The Country: Austria
The Town: Kirchberg
The Activity: Skiing
The Airport: Salzburg – 90 minutes away.
Random Fact: Before you drink, toast by clinking glasses while looking the other person in the eye, if not, you will be considered rude and apparently will have seven years of bad sex.
Sipping fruity concoctions at a tasting tour in the Erber Schnapps Distillery in Brixen, I’m exhilarated – I survived my first day back on the slopes.
Breathtaking not only describes the scenery of the Kitzbuehler Alps, with its 170 KM of pistes, but also the feeling of zig-zagging and at moments (when losing control), of whizzing down the well-planned runs. Word of warning, the chairlifts can be tricky – I witnessed a few disaster dismounting attempts, including my own cringe-worthy moment of not hoping off, resulting in the conveyor belt being stopped – cue red face.
Having not ‘clicked in’ for five years, I remained within smelling distance of Sem, top instructor from Skischule Kirchberg. ‘Benzee knees and lean down the mountain’ he repeated daily. Continuous parallel skiing I was not, but it’s good to leave with a goal for next time (at least that’s what I tell myself).
With inviting pit-stops galore, you never have to ski for long before a hot chocolate or beer-indulging moment arises. The fresh, cold air and adrenaline fuels a good feed and with comforting dishes like Tiroler Gröstl – a fried egg, sautéed potatoes and bacon combo, or the pancake-inspired ‘Kaiserschamarrn Omlette Rosolato’ to feast on, you won’t leave hungry.
It’s also a good cure if the Après Ski was mighty, which is likely on this type of holiday. It’s tempting to lounge about with most mountain-top eateries sporting epic views and deck chairs – even if only the face, and maybe the hands catch the rays. Keep going though and reward your effort in the evenings.
For Après Ski: Der Tiroler Bar and Eisbar are the favourites. The ‘Apple Strudel’ shot is a must and don’t forget to play Hammerschlagen – a game where you compete to see who will be first to hammer a nail into a log first.
Hotel Bräuwirt – complete with a wheelchair-friendly bar.
And in nearby Kitzbühel, the fancier resort, you’ll find the Casino which boasts an exceptional, tastebud-treating menu and a wine list to match. As the name suggests, gambling is possible but not without a shirt or smart dress and €27.50 gets you €30 worth of chips, the playing kind.
4 Star Style –
3 Star Style –
Kolpinghaus Apartments, Kitzbühel
Don’t Pack: High heels
Do Pack: Lip balm – I suggest the Lancaster Winter Sun wind and cold protection cream & stick SPF50
To Book: www.topflight.ie
Billy no mates? Join one of these upcoming group trips:
Bootcamp Ireland – Feb 28 – 7th March to Soll, Austria
Copper Face Jacks – 1-8 March to Arinsal, Andorra