Since last November I have been hooked on James Bond movies and decided to watch all of them from 1962 in chronological order (which could be a topic of another post). While watching For your eyes only and James who was showing off his sliding skills as well as his ability to shoot from his ski sticks, I wondered how great skiing was. I remembered of the jolly ski trips of my student years, then rather resignedly I concluded that since neither Husband2Be nor my closest friends love this amazing winter sport, I will have to rely on James Bond if I long for the excitement of sliding slopes.
Few weeks later, however, it turned out that the law of attraction does exist! I received a call from a colleague asking if I could go on a skiing press trip to Murau, Austria. One week later we were on our way to the snowy mountaintops, and I was counting how many years passed since I had not skied…
Luckily, it turned out that skiing is a bit like biking, you cannot much forget how to do it. So after few hours of warming up and careful movements I was getting braver. I left home with several unsettled tasks and a rather hectic schedule, so what I enjoyed the most was that here all I had to concentrate was coming down from the mountain in one piece. Apart from skiing we had loads of other fun so I thought of making my TOP10 list about Kreischberg – what are the must-dos once we are in the area, of course not in order of importance!
1. Ice bowling – in the region this is a very popular winter sport, which is taken very seriously by the locals! During the game two teams compete to prove that they are better at sliding the „bowl”. Apart from the cheerful atmosphere the funny warm boots and mulled wine kept us warm during the game.
2. Lunch at the hütte – I love that feeling when I get hungry because of a physical workout. Somehow fatigue gained from sports gives a special flavor for any kind of food. The Käsespätzle (dumplings with cheese and fried onions) became one of my favorite ski dishes.
3. Après-ski till you drop – I have always known that skiing is a lot of fun, but I did not remember that the afternoon chill out can any time result in a spontaneous party. Luckily sauna is also part of the daily relaxation, and available at almost all the accommodations in the area.
4. Hiking in snowshoes – with our small team we had a mission to walk around the lake, which provides Kreischberg with snow/water reservoir. Even in deeper snow it is rather easy to walk once you get into the rhythm of it. However next time for sure I will put on fewer layers of clothes, since after few minutes I was really sweating.
5. Tubing – in the aqua parks I always love the big slides where you have to come down in a giant ring. Tubing is the winter version of this: while sliding down in the snowy tubes we also got to enjoy a breathtaking view.
6. Above the clouds the sun always shines, or at least mostly. When in the valley there was fog and rain up on the hill we had amazing blue sky and sun. What I loved the most was that the ski slopes, according to different levels of skill, are spread evenly on the mountain, so you will find blue (easy) and red (medium difficult) slopes even around the peak area. Being an enthusiastic, but not a very trained skier, I conquered the former ones with confidence and the latter ones occasionally with some bruises.
7. On foot – Murau is a sweet little town, much like a jewel box, which we easily discovered during a pleasant few hour walk.
8. Schiwasser and the rest – I would have never guessed that the ski water is just raspberry syrup mixed with water, or that vodka and fig make such a great combination as a drink. The other two favorites of the area are flying hirch (Jager+Redbull) and Murauer. The latter one is a light beer manufactured locally since 1495.
9. Feel of liberty – skiing is a funny thing: it can be enjoyed as a social fun and leisure with our friends, but it can also be a lonely activity from which we regain our personal strength and focus. Few moments can be so fulfilling as when you give yourself completely to the mountain and let it drive you. This is when you get to notice the magic surrounding you, and this is when you get closer to your own soul.
10. Promise of skiing – I could not wait getting home and telling all about my adventures to my Husband2Be as well as showing him the pics. His reaction hit me by a huge surprise: he said he would be eager to learn skiing himself J