Snow-shoeing in the Austrian Alps

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March 24th 2008
Published: March 30th 2008
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This Easter Jane, Adam, Myles and I headed to Austria for some snow action. And the snow did not let us down, I have never seen so much snow fall the Austrian country side was covered like icing on a wedding cake.

Our first stop was Innsbruck, however we didn’t have much time there due to a small timing calculation that I managed to get wrong (however, I am still blaming the website!). We left our bags at the train station and at a brisk pace headed towards the old town. We were walking at a brisk pace due to the fact we only had an hour, plus it was snowing and freaking freezing. Being cold was a reoccurring theme throughout the four days!
The main point of interest was the golden roof (Goldenes Dachl) which we found after winding our way through the alleyways, the central plaza was lovely candy coloured buildings surrounded us. We just had enough time to pick up our first of many strudels.

The train ride to Salzburg took 2hrs through the breath taking Austrian Alps; huge mountains on both sides, whizzing past small villages with church steeples poking up. From Salzburg we had arranged a private vehicle to the tiny village, Obertraun, we were staying in. Obertraun is nestled in a valley next to a spectacular lake, which had a beautifully clear reflection of the majestic mountains on it when we arrived. We were staying in the penthouse of a quant guesthouse which meant the best views in town towards the Alps and across the valley. This was the venue of our pre-dinner drinkes we had each night we were there. Dinner was down stairs in the local dinner/bar. Our first evening the restaurant was hilarious; the owner rocked in about 7.30pm and was very drunk after stopping at a few too many little bars on the way down the mountain! That evening, after too many beers, we had rather a weird conversation with our guide for the next 2 days… Rob. But after much to-ing and fro-ing, we all agreed to snow-shoeing for the following day. I must say, after the shaking start with Rob, he did warm to us by the end of our stay!

No rest for the wicked and we were up and out the door by 9.30 heading for the slopes. I don’t think many of the pro-skiers expected to see a bunch of snow-shoers lining up for the lift! As the owner of the guesthouse said on a number of occasions, it is good people are coming to do other things rather than just ski. Mind you the lack of skiing was really because I don’t ski, however the others had a crack at the slopes the following day. Once we fitted our shoes we were off across the valley up at about 2000m or so. It was hard work, but we all managed and it was really good fun there was certainly a few tumbles here and there. Adam and I even managed to do a snow angel. Just before lunch we stopped to build an igloo, an activity all but Myles through would be pretty lame. It turned out to be a real hoot, and although our igloo was slightly lopsided it was surprisingly snug. Thus, if we are ever lost in the mountains and need shelter make sure you have one of us with you! On our way back we managed to squeeze in a strudel (which was the best of the trip), and stopped to see the Husky dogs, who were now in retirement. That evening we played some monopoly.

Sunday was a rancho-relax-o day for me; I did some yoga in the morning, while the others went off skiing. That afternoon we went to visit a UNESCO town called Hallstatt. It was a very pretty town lakeside; obviously this gave us time to get some strudels in! While we were there it started to snow, and it didn’t stop until we flew out the following afternoon, it blanketed down. Due to an early start the following morning there was no more board games. On the Monday we headed into Salzburg for a quick look around, it was freezing as we strolled around. We visited a couple of the famous café’s including the one which originally made the Sacher Torte, a delightful chocolate cake, and managed to walk up the hill a bit for a fab view across the snow covered town.


A different view from when I was there with Sarah Easter 2005! Thus the end of our snow trip to the Austria Alps


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