The weather outside is frightful......
Top of the Penkenbahn Lift
Yes it was. And the nasty weather cut into our ability to take photos. But we decided to venture out in it anyway.
We woke to rain in the village, but we watch the webcams during breakfast. Our host has the webcams on top of the mountain live on a flat screen tv in the breakfast room for guests. The cams showed us that it was snowing up on top. We checked the weather and made sure it would stay that way before setting out as it is truly miserable to ski in the rain. Even I’m not that hardcore anymore.
We get up top and it is pouring snow! Visibility is tough so we work with that, but by the end of the day they had received 30 cm (around a foot) of new snow. Consequently, even though the visibility was poor and snow was sticking all over us, it was a good ski day!
View from the cafeteria at at lunch. Man it was coming down.
The mountain is huge with tons of slopes and lifts. The main lift systems at Mayrhofen are new and quick. Lines are few if any. They have varying terrain, mark the trails very well so it’s easy to find your way (unlike in France). All of their equipment is well taken care of and in good shape. The people that work on mountain are nice and friendly, always smiling and trying to help. It’s so nice here. Mayrhofen is my new favorite place to ski in Europe!
Neither one of us is getting any younger, and while we may have skied since we were teenagers, we can’t ski like we used to. We take care in choosing our trails/slopes and take it easy. I know so many that have hung up skiing, usually for health or injury reasons. I would rather be out here skiing less challenging stuff and still be out here, than being on the sidelines. We’re lucky to be able to still do this, and we know it. So we try not to do anything stupid.
Laurie on a "bubble top" chairlift. Great for keeping the weather off!
The new snow makes your skis much more controllable. Laurie did great today, incorporating the things we worked on yesterday. She did great sweeping turns and was more confident. It got a bit tricky when the snow got so deep though. We discussed powder techniques and how you had to vary your skiing to adapt. She was a real trooper and I’m proud of her.
We stopped for lunch at one of the on mountain cafeterias. Lunch was actually quite good. Laurie had goulash and a salad and I had currywurst again. One of the cool things with travel is discovering new foods and drinks and we did that as well. I found a drink called “Almdudler” which is a carbonated herb drink native to Austria. It’s quite tasty, sort of like a carbonated apple juice. We also shared a decadent dessert of apple strudel with vanilla sauce.
Killer baked goods....this is apple strudel in vanilla sauce
After being inside a while we decided to cut a few more runs and and then we’ll call it a day. We were both getting tired as skiing is quite physical. We board the Penkenbahn gondola back down the mountain to town. It was put into service in 2016 to alleviate crowding on the lift from town up to the ski area. They went from gondolas holding either 4 or 6 to a super modern system with state of the art high speed gondolas holding 20.
We head back to where we are staying and pick up something to drink at the grocery store, along with a roll of paper towels. Everything is wet and if we wipe it off it will dry quicker. We spend a little time cleaning up our gear and hanging things up to dry, then we head to the ski shop as Laurie was having a little trouble with her boots. The guys in the shop swap them out and she’s ready for tomorrow.
View from town
We wander town a bit then decide on dinner at a steak restaurant serving Austrian raised aged beef. I really wanted a burger and a salad. Laurie had a steak that she said was superb. We stopped at the Italian restaurant near our apartment for dessert and hot drinks. I had a latte, Laurie had green tea, and we split a chocolate souffle that was to die for. It was a pretty good evening too.
We’re back in the guest house, we’re tired and a little stiff. We’re going to turn in and rest so we’ll be ready for tomorrow’s adventure! Laurie has some thoughts she has written about and I’m posting them below. Please check them out. Goodnight everyone!
Laurie’s thoughts so far
View from our yard at the guest house
Our trip was a little more gruelling than we have done in the past just because we had many more connections and it took so many hours and forms of transportation to get to Mayrhofen.
We were almost at our final destination on a little train when it came to an abrupt stop. Apparently someone in a pick up truck didn’t see the train coming and we hit it. It looked like the driver was hurt but not too badly. The truck didn’t fare so well. The train, however, was unfazed and with awesome Austrian efficiency, we were on our way again in about 20 minutes. In the US that would have taken half a day.
It has been unseasonably warm here which means no snow in town. It has made for some pleasant strolls through town and I can’t say as I have minded the milder weather. I think it is affecting the town though and things have been empty and quiet for the most part. Hard to tell if that’s because we are before the Xmas holidays, weather or both. Even tonight (Saturday) the restaurants were not crowded unlike other places we have been that required reservations to get a seat. All the service staff have been super nice and friendly and speak English much better than I speak German.
This is why Bill can still ski
Skiing has been a little challenging. Today it snowed like crazy on the mountain which makes for poor visibility but nice powder under foot. Bill is definitely much more into skiing than I am so he waxed poetic about the conditions today. While I enjoy skiing it’s not my first love for sure. It is nice though to still be able to do it at my age, even if I am not that good at it. My favorite part is the views, which we didn’t get today.
We have met some interesting people sitting in a cafe near our house. One young couple was from Manchester and he is an avid skier while she is just learning. He owns 3 large Ferris wheels and apparently goes all over the UK with them. Didn’t see that one coming. He has done a lot of traveling for both work and pleasure. We ran into them several times over the past few days which makes it seem less like being in a foreign place.
Aperol Spritz is a popular mixed drink in Europe. We often order them as they are light and don't contain a huge amount of alcohol. Apparently you can get them at the supermarket!
Another couple we had a long conversation with are from Hanover Germany, up where my family is from. She is a urologist and originally from Lebanon. She put a face on the whole controversy over immigration and the ‘muslim ban’ since she knew someone who was unable to get into the USA for a visit. She is afraid to try and come to the USA because she doesn’t want to get to the airport and be denied getting on the flight.
He has been to the USA and actually drove across the country to deliver a motorhome from CA to FL. He had a lot of thoughtful questions about politics in the USA. She is understandably cautious about having any presence on the internet like facebook. We talked anout various things from her perspective as a muslim and mine as a jew. It was a delightful evening. These kinds of encounters are a highlight of traveling for me.
That’s it for now. We have one more day of skiing if the weather permits and then make our way to Porto, Portugal. I am very much looking forward to being by the sea for the rest of the trip. It has been nice to be in one place for a little more time though.