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Odl lay hee hoo

We have been promising to visit St Anton and go skiing with friends Vicky and Tony for sometime. They spend the entire season here each year.

Unfortunately, it’s summer here and Vicky and Tony are back in Australia enjoying the remarkable season down there. But, here we are in St Anton!

We are excited to be catching up with Andrea (also mutual friend of V&T). Andrea’s Mum comes over from the States to hike each year with her friend Diane.

Andrea has just been in Europe cycling and holidaying in Greece with Vicky, who has been celebrating a birthday (won’t say which). Our travel plans didn’t end up coinciding with Vicky’s, so we didn’t get to celebrate with her.

St Anton is a picture perfect alpine village. Designed for skiing, it’s also a popular hiking and cycling destination in summer. The night we arrive, the local summer fair is on and we have dinner in town enjoying more Austrian music. Not as good as the Fritzens, but entertaining all the same.

I could say we went on a hike, but perhaps ‘leisurely walk’ would be a better definition. The easier trail was opted for in favour of the lesser experienced Aussie tourists. Otherwise, our three hosts would have been scaling mountains!

The weather also proved a bit of a hinderance and threatening rain shortened our walk to 3 hours.  Just as the rain was coming in, we made it back for lunch in one of the huts up the mountain for some traditional Austrian fare.

We have a fun two nights, spending most of it chatting and laughing. We play Skip-Bo; a crazy card game Andrea and Magit have recently been introduced to. It was wonderful to catch-up on Andrea’s world (as we have not seen her in 18 months), meet Magit again (the last time was at least 5 years or so ago in Australia) and meet Diane for the first time.

We very much enjoyed the simple pleasure in just hanging and relaxing with friends, old and new. So a big thank you Andrea, Magit and Diane for welcoming us, sharing your wine and food, entertaining and educating us. It was a memorable few days.

Magit grew up in Austria and her knowledge of Europe is extensive. She gives us some great tips on where to go and also, where not to go – avoid Switzerland “it’s soooo expensive, it costs you money just being there”, these are her lingering words as we bid farewell.

The scenic Arlbergstraße takes us north through the Alps, the weather is however bleak and miserable, any plans to stop and see more of the Austrian mountainside quickly fade. What we did see through the drizzle and fog looked magnificent. Hopefully we will come back through this area and we certainly have itchy feet to come skiing in St Anton.

We stop for coffee and to strategize on where we are staying tonight. With the weather looking dodgy we decide that a larger town/city will have more on offer than staying in the alps. Against the advice of Magit, we head into Switzerland deciding to make Zurich our home for two nights.

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