Tuesday, 7 August 2007
Summer Holiday in Austria
I so appreciate being in Austria again. This is such a beautiful country with awe-inspiring mountains, friendly people, simple but hearty food and clean air. We are fortunate to stay in a Kinderhotel where they care for our children from 9am to 9pm six days a week if so required. They offer an interesting programme of activities and there is always time for the children to paint a picture, play table football, bounce on the trampoline or bouncy castle or whatever they wish. They go pony riding, nordic walking, play games in the pool, walk in the mountains, paint stones to remind them of their stay here. Sometimes they spend time with us such as when we visit somewhere.
Today we went to Europe's highest waterfalls in Krimml. I had bought new nordic walking boots and sticks yesterday so was glad to try them out on the steep climb. The waterfalls are so dramatic.
On Sunday we enjoyed the annual dorffest with a marching band, traditional dress, gun salute and plenty of eating and drinking schnaps.
Photos of the Dorffest in Gerlos
Back at the Almhof hotel in Gerlos, we enjoy the wellness area with beauty and massage treatments and an area with sauna, steam room, tepidarium, special showers, a Tiroler Schlafstübe for relaxing and a deck in the fresh alpine air where we can just gaze at the beauty of the scenery.
My husband has been suffering with leg pain for years and lower back pain recently. He has had two sessions of Tui Na Chinese massage with the Austrian masseur, Claus, who studied for 18 months in a Chinese hospital. The first session included moxibustion with cups containing burning candles being moved up and down his back and today gave him his first experience of acupuncture in his legs. He feels wonderful and is confident that all discomfort will be gone completely by tomoorow. Today he walked with us to the waterfalls which he could never do on previous visits here as he just could not walk.
With the same Austrian I went nordic walking for two hours and today tried Qi Gong at 8am on the grass as the sun warmed us up. We started by wiping the ball of our foot in one direction nine times then in the other direction nine times which wakes up the Kidney 1 point so helping the kidneys to perform well. I already practice Tai Chi so this useful extra information which I can use for preserving my health and achieving optimum energy. Klaus is very enthusiastic about China and reinforced my desire to visit that country on an extended trip at some point in my life. I would love to practice Tai Chi at dawn with the Chinese. I am not so keen on the food though.
The food in this hotel is wonderful with many choices at the buffet breakfast, salads and a choice of two dishes at lunch then up to six courses at dinner with a starter, soup, salad, main course,dessert and cheese. Soft drinks, choice of teas and coffee are available all the time and there is a bar with a choice of cocktails, selection of malt whiskies for some unknown reason and plenty of board games, chess, draughts etc. so families can relax together.
Photos of the Hotel Almhof
The adjacent hotel owned by the same family has a cowboy bar open three nights a week which our children love because there is a train which runs round rails all around the bar. We were once here on my husband's birthday and they sent round drinks on the house delivered in a wagon of the train!
Tonight the grandfather will play his zither, a sort of harpsichord as background music for our entertainment.
For alternative entertainment, we always enjoy visiting De Singende Wirt in the Hotel Gerloserhof with his evening of Austrian fun.
Photos of an evening with the Singende Wirt
For ways of travelling to Austria, visit Eurotravel.