Guest Blog – Wonderful Waidring.

Today Elevenses with Arundel Travel is a Sunday Special as it has been written by one of our customers and fellow Otley businesses owner Tim Wilkinson and I have to say it’s absolutely great – I hope you enjoy reading it as much a I did. Thank you Tim❤️

“Now I’m not the most enthusiastic passenger but one flight I’m always happy to book is the Jet2 LBA to Salzburg route. By no means the cheapest but it’s rapid, leaves at a reasonable time and, coupled with the ease of car rental at the comfortably sized, mountain fringed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart airport, gives immediate access to any number of ski resorts in the Austrian Tyrol and Salzburgerland

A bus can get you to the town centre railway station for trains to larger town resorts but braver Alpinists can simply walk across the car park, pick up a hire car and head straight into the Alps. Last time we visited was to a tiny village called Waidring. Two routes, a longer one south which passes by the ski jump town of Bischofshofen, or more directly by crossing through the ‘German Nose’ bit of Deutschland that sticks out into Austria but attracts a supplement at the car hire desk (if you tell them that’s the way you’re going…)

Less than a pleasant hour’s drive later, and only four hours door to door, Waidring offers lots of lovely self-catering apartments, frustuck pensions (B&B) and traditional hotels of all budgets, some with ‘dampfbad’ (steam sauna – although not a stitch allowed in Austria!) and other wellness spa facilities. Owning a B&B ourselves not getting up for breakfast is a welcome relief so we self-cater at Appartement Winkler, a converted hotel 300 yards walk from the gondola ski lift

The Steinplatte ski area won’t keep an expert busy for more than a day or two but 42 euros gets a day ticket for the slopes starting with a ride in the gongola lift with cabins themed on diving bells. In summer the plateau at the gondolas arrival station features a dinosaur park and observation platform. The ski lifts are efficient and the pistes mainly simple, forgiving and treelined making the m ideal for beginners, improvers and the nervous, with the added curiosity of skiing over the invisible unmarked border into Germany. Wooden mountain huts dotted around serve the staple mountain food of kaserspatzle (cheesy noodles), pork and sauerkraut, germknodel (steamed suet pudding) and, of course, apple strudel. Always nice to take a break for a mug of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream, with or without deadly Stroh rum depending on how your morning has gone

Back on terra firma everyone must join in the apres ski celebrations and a huge farm themed barn of a bar, Zardinis Schindldorf, awaits at the bottom of the gondola station. Chronic versions of songs, some you’d know, such as Country Roads and the – ever popular with Teutonics – Living Next Door To Alice, get the souped up electro-oompah treatment and the volume and dancing increases as the Salzburg brewed Stiegl beer, Pear Williams schnapps and spiced gluwein flows

After the après has died down thoughts turn to evening dinner. The weary and comfortably numb can eat in their ski gear at the après bar, and watch the weekly folk dancing and music performance although, a hot shower and clean clothes later, our choice tends to be between the Post Hotel (every Austrian town has a Post Hotel, Waidring’s dates from 1416) for hearty Austrian fayre or the Schneidermann restaurant near the outdoor stage (every Austrian village, town or city has a municipal stage), probably my favourite restaurant in the Alps

Morning brings a choice; back up the Steinplatte or a drive twenty minutes back towards Salzburg is the family resort of Lofer which styles itself ‘der schoenest Alm’ (most beautiful Alp, hard to disagree) with its own network of lifts and runs. To the west lays St Johan, a bigger working town with a station, hospital, brewery, traffic, commuters and its own ski mountain and beyond that an hour away is the metropolis (in ski town terms) of Kitzbuhel. Charming in itself but not on the friendly village scale of Waidring, horse drawn carriages queue up amongst the ancient, traditional Tyrolean buildings to show the town off to day trippers. The Hannenkham mountain hosts the ultimate in downhill World Cup ski races each January and the local sports centre hosts fixtures of the Kitzbuhel Adler (Eagles) ice hockey team, which competes in the Alps League with other Austrian, Italian and Slovenian clubs

Our week featured unprecedented snowfall which closed the ski lifts as fallen trees and avalanche risks were cleared although we usually take a day or two off midweek anyway. Local busses run in any weather and we found a meeting of international husky sled dog teams camped by the lake at nearby St Ulrich to visit as they prepared for the weekend races

Although low key and quiet – unlike the larger ski holiday factories – Waidring has all amenities at hand and some you might not need such as a schnapps distillery and a bell foundry although if you love it as much as we do don’t bother looking for a holiday home there, nothing ever comes for sale and new builds are prohibitively expensive; the locals intend keeping it for themselves and we can quite understand why”

Published by arundeltravel

Hello! I would love to introduce Arundel Travel to you. Our Vision is to help our customers 'Fall in love with the World' and put the fun and excitement back into booking a holiday. Our independently run high street travel agency in Manor Square will welcome you with a warm smile. We will give you a relaxed and friendly environment in which to discuss your holiday choices in hours that suit you and your family. This means you can create your perfect holiday together, in store with help from our knowledgeable team. We look forward to meeting you soon, but in the meantime keep following us on Facebook, let your friends know about us and spread the word 📷😊 We've got lots of wonderful holiday locations to share with you, so watch this space! Kind regards Helen Parry (née Arundel) Company Director

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