Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The Goldener Berg
This is my hotel in Austria, my only regret is that I cannot live here for ever, and that I will have to leave on Saturday morning.

Just look:- Everything is just as nice as it looks in the pictures, I have to say that they do not exaggerate at all. And it is so reasonable (I guess they make their money in the winter on skiers, the rates are a lot more expensive then). I am paying just under 80 euros a night for a lovely room, with a big bed and a terrace overlooking the mountains, together with breakfast and dinner. And what breakfast! what dinner! Every morning I eat fresh kiwifruit, pink grapefruit and berries with yoghurt, followed by a soft-boiled egg of unparalleled freshness. Dinner tonight was barbecue night, we started with grilled courgettes in parmesan and tomato dressing, followed by entrecote with grilled king prawns, salad and baked potato. Then poached apricots with nut ice-cream. They make everything themselves, bread, ice-cream, you name it.

It took a long while to get here from Zurich, three changes of train, a bus (because of track work) and a taxi up into the mountains from Langen im Arlberg station. You can only drive to the hotel in the summer, in the winter the roads are closed, and you come up a cable car, while you luggage goes through a tunnel. This part of the village just has half a dozen chalet hotels, nothing else, except the cable car and chairlift stations.

My first day I went up the chairlift and walked down again, getting slightly geographically embarrassed in the process, so that my walk was a little longer than planned. Yesterday I went up another cable car on the other side of the valley, this one was actually quite scary, as it was twice as long as I thought it would be. I had originally thought of just sitting up there for a while (I could see exactly the path I should have taken the previous day, the view across to the hotel was superb), but there was no way I was taking that thing down again! So I went on a three hour walk down instead, it was not too bad, and of course, there were plenty of other people doing exactly the same thing. That is what is good about walking here, there are marked trails, and if you keep to those that are marked as suitable for families, there is no risk whatever. Everyone else is out with their grandmothers and their dogs, but not too many people - it's certainly not crowded.

I've also been spending time in the spa, there is no-one else in the pool in the morning, so I have had my own private indoor swimming pool and spa pool outside with a view over the mountains. I have also had a facial, a pedicure and two massages since I have been here. Tomorrow I am having another massage and an edelweiss youth bath. My back feels better than it has done for ages, and, although my legs were completely done in after the three hours downhill yesterday, I can now walk again - I spent quite a while in the whirlpool this morning. Of course the psoriasis is really good now, I am not sleeping with clingfilm on my elbows at present. I think the water and the peacefulness really helps.

The other guests are mostly families and mostly German speakers, but it's no problem to speak English here. I have enough German to eavesdrop to a certain extent, but the local accent can be a bit hard to understand. A lot of people have brought their dogs, the family at the next table to me at dinner have a beautiful big shaggy black dog called Anna. Not that Anna comes to dinner, but I met her in the cable car, and she was obviously enjoying her holiday very much. The parents and the two daughters - about ten and twelve, I think - go out with Anna and rucksacks every day, it's nice to see a family like that out and about and having such a good holiday.

Guess where I am coming for holidays next year?
posted by Ally at 9:43 pm ¤ Permalink ¤