Our Austrian destination was Ramsau am Dachstein in the Austrian Alps, not far from Salzburg. I was ready for “The Sound of Music” tour but not so DH. In fact, he was adamant about it. That didn’t stop me from singing a few tunes on the way there though.
Our sleeping car accommodations were not on the scale of the Orient Express, actually far from it. Picture bunk beds, a small table & chair, a hideaway sink, 2 large suitcases, & the 2 of us in a closet and that’s pretty close. I was considering taking a photo for the blog but I couldn’t back away far enough to get the shot. Actually there are 3 bunks but I would think that unfortunate person would be subject to nosebleeds from the altitude.
We arrived at what our DD calls “0 dark hundred”…0450. This was not my fault. It was the fault of our train agent, but that’s another story. Our good friend, no make that great friend, Judy was at the station in Schladming with a taxi to take us up the mountain. I am glad it was dark and I couldn’t see or my knuckles would now be a permanent shade of white. We got to her house as the dawn was breaking. It was a winter wonderland. The snow fell gently all day as we snuggled in to recover from the trip. The next day brought rain which made the snow fall from the branches of the pines and caused great hunks of snow to fall off the roof. This sounded like great cracks of thunder … scared me silly.
I won’t bore you with a day by day description. Ramsau is a plateau area that specializes in Nordic sports such as cross country, biathlon, ski jumping, bobsleds, and snowshoeing. There are also the normal Alpine sports too. DH & I watch rather than participate. My knees have long since given up supporting me through such activities.
The highlights included walks in the snowy woods, great local food & drink, a musical presentation of the story of St. Simeon, Mary, Joseph, & the infant Jesus performed by the local youth group in the village church (acted & sung in German, but if you know the story you can figure out what’s going on), a traditional dinner with our Austrian friends in their chalet style home, shopping in the village, and my personal favorite … a open sleigh ride with a stop at local inn. Check out the photos. Note the kitchen staff and facilities including the parking lot. There is also a shot of us in the sleigh if you can see our faces somewhere buried in those hats, scarves, and coats. The driver also provided some homemade schnapps to keep our insides warm too.
DH & I also celebrated our official 2nd wedding anniversary on Jan. 2. We’ve been together and committed to each other for 30 years, but the USA and Swiss governments prefer more formal declarations. So we two flower children of the 1960’s gave in and did the deed in 2007.
Oh, I forgot another highlight. DH says these last 14 years have been filled with unexpected events, places, and adventures. The latest was getting a New Year kiss from a member of the German government! She and her husband actually have Wiki pages. They’ve also published lots of papers and books that we probably wouldn’t understand even if they were written in English.
We took the day train back to Villeneuve on Jan. 3. About 11 hours. It really was a lovely trip through snow covered mountains. It’s a good thing we had seat reservations. The train was packed with people and their bulky ski/snowboard equipment.
Home now … back to quilting for me and Everquest II for DH.