Winter Wonderland

At least once a year I manage to go skiing. While I was studying, we went for a week. Now it is more like a weekend, meaning we arrive on Friday, go skiing on Saturday, and drive home on Sunday. Maybe not the most efficient way, but partywise it makes up for the lack of skiing. And isn’t skiing also about the “Après-ski”? The last couple of years I only managed to go skiing with my co-workers, which might sound boring to you. But guys, so not true!

This year we forewent the usual hotel and rented a chalet in Filzmoos instead. Self-catering holidays was a brand new experience for all involved parties (ok, maybe only me), but my point here is that I didn’t know what to expect from this apartment sharing weekend with my co-workers.

Upon leaving Vienna Friday afternoon we had sleet/rain/snow for most of the way to Salzburg. Not the most promising start for our weekend. Nonetheless we finally arrived at the chalet, with a little help from some friends. It is actually quite interesting to find one’s way without a navigation system in the dark when the roads are dark and signs snowed in. This heightened interest turned to mush when we entered the chalet. I felt right back at summer camp only that this time it was winter. The entrance hall showed a pile of shoes, jacket and coats all over and the smell of spaghetti wafted down from the kitchen on the first floor. Welcome back to childhood memories!

So no “Après Ski” for us this first evening (actually it would have been “Avant Ski”) but an evening full of playing games eg Bauernschnapsen and Sticheln (a really great game to while the time away), celebrating a 40th birthday in a zebra costume (don’t ask) and lots of alcohol (on the zebra part). A good preparation for an early start the next day.

Which didn’t work out because Andrea and I were the last to appear at breakfast. Our colleague Lukas got asked so many times where we were that in the end he gave up and knocked on our door to make sure we were still alive (kind of reminds me of someone…). But there was no reason to get up early because one look out of our window told us everything.001No sunshine, only grey skies and a couple of flurries. No reason to hurry.

Turned out we were wrong after all (this happens to the best of us) because the sun came out eventually. Until then we kept busy by taking the bus to the next village to rent ski. An important detail if one wants to go skiing. On the way to the bus we took a couple of pictures, here our chalet and us looking like eggs “sunny side up”.003004

After a detour to the next village, we finally got to Filzmoos and were able to rent some equipment. On hindsight I should have walked the 50 meters more to the bigger sports shop to not get outfitted in children boots. But you know, once I sat down and gave my details, my fate was decided. In the end it probably made no difference, all three of us from Vienna were out of practice and felt the pain in our calves the next day.

By then though the sun was out in full splendor and we were keen on hitting the slopes. Doesn’t this winter wonderland look amazing?006007008009011012013015016

As far as the amazement went we were impressed exactly until we arrived on top. There we met the rest of our group who of course didn’t have to rent anything and got up earlier and had hit the slopes already at 9:30 while we were still having breakfast. Maybe that is the difference between a good skier and a fun skier? Anyway, they were already on their way to the first break. But Andrea and I agreed, no break for us until we skied at least once. Which we did and it was excellent! Skiing conditions were perfect, I had a good grip on the snow and the sun was shining. What more could I ask for?

Maybe a good lunch? 023

In good company?020And afterwards a coffee in the sun, with this view?026029031

The sun and the snow enticed us to leave this lovely spot and so we did. But Austria would not be famous for its slopes if we would not also be famous for our hospitality. And that’s why you find a cozy hut around every corner on the mountains. Another stop, another drink. This time not coffee but something sweet for the girls and something clear for the guys.


The view from this spot was also impressive. Basically in whatever direction we looked we had an amazing panorama.052054053057

But with the setting of the sun the skiing part of the day was over and the “après” part started.063064 No “camp games” this evening but rather the grown-up version. We zoomed in on the only bar in this area (ok, not really sure about this and don’t want to insult the locals, but it sounded as if there was not much else) and danced the early evening away. No pictures from this memorable evening (at least not for your eyes) but I found a rather astonishing sign right next to the bar and I am still wondering what’s the reason behind it.070 (It means “Don’t spit on the floor”). It’s not as if people here were still chewing tobacco (if they ever did). Anyway, if you got any idea about it, let me know.

When we finally made it back to the chalet, I was ready to call it a night. Fresh air always made me sleepy.
Yours, Pollybert

So this was Christmas

Finally the merry season is over! After an abundance of parties and other occasions which called for “excessive” drinking, we have now arrived shortly before New Year’s Eve. Which is great, comes with the new year not only a fresh start but also some new resolutions. The one from last year I achieved in May and then it all went downhill sportswise. Sorry to admit, but $#*! happens. It was wonderful to reach my self-imposed goal, only next time or rather next year I should keep on going. Better aim higher, already Nike said to just do it!

Whatever the costs to my waistline though, I had a wonderful December. Full of parties and lovely dinners. Not so many pictures though, I find that I tend to forget to take some when the spirits are high. The party season reached its peak with a surprise birthday party on the 25th, after that my body and mind demanded some down time. Which it got the last couple of days while doing exactly nothing at all. Here are some pictures though from the merry season, just looking at them reminds me of the fun times I had.003007IMG_9141IMG_9107

One more party and then the slim season is starting. Not much to celebrate in January (and I apologize to all the ones who have their birthday then; it is miserable month), just a straggler with an anti-Christmas party which is very much welcome this time of year. Du to the slim party pickings I have to concentrate on something else and settled on getting in shape again. With which I started yesterday by taking a walk through the city. I know you thought I would start with full power, but I like to ease into it. Here are some pictures from my excursion into the city before I settled in front of the tv again. Vienna with the first snow of the season.IMG_9124IMG_9125IMG_9126IMG_9129

I wish you all a Happy New Year and a blast while celebrating the end of the old year.
Yours, Pollybert


Easter or snow bunny?

Weather in Vienna is not like it is supposed to be. We have been waiting for spring a while now and we’ll just keep on waiting as it appears. Last week on my way to work I saw this.

(I WANT SUMMER) My sentiment exactly!!

Therefore I tried to make the best out of it. It’s a winter wonderland, not as cold and dark as in December and so beautiful.

It really looked amazing.
By Easter Sunday all snow in Vienna was gone. So when I had the chance to visit one of my friends outside of town, I took it. Especially after she posted a picture on FB that kind of looked like this.


More winter wonderland and that in spring. By next year we will hate global warming and the almost eternal winter it brings. But for now, let’s have some fun!
We ended up being six adults and six kids, starting the day with Prosecco (the adults) and a late brunch. My friend was cooking for all of us. She has discovered a passion for vegan cooking and is now planning on making a living out of it. After eating my way through every dish she put in front of me today, I am convinced that she is off to a very good start.

As usual when the food is exceptional I forget to take pictures. Since I am how an ‘official’ test eater, I hope I will have the chance to post some another time.

‘Happy Easter’ to all of you!
Yours, Pollybert


PS: To my shame I have to admit that I am still reading ‘A Clash if Kings’ by George R.R. Martin. It is wonderful to read, but I am not on vacation anymore. Time is scarce.