The mountains! I haven’t spent as much time as I usually do every winter in the Alps this year. The closing of the season is yet to come, though!
We opened the season at Stuhleck: slopes area in Semmering, ca. 1,5h away from Vienna. It is the closest to the capital skiing area which I never even knew existed. I expected 2,5 short slopes for beginners and old-school lifts which throw you down in precipice not slowing down at the stations. So I was quite surprised when discovered a decent slopes map, modern infrastructure and even the convenience of getting there: timetable of a bus that takes you directly to the funicular is adjusted to train arrival times. I liked it and I wish I had another free day to go, since it is a place for a one-day trip (I mean, there are some hotels around, but it’s not necessary to sleep over when Vienna is so close).
The only frustration was the lack of apres-ski – something essential for proper mountain lovers. We did find delicious sausages, Mohnknödel and even musicians singing awfully loud and playing an accordion there; but a classy hut where everyone dances on benches in their skiboots was missing a bit. We still managed to get so drunk that we missed the last skilift load and had to walk 4km through the forest though, so the experience was complete!
My next trip was longer and took me further: to Nassfeld. It is convenient for us to meet up there with my parents when they drive from Lignano. The town of Hermagor where we stayed is relatively small but there are no tourists, only Austrians and some Slovenians. They know how to party Alpine style, so apres-ski was on point since midday already. The slopes area itself is satisfying: suitable for all levels, with nice views over the peaks and a few restaurants to chose from.
But the size matters in this case and I admit that 5 days is max. lenght of stay in Nassfeld if you don’t want to be deadly bored. It is not a loud fun town with a lot going on and all places booked out every night like Sölden or Ischgl. Great for family vacations and for those who seek to have some quite time, but too still for those who can’t sit at home in the evening. So, I would recommend choosing a different location if you are a large group and wanna go for 2 weeks. But for a few days the place is perfect!
Try beef tartar at Bärenwirt and book a table for dinner at Mari e Monti, if you ever come to the place 😉
Meanwhile, I am very excited for the next weekend and our trip with friends to Obertauern! March is my favourite time to be in the mountains. Sunshine and sparkly snow, here we come!