It has been almost a month since my return from my Austrian holiday and I am still thinking about how amazing, terrifying, tiring (I could go on) it was.
As someone from a warm climate, the prospect of snow, really big mountains and really big mountains with snow on them was something of dreams, mythical almost! Snow in the UK has never totally lived up to my expectations (sorry everyone!). So, when the chance to go to Austria in the winter presented itself, I jumped at the chance.
Flying into Salzburg Airport I was blown away. Everything was covered in white. On our coach to the lovely lakeside town of Zell Am See, my eyes were glued out the window – snow everywhere! And not just a sprinkling, it was piled high!
Being a first time skier is something I look forward to never having to be again, to put it mildly. By the end of the week, we were pros at putting on the boots, carrying the skis up the hill to the gondola and knowing that although layers were our friends, getting steamy is not. In fact, getting so steamy that your googles steam up is not a good thing!
Zell Am See is stunning – as a first foray into the “ski holiday” it hit all the right buttons. We were lucky enough to find a great last-minute deal with Neilson which offered us half-board at the Hotel Traube. Our hotel was fantastic – everything was unbelievably convenient and the food was fantastic. The service (shoutout to Tom & Toni) was excellent and I cannot sing everyone’s praises enough.
In terms of the post-ski atmosphere, Zell has amazing bars – we particularly loved Castle Bar, the Gin House and Greens. Everyone was friendly and, after three visits to Greens, its fair to say that the barman knew our order…!
Would I ski again? In short, yes. I certainly did not take to skiing like a duck to water but I did take to the ski holiday lifestyle. Big lunches, big dinners, a gluhwein or two, the funky ski gear, the snow, the stunning landscapes (!)… I fell in love with it all and that makes me want to try it all again.