Living in Germany allows us some very cool opportunities, so whenever we have a three day weekend we are out and about. This past winter we had a long weekend in February, the perfect time for skiing in the Austrian Alps!
Of course, we weren’t the only ones thinking this, and as usual we had stumbled upon a not so original idea well after the rest of Europe. It was unbelievably difficult to find a hotel near a decent ski area at such short notice (we didn’t start looking until January)!
What to Do When the Rain Spoils Your Ski Trip
Our great friends and traveling companions uncovered the perfect place with availability so we all met up at the Hotel Haflingerhof in Mühltal, Austria on a (uh oh!) warm Friday night. The hotel was a lit beacon on the side of the road with a crackling fire and Austrian charm. It turns out, however, that it is more of a weeklong, full board destination. When we sat down in the restaurant for some late dinner we were told the restaurant was only for guests on full pension. Yikes! We were starving and there didn’t seem to be anything else open for miles around.
But the hotel staff proved to be friendly and helpful, “Don’t fear, I will check with the chef and see what is still available for you.” We enjoyed a nice dinner and drinks while we waited for our friends to arrive.
The next morning we awoke to crystal clear blue skies and green fields all around. Where was the snow? Was our ski trip doomed from the start? The gentleman at the front desk calmed our fears letting us know the snow at the top of the mountain was perfect, but the ski run that comes down from the mountain and directly to the hotel was unfortunately closed.
We struggled with the decision of skiing that day or waiting till Sunday, but luckily wiser heads prevailed and we spent the day at the gorgeous Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau with its well planned long intermediate runs and comfortable, high speed lifts. The snow and weather was, indeed, perfect!
We woke on the next morning, though, to socked in rain and snow mixed filling the valley. The more intrepid guests at the hotel were gearing up for what was promising to be a wet day of skiing. No thanks, we said, this gives us time to explore the area. Innsbruck was only a short drive away so we made that our destination.
Innsbruck is a lovely city that straddles the river Inn. It is best known for hosting the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics and the iconic ski jump venue still hangs over the city. The old quarter of the city is a beautiful collection of Baroque buildings with warm and cozy cafes, schnapps shops, and of course, the ubiquitous souvenir store. We had an enjoyable rainy day, meeting up with other friends, sipping coffee in a café and nibbling on delicious homemade strudels and Sacher Torte. Overall, it had been another perfect Austrian weekend.
Have you been skiing in Austria? What was your favorite ski area?
Author Bio: Jim Vail, is a travel, food, and video creator and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 15 years. For many years he lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands, and he’s visited over 90 countries.