Night sledding

20130322-163000.jpgAfter 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.

20130322-163040.jpgWe 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.

20130322-163058.jpgWe 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.

20130322-163113.jpgWe 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.

Just go

Innsbruck was wonderful.  We had a good time, we played in the snow, we explored, we saw the Alpine part of Austria.  I now feel comfortable saying “I like Austria”, rather than just “I like Vienna” (I’ve been saying, “I like Austria”  but I really didn’t have much data beyond Vienna).  We’re already planning for the next time we go to Innsbruck — what we’ll see again, what we’ll do differently.  I want to go again in the winter and also in the summer, but I also have a long list of other places we want to explore, so we’ll have to see exactly how it works out.

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Toboganning in the Alps

One of two things I wanted to be sure to do while in Innsbruck was to go sledding. I had inquired about it at the hotel before we came, but when we stopped by the front desk to get more information this morning, the receptionist was only kind of helpful, and when we got to the bus stop she directed us to, we found that the route number she gave us didn’t go to the right place. So, we took a gamble and picked another bus. We asked the driver, who was very patient with our Germenglish, about sledding (“rodeln” in German — my new word for today) and he assured us he could get us there and then helped us load the stroller in the bus. Off we went.

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