Skiing and Wellness in Zillertal, Austria

We spent the last week of February in the Zillertal in Austria. We stayed at the wellness hotel Theresa. Super nice. Fattening us up with five course meals every evening and an all-you-can-eat buffet during the day. Five pools, four of which allowed small kids. Leonie was in paradise and spent hours in the water every day. The hotel also offered free child care. Unfortunately the lady taking care of the kids botched the first meeting with Leonie and they never really got along well enough for us to leave them alone for the rest of the week. The play rooms were still super nice and Leonie enjoyed playing with the other kids and toys.

Our balcony. Not too shabby.
Live music for dinner. When the guy made a break, Leonie demanded I play. And was severely disappointed when I couldn't. What do you mean, daddy ain't omnipotent?!
Ohhh yeah!

We enjoyed "Kaiserwetter" for the entire week. Nothing but blue skies and sunshine. Only on the very last day did it fog in a bit and start snowing. That served to make saying goodbye easier for us ;-) The Zillertal is absolutely ridiculous in terms of skiing. I went to a different resort within 20 minutes of driving of our hotel every single day and still didn't cover all of them. Since this was my first serious ski outing for the season I thought I'd take it slow on the first day and go to one of the smaller resorts to warm up. I ended up covering 100 horizontal and 13 (!) vertical kilometers. Any I still didn't cover all of the runs.

Hard to decide...
...on a backdrop for selfies. So many options!

Leonie and Anita visited me on the slopes on two days and we took sleds down the mountain. Leonie was a bit sceptical at first. Her first experience ever on a sled was in Switzerland and she got so cold her face hurt. This time the sun was shining and we had better gear and a special creme for her face. She had a total blast and went "Hui!" around the corners.

One of the saunas. This one with a nice view.
Swim in the snow.

On my last day of skiing, while trying to cover every run in Mayrhofen, I stumbled across the Harakiri slope. At 78% it claims to be the steepest prepared run in the alps, steeper even than an Olympic ski jump. To drive that point home a guy came sliding and tumbling past me when I reached about the halfway point. He fell right at the beginning of the steep section and only stopped at the base, some 200 meters further down. Apparently no serious injuries, but seriously spooked. He was still calming his nerves in a group of friends when I was passing them again on my way up on the chair lift.

This was one of the smaller resorts. As a consequence I only shared it with a few ski schools and basically had all the red and black runs entirely to myself. No idea how they make that kind of utilization economically viable, but I had a total blast!
Sledging wears out little kids ;-)

Leonie made friends with one of the waiters who referred to himself as "der böse Mann". Now she keeps repeating how she wants to go on vacation with the evil man again. I hope the day care folks don't get this the wrong way and send child protective services our way ;-) Good times!

Lunch break at a ski hut. Leonie immediately took a liking to the apres ski music. Trivial lyrics and simple rhythms make it indistinguishable from children's songs. To wit, exhibit A.
Ritual suicide? No sign of that for me. Fun!
Snow and fog on the very last day.


Gonzen (1829m)

Chillu and I did a snowshoe tour up the Gonzen at the border with Liechtenstein. Despite a mediocre weather forecast it turned out to be a beautiful day. Unfortunately it didn't work out so well on a personal level, so this was likely our last tour together. C'est la vie.

"Honey can you quickly scrape the car please?!"
I wonder how much load this bridge has been designed for? It proved to be an interesting crossing: the gorge is quite deep and the snow made us walk above the railing.
View towards Grisons.