I’ve always said that Austria is one of my favourite countries in the world, I love the place. My mum says it’s all a bit toy town, but I’m not buying it. Just because it’s clean, safe and unervingly honest doesn’t necessarily make it a bad place to live. These maybe uncool qualities in modern Britain, but who cares? The beast of modern that lives round my way is about as cool as a soapy shower with Prince Edward.
As creatures of habit we ski for a week in Austria at about this time every year, it’s a point to aim for when one reels through January after the hell of Christmas. It sorts the head out, that single week of excessive booze and red meat fuelled winter sport. I love it so much, that on our return I sulk at the airport and swear continuously the full length of the A20.
This year we went to Obergurgl, a small village that sits high at the end of a stunning alpine valley. Due to the height the snow is guaranteed from November to May, and there’s also Hochgurgl to explore a little further down the valley on a cable car. The food and drink everywhere in Obergurgl is absolutely first rate, the best we’ve experienced in Austria. Same also applies to the levels of service which was very friendly and unsurprisingly efficient.
A slight downside is that it’s on the pricey side. You know? Holding the wallet open with both hands whilst peering in from side to side. It was so expensive that by Wednesday I’d convinced myself that Mandy was stealing it all from me in my sleep. Ridiculous, quite glad that I didn’t go through with the Eastenders style public confrontation that I had planned.
Like flies round shit, the expense of the place attracts merchant banker types to the ABM Ambro adverts on the chair lifts. They eat with their mouths open gazing into the middle distance while their ugly wives talk incessantly to anybody who will listen (Ouch! Uncalled for? Fuck it, it’s 3am and I can’t sleep).
Who cares anyway when there’s loads of great Germans to drink with, these are the people that made our holiday so special and for me, are what alpine skiing is all about. Herbert and Bergita, a couple from Dusseldorf. The insanely boisterous group of blokes in the bar referring to themselves as the Arschlocher on Tour and spending like it’s going out of fashion. And a great group whose names I’m afraid fail me, but included Yens, a drummer from Frankfurt. Check out their links at the bottom of the page. All of these people went out of their way to extend generosity, friendship and humour.
Europe, come on in, the water’s lovely.