Since Vienna is already showing first signs of spring being just around the corner, I wanted to squeeze in one last bit of winter. To me personally, there is no better season than summer, carefree and happy. While we are still a few calendar pages away from bikinis and beaches, I can now look back at the passed winter with a smile on my face. Family feasts with endless conversations and laughter, lots of hot chocolate and playing Rommé for hours, beautiful hikes in snowy forests…there is definitely something enchanting about it all.
beautiful hike on my birthday in february
I have to say, wintertime in Vienna (besides the wonderful christmas lights all around) isn’t really that great. I HATE it when you look out the window with excitement and watch snowflakes fall peacefully, just to see them disappear in disgusting brown slush next to the roads. Luckily, my parents happen to live in a ski-resort just 4 short hours from Vienna. With the ski-slopes only 5 minutes away and amazing views of the mountains all around, it is a perfect place for weekend-get-aways or holidays.
snowboarding at schmittenhöhe, zell am see
Usually snowboarding is something I love, but when you live in a ski-resort it seems much harder to make time for it. I experienced the same phenomenon while living in California, I hardly ever made time to go to the beach or relax by the pool all day. In my opinion it is the result of having daily routines and appointments, rather than being on vacation. If I do have some spare time to go snowboarding with my friends and/or family, I usually try to get in as many runs before lunch-time. First of all the snow is much better the earlier you get there, secondly there are less people around while you still have all your energy and lastly, but most importantly, because of the delicious options for lunch at the wonderful cabins and chalets. Once I sit down for lunch, start to warm up and have some Kaiserschmarrn and hot chocolate, I usually can’t get myself to go back out on the slopes.
Kaiserschmarrn is a traditional austrian dish and can be compared to little pieces of pancake, topped with powdered sugar and usually served with apple or plum sauce. Yumm! You can find a great recipe here. The raisins are optional, I have to say I prefer mine without. As easy as it is to make from scratch at home, it never quite tastes like the one you can order up on the mountain. My all time favorite is served at the Breiteck-Alm in Zell am See. Perfect in flavor and just the right amount of crispiness to it.
zell am see
Zell am See is a great place for vacations during winter as well as in the summer time. You are minutes away from the glacier in Kaprun (where you can even ski and snowboard in August) and you have the lake to swim and play when its warm out. Unbeatable combination in my eyes. If you prefer to golf all day, you will find one of the most beautiful courses halfway between the lake and glacier.
No matter if you plan to hike in the summer or ski in the winter, make sure you check out the Austrian Alps sometime for a great experience of culture, food and sports.