2015-02-27

Skiing and Wellness in Austria

Anita and I spent six days in Austria in the Hotel Übergossene Alm at the Hochkönig. Because Anita wasted a lot of her vacation days visiting me in the hospital last year we went to the wellness and spa hotel Alpenrose to make up for it. Apparently one fancy hotel a year has become a tradition now ;-) Only this time I was actually fit to do something besides chilling in the sauna and getting massages. So we chose a location in a ski resort. The Hochkönig area advertises itself as having the most beautiful ski circuit of the alps. It did not disappoint.

Gender bias: Anita booked the hotel, but as soon as they figured out I was the man all bills came with my name on them...

We got lucky right from the get go. The small room we originally booked wasn't available, so we got an upgrade to a much larger one free of charge. Our own terrace with beautiful views, a dressing room, a bath tub and a shower - what more could you ask for? The closest lift was just across the street, the ski school and ski rental right in the building. We were all set.

Anita spent her mornings on the bunny slope getting lessons from a private instructor. It was her first time ever on skis and she enjoyed it a lot. Meanwhile I'd go wild trying to ski as many runs as I possibly could. On my best day I managed nearly 14.000 vertical meters on 70 piste and 46 lift kilometers. The hotel offered a handy machine for these analysis based on your ski pass. After that day of back to back skiing without a break even for food my legs were all wobbly; my face sun burned; and a stupid grin permanently chiseled into my face.

Some exercise was definitely advisable too as the food was delicious and plentiful. Every evening offered a four course meal in addition to a buffet. Hanging out in the various pools and saunas is not enough to work that off ;-)

I met some interesting characters too. My favorite is an 84 year old Austrian on the chair lift who was on his 41st day of skiing in 2015 alone. That's how I want to rock at that age! I think Anita's favorite must be Reini, the local "Saunameister" who made it a point of tending the sauna in funny costumes.

Snowing in on the chair lift.
We had a candle light bath with fruits followed by a massage here.
My footsteps. Measuring the fresh snow that fell during dinner. Promising!
Prepared slopes with a foot of virgin fresh powder in the morning. The rarest of conditions!
King's tour indeed.
The harder black runs were mostly deserted and a beautiful playground. In general, waiting times at the lifts were almost non-existent.
"Our" pool.
Journal of my work outs.
Farewell tissue: "Don't cry - come back soon!".
I carried a GPS on my runs. I think I covered pretty much every slope they have.