On the road again….or the plane, rather. I’m in Europe now. Racking up the frequent flyer miles, probably need to buy some carbon credits to make up for all of that flying….
This time I’m here for two bouldering World Cups, one in Slovenia and one in Vienna. I am traveling with Ethan Pringle and his girlfriend, which makes the entire trip possible. I don’t know that I would much enjoy coming to Europe on my own for these events, because coming to these events is, needless to say, just a little more difficult than traveling to comps in the states. I will admit that I often feel quite jealous of all these European climbers who have to make the ‘long’ drive of 4 or 5 hours to reach these events on the weekends. I think it would be quite motivating to be able to have such quick access to high-level competitions for 4 months out of the year. But alas, I live across the pond, and so I have to choose my trips wisely. And I can’t really complain, because I’m lucky to be able to come here at all, and it’s a beautiful place to be.
We arrived in Vienna on Tuesday after a long day of travel and met up with one of Ethan’s Austrian friends. He was kind enough to let us stay at his place for a few nights while we recovered from jet lag and waited for Ethan’s girlfriend to arrive. We didn’t see much of Vienna, but what we did see was very nice. We will be going back there after this competition in Slovenia, and I hope to see more of the historic city then.
Now we are in Slovenia, near Ljubljana (a city whose name I still struggle to pronounce). We are staying in a quaint little hotel in the middle of a teeny tiny town just next to Log-Dragomer, where the competition wall is located. Yesterday we walked around Ljubljana for a while, and it was very beautiful. I didn’t know what to expect of Slovenia, but so far I love it here. The setting is wonderful and the people are very friendly, a trait that is amazing when we are driving around lost and have to ask directions. None of us speaks Slovenian, but every time I come to Europe I tell myself that I need to learn a second language. I am quite ashamed that I only speak English when we run into people like Rok, the employee at our hotel who speaks 6 languages. I envy his multilinguality (I made that word up) as well as his name.
Today I will climb in qualifiers. I am nervous, for sure. I always get nervous before competitions, even after so many years, and I get a little extra nervous when I have traveled so far to compete. I will try my best to stay focused and give every problem my full effort.
More to come soon after the comp….
Until then, some photos to enjoy from Vienna and Slovenia.