Tuesday 3 October 2017

Travel Tuesday: St Johann im Pongau

Zoe and I went skiing in St Johann im Pongau this Easter.

It's a nice little town, less than an hour on the train from Salzburg and with good transport links - buses and so on - if, like us, you're not going to bother hiring a car when you're spending most of the week on the piste.

We stayed just outside the town in a place called Alpendorf, in the very charming and very lovely Bergkristall apartments. There were epic views across the valley from our balcony and, because it was spring, we were able to spend some time sunning ourselves out there.

It was a very quiet place (I was pleased, Zoe less so) and the space was big and comfortable, with plenty of hot water and good heating. The only drawback was that it was up a long and steep hill, but there was a free ski bus down and up, which was good.

The skiing was quite good, also.

There were lots of smallish slopes that we could bash around on for most of the day and the snow was holding quite well, although best in the morning, as usual. I think my ski triumph of the week was really going for it down a black run, catching an edge, falling over and losing a ski and then skidding a further 40m or so on my back with my feet in the air. A couple of small children picked up my lost equipment and brought it down for me. Humbling. I did check my Snowtracks though and I had apparently been doing 70km/hour when I stacked it, so I am not too unhappy about being shamed by a couple of small children when I could have ended up in traction.

This ski area links up across a massive cross-valley cable car. We went over one day. It took us until lunchtime to get to the top of the opposite mountain, and then a very long time to get back, in the heavy spring snow. Zoe was a real trooper but I think I nearly broke her that day.

Still smiling here so that must have not been the day of the cross-valley cable car. Or it must have been before it. Getting down there was horrible.

This was my favourite piste, but I didn't find it until the last day. It was a black run but only little and the chairlift over the top was short, which meant I could keep going round and round. 

Happy times. Did I mention I love skiing?

I would go back to this resort, but I think it would be better earlier in the season. There's quite a lot to ski that we couldn't ski because it was so late in April and so warm. We only ended up skiing for four days out of the six (Zoe three - I toughed it out on a zero visibility day so I could ski with my former colleagues, who just happened to be there with my old school, Deirdre-Chambers-what-a-coincidence) but there were lots of other things to do locally. More on that at a later date.

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