26 Feb 2009 - Bansko (Alpine Ski World Cup 2009), Bulgaria

This trip was the first time I had stayed in my apartment. That is my apartment. If my time wasn't spent skiing it was spent inspecting the apartment complex and in talks with the management company. It turned out that what they say is not what they do. Adding to the difficulty is their claim to certain rights which cannot possibly be true. Hours of talks and negotiations turned out to be fruitless. Since coming home and consulting with the owner's group and a solicitor our legal position has become much clearer and with the power of acting as a group rather than as individuals, we have got the upper hand. It is such a shame it has come to this as the complex has a lot of promise.
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Bansko - Vichren Mountain from Bansko town

Bansko - Vichren Mountain from Bansko town

During my time here the conditions were fantastic; plenty of snow, very little ice to come a cropper on, clear skies and sun. It also coincided with the Ladies Alpine Ski World Cup, a fantastic way of putting Bansko into the world's consciousness.
Bansko - On the slopes with Bansko in the distance

Bansko - On the slopes with Bansko in the distance

Because of the World Cup some of the slopes were out of bounds as these most challenging of slopes were reserved for the competitive skiers. This did not bother me as almost exactly one year ago I had my knee rebuilt because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. I've learned to appreciate having the use of my legs even if I am a little uncertain at times and certain sports are now out of bounds.
Bansko - AUDI FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2009

Bansko - AUDI FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2009

The steep Alberto Tomba run formed the final section of the course. Watching skiing on television fails to convey how fast the skiers go and how exhausting the event is. The competitors descended in a fraction of the time it took me and on this particular section, whilst I stop a number of times to relieve the pain screaming in my thighs and also because the slope is too quick, the competitors made it look easy as they fearlessly hurtled down the slope.
Bansko - Ladies Downhill acthion

Bansko - Ladies Downhill acthion

At the finishing line, unless you have paid to go into the stand at the finish line I decided to find a spot not too near the track and on a corner allowing good views of the competitors as they whizz past.
Bansko - Time out for a pose

Bansko - Time out for a pose

Here I am, squinting into the sun,
Bansko - Casa Carina swimming pool

Bansko - Casa Carina swimming pool

Casa Carina? Yes, my apartment complex is no longer called the Victoria apartments. From now on, or at least until when the management company decide to rebrand, it will be the Casa Carina.

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