Skiing with a VIEW! at Gosau

ValentinesSkiingWe spent Valentines’s Day together on the slopes at Gosau … and what a¬†brilliant day! great snow – and some delightful sunshine too.

We did manage to do our chores beforehand – and of course – we were just here checking the snow conditions for our guests who arrive for half term next week ūüôā

It’s our first winter season living here and the weather has been rather ‘random’ this year (as it seems to have been in many other parts of the world!) ¬†Last season we visited Obertraun and went skiing in Gosau in January and again in March and the snow was plentiful and there was a massive amount of fabulous snow on the slopes.

It’s not quite the same this year as there has not been the same level of general snowfall in our village of Obertraun and around Lake Hallstatt – however, we’ve been fortunate enough to have had good skiing conditions on the slopes at Gosau. The snow has been cared for and moved around and groomed and this makes for happy skiers ūüôā

This year, when we have had a big snow fall – then Paul will enthusiastically get out the snow blower (his new ‘toy’) and clear the pathways and parking spaces. ¬†Then the Fohn wind (think of the winds of a giant hairdryer, coming from the south) has arrived and melted the snow around our house – sometimes literally overnight! ¬†We hadn’t expected to see quite so little snow in our immediate vicinity … but it is fortunately still great on the pistes. ¬†Today we had beautiful sunshine and the occasional flakes of snow to keep things topped up.

Half term is traditionally a busy time and are looking forward to welcoming our guests next week … We hope they have great snow, sunshine, fun and have time to appreciate the stunning views that we’ve enjoyed today!

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Balloon Week – in Gosau

BalloonEve_Gosau6This week has been ‘Balloon Week’ in Gosau, a village located in the neighbouring valley, where we go to enjoy the skiing of the Dachstein West ski region. ¬†Hot air balloons have been floating around Gosau during the day … ¬†and we have even seen the balloons come over the tops of the mountains and float into our valley and on towards Lake Hallstatt. ¬†They have had a good week weather-wise too … mostly beautiful clear blue skies, not too many clouds – and some sunshine as well!

This evening, at the end of Balloon Week, Gosau hosted an evening display of the bright and multi-coloured hot air balloons again … as balloons of various shapes and sizes stood out against the night sky. ¬†At one point they even ‘waltzed’ (or perhaps more accurately gently ‘twirled around’) to music from Strauss – fabulous!

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Glöcklerlauf

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Glöcklerlauf

As we’ve only been here for 6 months, we haven’t yet gone through an entire year of the festivities and traditions … so this evening was a new experience. ¬†In spite of some rain, the village celebrates the eve of the visit of the Three Kings (or Epiphany) on 6 January with the Gl√∂cklerlauf. ¬†The aim is to help banish the evil spirits and welcome the good. ¬†Firstly a group of children appear with the small lantern headdresses and then, as the next taller group joins the parade, so the lanterns get larger and larger! ¬†Different sized bells tied around their waists are constantly clanging as they parade and jump around. ¬†The beautiful and colourful lanterns are made by the villagers over few months leading up to the parade. ¬†They are lit from the inside by candles and carried on their heads around the village square for all to admire. ¬†The parade then divides up and heads off around the village … an incredible sight to see in Obertraun this evening!

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