Schladming – Ski Resort in Dachstein-Tauern, Austrian Alps – 170km of Piste (750m to 1,900m)
Schladming, recommended by our good friends who live near Vienna as an ideal place to ski. Less than 5,000 residents, the town has beds for nearly 4,000 visitors. Tourism is the main income for Schladming with around 70% of overnight stays booked in the winter.
It is a town for all seasons though and offers world-class skiing, superb mountain walks, para-gliding… and the list goes on!
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A former mining town, established in 1322, that has evolved into a tourism mecca, Schladming was connected by train in 1875 and has not looked back since. Hosting the first ski race for the world cup in 1973.
Skiing in Europe was on our bucket list during our winter caravan journey, though it was a confusing choice as the maps are dotted with an overwhelming number of ski resort symbols – thankfully our friends could give us the advice we needed as they are regular visitors to the area.
Approaching the town early evening, the girls gasped at the site of the Plainai ski slope – this was the first view we had and it was intimidating! An impossibly steep, world-class ski slope. Did we take ourselves down the slope the next day? No. Way beyond our abilities!
It was early spring when we arrived in Austria, the snow was not thick on the ground, but the ski fields were still loaded with the white stuff and hundreds of skiers were covering the slopes. Time to hire some gear and join in the fun!
Picture perfect conditions, mountain vistas that did not stop. Hot chocolates and mulled wine…
Schladming can just be seen way down in the valley. A 6 person gondola operates, efficiently carrying skiers up the 1900 metres to the top ski runs.
One of the favourite ways to gain a bit of altitude, ready for a run down the mountain… all aboard.
A one hour ski lesson to get our bearings and ‘ski legs’…
A loo with a view! The ‘Sky Toilet’ is rather hilarious. It sits at the top most ski-able peak, no cafes. Just the loos! One way glass windows providing spectacular views out – but not in!
The end of an amazing day… victory!
Our little caravan, sitting among the mole hills of Schladming! The Hotel Zirngast offers a range of accommodation with spa facilities and the year round campsite. An easy walk to the ski slopes, restaurants and cafes of Schladming.
Making a Mountain out of a Molehill ‘The idiom is a metaphor for the common behaviour of responding disproportionately to something – usually an adverse circumstance.One who “makes a mountain out of a molehill” is said to be greatly exaggerating the severity of the situation’. (Wikipedia).
All the way through Europe we saw mole hills. ‘Mole Power’ is extraordinary. Considering these wee critters are only about 16-18 cm long, they can produce mole hills in a flash it seems. The bane of most gardeners! Thankfully, they were not introduced into Australia with rabbits and foxes etc.! They are terribly cute though.
Having seeing so many mole hills as we travelled, I for one, was most amused at camping in a field surrounded by mountains and mole hills!
Reluctantly, we had to move on and keep exploring the winter wonderland. Fresh snow overnight made for an exciting trip up and over the mountains of Austria and through the Dolomites.
Now, that would be a fabulously epic way to trot around Europe (or anywhere). A double-decker bus, all the way from London. It looked to have been the victim of a mechanical dilemma though, abandoned and forlorn…
Coffee stops tended to be whenever we pleased. Coming down the other side of the alps, we stopped for ages in this spot. Playing in the snow, making a wee snowman, having caffeine and hot chocolate fixes… It was tempting to just stay there overnight, though that may have been asking for trouble if the snow continued to fall… but then again… what fun.
Lovely old wooden water trough, a classic view in Europe. Frozen solid and left adorned with a mini-snowman when we left.
There will usually always be jaw-dropping places that cannot be visited when travelling, for us it was the Dachstein Glacier. The suspension bridge and Ice Palace are only open in the summer. Next time!
“Freedom must be boundless above the clouds” sang Reinhard Mey back in the 1980s.
And anyone who has ever been on the Dachstein knows how right he is!
With its 2,700 metres the highest mountain in Styria is set amid stunning scenery with a panoramic view over the peaks of Austria as far as the Czech Republic and Slovenia.
Up at the top awaits a natural paradise, far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, surrounded by the rugged rocks of the Dachstein Massif with a view over Austria’s peaks.
Attractions such as the Dachstein suspension bridge, the Sky Walk, the Ice Palace and the stairway to nothingness are simply the icing on the cake. Here breathtaking moments are guaranteed along with thrills with a view. The trip up the mountain on the Dachstein panorama gondola is an experience in itself”.
Have you skied in Europe? Please add recommendations in the comments section below..