Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Skiing in Erzerum
Palandoken is the best ski resort in Turkey, boasting some of the longest runs in Europe, approved slolem courses, and loads o' lifts. Next year, they are hosting an international European universities Winter Olympics, and so they have been revamping the lifts to make it a savvy place. And it was. Virtually no lift lines, fast lifts, and some of the longest runs I have skiied. From top to bottom, the vertical drop is 2000 ft. The longest green run is 12km, or so they say- I didn't ski it. Not a great snow year for Erzerum, a conservative city far east an hour from the border of Iran and south of the Kackar Mountains, but good snow and blue skies. We didn't get the opportunity to venture into the city, which I am curious about, as I remember reading survey results, specifically the statistic that 85% of Erzerum residents do not want foreigners to move to their city. Don't know how they'd feel about ski bums. But we stayed in the resort on the hill the whole time, one of the two places in town that sells alcohol. Although full-board and complete with sauna, the hotel was a little The Shining-esque, and the fact that there was not one tree on the whole resort made it feel a bit like we were skiing on the moon. But beautiful none-the-less.