Sunday, February 19, 2017

Saalbach-Hinterglemm for a week skiing

The main purpose of this trip was to allow Andrew to have a week skiing and Saalbach-Hinterglemm (Austria) was the chosen ski-area.  We had a very nice apartment, Anna Apartment, located a 1 minute walk from the lifts.

While it had been –12 to –15 when we landed in Munich, a week later it was much warmer.  And by the end of the week skiing there was a bit of snow melt happening.  On the bright side, Andrew got a ski-pass for 5 out of 7 days and could ski all 5 of those days.  It also suited me, because while he was out each day, I could work remotely and finish my month-end obligations.

He enjoyed the 270km of interconnected ski-slopes across a number of fields.  The infrastructure was good and one day he came home very excited that the gondola car he had tried that day had HEATED SEATS!!!  The down-side was there were queues for the lifts at times.  We had deliberately timed our visit a week before major European half-term breaks.

On his rest day from skiing we drove 30 minutes down the mountain to the town of Zell am See.  Here, the lake had frozen over for the 1st time in 10 years and people were out walking and skating in the middle.  So we joined them for a short time –Andrew was a tad apprehensive about the whole idea.

On the 90 minute journey from Salzburg to Hinterglemm we stopped in the ski-village of St Johann im Pongau.  Andrew had skiied here 40 years ago.  It was a little different than at that time, but the copper, twin spired, church was still there. 

We returned to Munich, on Saturday (4th Feb).  Being Saturday it was change-over day in the ski-resorts and it was rather a slow trip for the 1st half.  We stopped for lunch at the small market-town of Wasserburg am Imm.  It was a surprisingly good destination: preserved old town, colourful buildings, good atmosphere and a very good cafe under the old town hall

At Munich airport we returned the rental car and checked into the airport hotel.  A morning flight Munich-Doha, Doha-Bangkok awaited the next day.  But there was one last opportunity for a litre of beer, and some pork knuckle, at the Brewery on-site at the airport.

And a last reminder of Gnome-boy : so retro he’s cool again.  Saalbach-Hinterglemm’s advertising catch-prase is “the home of lässig”.    Lässig translates as a West-Austrian term for
a) something being cool, b) dressing casually…that’s Andrew!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Destination Salzburg

Having acclimatised to the –12 degree temperatures we picked up our rental car and hit the back-roads off to Salzburg.  We could have done the journey in 90 minutes, but we chose the scenic route.  Our Skoda was registered in Slovakia, so it was just like having learner driver plates on – everyone knew we weren’t local and could give us a wider berth.


We stayed in an AirBnb in Ainring, about a 10 minute drive outside Salzburg.  This was our base for 4 nights.

On our 1 day in Salzburg, Andrew spotted a bakery and demanded we stop for coffee and CAKE and to warm up a bit.  Cake tempted him many more times on this trip, but he never again had the same amount of cream piled on the side.

We did manage to fit in some time outside the cafes in the old town

Given the salt connection with the area, one of our day trips was to the Salt Mine, in Berchtesgaden


At the mine tour we donned the regulation overalls.  After we took these pictures we realised we didnt need our winter coats on under the overalls – so took off a layer of extra padding.  Down the mine temperatures were a constant 12 degrees all year.  The tour was good, learning about the extraction process, from drilling to sending salinated water 20km down the road for the drying process.

As well as riding a tourist train and a boat across a crystal clear mirror lake, there were two wooden slides we happy tourists went down.  The touristy photo was too good to pass up.  Look at that happy face on the gold-card holder.  5 years old again and he squealed like a girl!


On returning to the car, he wasn’t quite so happy as the car-battery had died.  This necessitated a call to the rental car company and a 40 minute wait for the roadside assistance to turn up and jump the battery.