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Published: January 7th 2018
On arrival at Hallstat it is teaming with Chinese tourists. It is almost impossible to visualise how many Chinese tourists are there and remember they are just the ones that make it to the real Hallstat. Gus who is not the most patient wants to hit the ski fields immediately. A quick check with reception and some amazing German bus timetable reading and we are on the 5 minute bus ride to Obertraun. Red and I decide to drink while Gus goes up the gondola and skis.
On the way back his review of Obertraun is mixed. When we get back to Hallstat it is deserted. The buses are gone and we have the town to ourselves. We do discover the issue with Hallstat though. The place shuts down at about 7pm. We are lucky to get dinner, however we do find Ruth’s which is a local bar. It does appear that in Austria smoking in bars is OK. This suited Gus perfectly, but Jac almost collapsed after years of being softened up by Australia’s ridiculous smoking laws.
Over the ensuing days we ski Obertraun, which only has a few runs but one of them
is 11 kilometres long and it is fantastic, we also skied at Gossau which is a much larger resort. The skiing conditions were generally great. Austrians like to take their dogs skiing and some of them are better than me but I nailed a Collie on the Obertraun run. Every night was a battle to find somewhere to eat with the ocassional visit to Ruths.
One of the highlights was New Years Eve. Our hotel had a New Years Eve function which I didn’t book as it looked a bit lame. Having now experienced the nightlife of Hallstat it was starting to look like Times Square. It was actually a fantastic night. The food was excellent, I am partial to Austrian Rieslings so that was great and the Austrian band was sensational. After a lot of clapping and slapping songs that felt like a scene from European Vacation the band hits it’s straps with a stirring rendition of “Sylvia’s Mother”. The fireworks were spectacular and went for what seemed like a couple of hours.
The next day we all hit the slopes for a perfect day of skiing. Not to many people but plenty
of snow. Jac and Red head off to Salzburg early on the 2nd
while we have a sleep in and get a taxi.
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