It all started with a call from Ian and Birgit. Yes, from Sydney where they live most of the time. They said they were going to rent a chalet in Großarl and invited me to stay as a guest. You may have forgotten that they did the same thing in March 2010 and I had a great time back on the slopes there.
They invited a number of friends from different countries and backgrounds. In the first week there were two couples with children. That was great and very different for me. If you remember Großarl is a small town in a valley in the middle of Austria. Here is a map of the valley to help. To get there you fly to Salzburg, hire a car and drive to Großarl as some of my fellow guests did.
I took the train from Berlin. Is that a long way and time! Reckon on 12 hours travel if you choose this way. Berlin to München. Change and go to Salzburg. Change again into a train heading west to Innesbruck. Get out at a town/station called St. Johann im Pongau. What a name! There you have to take a taxi and head south. Takes about 20 minutes and costs 40 Euros, but at least you will be delivered to the door of the chalet.
As I found my big wheelie travel case in the cellar and started to pack, it snowed in Berlin and I saw this as a good sign for my skiing holiday. The snow stayed in my garden as I later packed. As you can see, I did not forget Der Flachmann (a flask) and two top-up bottles. I learnt years ago that many ski classes start with wetting your lips with the help of Herr Flachmann!
I started with a bad cold over Christmas and got antibiotics. This later turned into bronchitis and I got different medicine to take with me to Großarl. I was determined to go despite my health problems. I had the rather naive belief that the fresh mountain air would quickly get rid of my health problems. A mistake. I dozed through the long journey there and took my medicine as prescribed.
Was I pleased to enter the chalet and see my hosts and other guests. Here is photo of my skiing home. I took the upper room on the right of the photo. It had a balcony and I could talk to the head of Freddie the Deer each morning when I went out to check the weather. He didn’t say a lot but I enjoyed seeing him each morning. Living in the chalet was great. Lots of space and I really enjoyed the evenings with communal cooking, eating, drinking and talking. I miss it.
I think I gave you details before but if you missed that here are some basics. It was 160 square metres on three floors, we had a WLAN for our different devices, a sauna with two different kinds of sauna rooms, a large communal living, cooking and dining room, tv in each room with cable connection, and 7 bedrooms with bathrooms and toilets. We also had a room with a washing machine and for drying ski clothes. All you need for a great holiday.