After our train ride to Salzburg (more about that later), we picked up our rental car and drove south, into the mountains. This area, which is south of Salzburg, at the northern edge of the Alps, and full of mountains and valleys, is as beautiful as we remembered. As we drove through the valley, we had some rain, mixed with a little snow, but we could see, further up the mountainsides, that the trees were still flocked with snow, and the clearings were completely white.
As we climbed up the hill to our destination, the rain/snow mix turned to all snow. The trees were covered, and all of the grassy areas had several inches of accumulation. Suddenly, it was winter again. The last time we were here, we got to experience the first snow of the season, and we came back to more.
We arrived and got settled into our awesome place. Everything is warm and cozy. We placed our order for farm-fresh (as in, from the backyard) eggs and milk for morning and our hosts brought us got coffee and cake. Bolstered by warm beverages, we headed back out, into the snow for some sledding in the dark.
We didn’t go far — just to the top of the hill in the play area beside the inn. Despite the (sometimes heavy) snow, it wasn’t too cold . . . which was fortunate, as I hadn’t expected to go sledding and I didn’t bring snow pants or insulated gloves for anyone. It was just a short hill, barely steep enough to work, but fun and easy for the boys. They loved it.
We played, pulling the sleds up and sliding down, giggling boys and happy parents. We took breaks to slide down the slide, make snow angels, throw snowballs, ride on the seesaw and play on the swings. The snow would pause, for just a few moments, and the moonlight would break through the clouds. It was peaceful and fun. It was one of those crazy, rare moments where we’re all happy and relaxed and truly enjoying each other. It was an excellent way to start our long weekend here. And, whatever else we do over the next few days, the trip was already entirely worth it.