Friday, December 22, 2017

10 Things To Do On a Ski Holiday ... If You Don't Ski

This morning, I waved my husband and his friends goodbye before settling in to finish my mint tea and warm croissant at our hotel breakfast table.

"Guten Morgen!", the waitress trilled as she came by to clear our plates. "And what are your plans for today?" she asked eagerly.

"Well," I said, scooping up the last bit of strawberry jam with my finger. "I think I might go to the 10 o'clock yoga class. Then I might have a swim. Then I'll read, probably. Then I'll take the gondola up to the top of the mountain and meet the others for lunch."

"It sounds wunderschoen!" she exclaimed, smiling as she whisked away an empty mug.

You see, I'm Day 5 into what might be the best holiday I've ever had: a ski holiday in the Austrian Alps, minus the skiing.

It's not that I haven't tried: I took lessons, struggled down a few baby slopes - literally struggling past babies - before calling it quits and accepting that skiing (or snowboarding, as the case may be) and I just don't get along.

Which is fine, except that my husband loves - I mean, LOVES - to snowboard. Past years have seen him take off on a week-long holidays with friends, but he's admitted that it just isn't the same without me (aww!).

Cue this year: we booked a lovely hotel in Mayrhofen, just an hour's coach ride from Innsbruck, complete with a well-equipped spa and a cute little town buzzing with cafes and shops less than a minute's walk from the front door.

I was skeptical, but sold.

And now I think I might be in heaven.

So, here are 10 things to do on a ski holiday - even if you don't ski:

1. Spa

Duh. This one happens to have a beautiful pool that is empty in the morning (because everyone else is trying to hit the slopes before the ski school descends) and most of the early afternoon, plus several saunas, steam rooms, and a generously-sized hydrotherapy hot pool, plus an extensive menu of treatments. Am pondering a neck and leg massage for tomorrow. Hmm.

2. Have a hot chocolate in town

I was told that Kostner Heimat had the best hot chocolate in Mayrhofen, so I decided to sit outside one morning (with the assistance of a heater aimed directly at my head and sheepskin-lined chairs and blankets) with a heisse schokolade mit whipped cream (naturlich!) while watching the snow fall. I nearly cried, it was so delicious.

3. Read

I downloaded 5 books to my Kindle before I left - an appropriate mix of Christmas-themed 'chick lit' (I do hate that term) and literary fiction (I'm half-way through The Power by Naomi Alderman and am addicted!). When I'm not lolling about in bed, I take my Kindle with me to the spa or the lobby, where I spend a few luxurious hours reading - entirely undisturbed. It's bliss.

4. Nap

No explanation necessary. Nap as much as I want, whenever I want. With no alarm to set - ever.

5. Meet the others for lunch at the top

A couple of days, I took the gondola/lift up to the top of the peak to meet John and our friends for lunch. I hadn't quite anticipated just how high or steep the first gondola would be, and I was in one on my own, so by the time the doors closed, I didn't have time to panic, but just focused on my phone, while sneaking the occasional peek to my left and right (which offered beautiful views, btw).

6. Gym

The treadmills here have Netflix. If that's not enough motivation to work out for a full hour or however long an episode of Riverdale or whatever it was I've been binging on lately - then, I don't know what is.

7. Take a class

Our hotel offered a complimentary hatha yoga class this morning and - guess what - I was the only person who showed up, so I ended up getting a private lesson. On my way out, the pool looked so enticing, I ran upstairs to change into my swimsuit before jumping in - and yes, I had it all to myself.

8. Arrange a horse and carriage ride

Lots of ski resort towns have horse and carriage rides you can organize during your stay. We took a lovely little loop through town and next to the woods, after the snow had just fallen. It was fun and very romantic!

9. Go on a hike

I noticed quite a few trails for walking up on the mountain as well as in town, which looked fun. I took little strolls with John when I went to meet him for lunch at the top of the mountain - the snow made it an extra workout (especially when trudging uphill)!

10. Shop

There are some very sweet little boutiques here in Mayrhofen and we picked up a cute little ceramic decoration to take home as as souvenir last night. It's fun to browse the shops with the sheer intention of browsing - not necessarily buying.

Would I take a trip like this again? You betcha. We lucked out on the beautiful and well-equipped hotel, though, which has been a constant source of entertainment. And every time I felt a little stir crazy, I'd just take the ski lift up to the top for some wintry views (and apple strudel!).

Are you a skier/snowboarder? Or are you more into apres ski, like me? Let me know!  

No comments

Post a Comment

© angloyankophile

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig