Monday, 16 January 2012
Snow Tubing - German Style
Yes the Germans have it organised.
When there is not much snow there are still multiple chances to do yourself some injury. Snow Tubing is in fact something you can do in Britain. If you go to Bracknell or Norwich they will give you a rubber tyre and you will be able to fly down a dry slope at high speed. They call it Sno-Tubing in Bracknell, possibly to try and hide the fact that that there is no snow, whilst in Norfolk they describe it as 'one of the fastest growing winter sports' and 'a cushioned ride as you glide down the slope.'
Even the Americans, who seem to be a little more extreme and have real snow, tend to go down the hill in a straight line, similar to a slide at a soft play park.
In Germany, things are different. They are more raw.
'If the hook comes off the T-bar ... for christ's sake bale out,' were the encouraging words from my friend as I wedged my ample bottom into the rubber dinghy. 'Last time a lady didn't, when the hook came loose near the top and she gathered speed and flew into the fence at the bottom. Stupid woman. She was badly bruised.'
At that moment I felt the strain as the rope went tight. It made a protesting noise and the rubber ring with me inside it reluctantly took off up the hill. The protestations continued the whole way up. When the rope wasn't groaning, the hook was trying to detach itself and the ring was veering to the left and the right, in what seem an attempt to dislodge me.
Ha Ha, I thought. No chance. I'm well and truly wedged.
Then the realisation that I would end up wrapped around the fence at the bottom began to dawn as I would not have an earthly chance of baling out.
Then I was there. At the top. The hook detached itself. The ski lift continued, but I went over a steep drop and started my descent down the bobsleigh track. The tube soon picked up speed. Alarming speed, aided by my vast bulk. I accelerated round the first corner faster...faster...faster.
At each bend, the snow tube and I went higher and higher. The second last bend I headed into thin air, before being reunited with the track. I wet my knickers.
Then it was over. It was absolutely brilliant. If it had not been for the indignity of having to have three people pull me out of the tube. There was a brief moment when I thought the operators were going to seek some butter and a crowbar. But then I surprisingly was free, accompanied by a mixed sound which was like a sloppy fart and a champagne cork popping.
Will I do it again? Like hell I will, but only in Germany. It would be too tame anywhere else.
Perhaps it is the luge next.