 kg of flour and “A Schluck Milch” (a bit of milk) to craft the dough which is then pressed through the “Spätzlesieb’s” holes into boiling water in a pot below and cooked like pasta. Once the tiny dumplings are cooked they can be used for delicious dishes, traditionally including lots of melted cheese and fried onions. When I read this again it sounds terribly confusing so if you can’t imagine it, here are some images: First Spätzle dinner took place at my friend Kathi’s place and was delicious. Even the Austrian Spätzlesieb owner came and found them tasty. Goes without saying the Kiwi visitors loved them! Dessert was Apfelstrudel with vanilla sauce….. yum!

A must for Pay Day Dinners: Francesca’s Italian Kitchen

Pay Days are (obviously) special days of the season but this one was incredibly tasty as we treated ourselves with delicious food from my favourite place in Wanaka. What started off with just a couple of us ski instructors deciding to go for dinner together soon turned into a major organizational nightmare – mostly for chief dinner organiser Sanna O. But she – as she always does with dinners – completely mastered the task and andfound a huge table for seventeen starving ski instructors, loaded with Italian goodness â la Polenta Fries, pizza and desserts to die for.

Rainy days down in town, rainy days up the mountain?

A day off during school holidays is luxury so you better spend it well. Not much to do during those rainy days anyway but we probably need the rest to catch our breath and get energized for another week of crazy school holidays. Quiet days, cruisy mornings, a walk to town, coffee with the friends and relaxed movie nights with the housemates. Let’s just cross our fingers that the rain doesn’t reach our snow up at Cardrona.

My New Zealand Mountain Film Fest Favourite: Mission Antarctic

The New Zealand Mountain Film Fest is my perfect warm up for amazing seasons in Wanaka. At the beginning of July, just as you’re settling into your home for some months and getting back into winter mode, it supplies you with a week-long program of outdoor movies and inspirational adventure films. Last year the Film Fest was a highlight of my season – mostly because of a live talk of two Australians who had crossed Antarctica. Read more about Cas & Jonesy’s journey here. Turned out I’m still really hooked on Antarctica as my favourite film this year was also one shot there. This time it was about Xavier de la Rue’s mission to ride some of the steepest descents in Antarctica. Even though his bravery and skills are outstanding I must admit I was even more impressed by the talent of Director and Photographer Guido Perrini and his breath-taking shots of Antarctica, its marine life and ice masses. To be honest, the trailer doesn’t quite do the movie justice – so go see the full version if you can.

Dance like no one is watching – because in the dark no one is!

There’s a couple of things that make me not only happy but “to-the-moon-and-back-happy” – Dancing is one of them. Last year I’ve been to a real fun dance session here in Wanaka and as soon as I knew I’d be back this winter I decided that I would make it a weekly regular on my ski instructor schedule. Tonight was one of those evenings where I really needed some cheering up after a bad day at work and it was pure bliss to dance away all the sorrows, stress and self-questioning from an awful day on the mountain. Dancing in the Dark – picture by No Lights, No Lycra. Some of you might argue that they are not good at dancing, that they feel awkward to dance in front of other people or like one of the fellow ski instructors put it: “I need a couple of drinks before I can bust out my dance moves – and as soon as I’ve had those couple of drinks, my balance & coordination of body parts might not be …

Team Scandinavia vs. Team Austria (while Team USA gave up)

Week One at Ski School was a slow one so we’re still full of energy for fun activities on our days and nights off. My Austrian friend Kathi and me had a big (and particularly long) night on Friday so it wasn’t easy to get up early for a hike on Saturday – but I’m glad we did! We headed up Mt Roy with our two Scandinavian friends Veina & Sanna (who turned out to be hiking racehorses) and my two American flatmates Ruby & Doriana (who decided to turn around half way up). Let’s say Kathi and me settled in between…. given our shape from the night before we had no chance of catching up with our two sporty Scandinavian friends. But we promised to get in shape for our next hike! Or rather take Veina & Sanna out partying the night before…. and then we’ll see who’s up there first (probably still them). Thanks for the lovely hike, girls.

Russ doing roast and Steve having cream (with a slice of cake)

The season has barely started and Sanna and me already managed to invite ourselves to Russ’ place for dinner…. easy! Sanna: We should do a dinner anytime soon? Russ? Russ: Ahem….Okay…. Sanna: Mhm, Roast would be great! Russ: Roast it is. Sanna: I’ll bring the wine! Me: And I’ll make a cake! Russ: ….. Sanna: Thursday night? Russ: …. Thursday night. Sanna: Seven o’clock. Russ: …. Sanna: Deal. If you know Russ you also know he likes talking. But there wasn’t much talking needed, it happened so quick that he had no chance. So Thursday came – and because we thought Wine & Cake wasn’t enough to bring along we also brought housemates Steve, Veina & Mikko, Russ invited his landlord and Nico and although it was on rather short notice it was a great night… I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. And even though it looks like Dinner consisted of cake only, there was roast before that! Followed by a lesson how to make proper stock and Sanna taking the pot home on her lap. Thanks, Russ for …