Monday, February 16, 2009

“Ski Amadé, Austria – Bad Gastein” I Survived 16/2/09 Day 214

Day 211 (Slide show)

Day 212 (Slide show) (Video 1) (Video 2)

Day 213 (Slide show)

For the past few weeks I’ve had a hard time. The winter here in Prague is really dragging me down. I’ve planned several short trips to various places in the area only to later decide I didn’t want to go to that spot. I’ve been very bored.

A couple of days ago something happened that really surprised me. I received this email from a friend I had met in Couchsurfing here in Prague. In the email I was asked if I wanted to go skiing for a few days. There was no plan set up and I was asked if I knew of a place to go. I decided that we needed to get together with our computers and see what we could come up with. We spent a full day together working on the plan and everything seemed fine. I felt good that we would have a great four day trip.

As it turned out I figured that going to Austria would the best choice. It is relatively close, about 6 hours by car and it is in the Alps. After looking at all the options that were within the range of 6 hr by car we decided on the Ski Amadé area just south of Salzburg, Austria. The place is called Amadé for Amadeus Mozart of course. This ski area is so large that I found it overwhelming. It encompasses 24 ski resorts the size of most of the resorts in the states. There are a total of 254 lifts with kilometers of piste’s to ski. Once I saw how big this area is I figured I could find some part that would have good snow and a fun village. I wasn’t too worried about the reservations but was there enough snow that was the question.

We didn’t get to leave Prague until around 8:00PM on Thursday so the plan was to drive as far as possible then find a place to crash. I was hoping to reach some part of the area mid Friday. But right from the start things started going bad. I really don’t want to get into the details because it was one of those crazy trips where you really want everything to go right but it never does.

I spent two days skiing in Austria at Bad Gastein which is a resort in the Ski Amadé Group. This place has the highest evaluation and the village is pretty nice. The snow was marginal though. The upper part was too windy to ski on and the lower part was ice in the morning and water skiing in the afternoon.

My friend and I didn’t get along very well which put a strain on things. The trip was put together too quickly I guess. I don’t have much to say other then that. I’m going to put in a few pictures so you can see the place. I’m really trying to forget about it. I didn’t write much at all in the log book, it’s all quite a blur.

If I was to give a grade on this adventure I would have to say a C. I would go for a D except I made it back with getting in a car wreck or an injury on the mountain. The whole trip went from bad to worse, one of those where you’re happy to get back in one piece.

I will not a few highlights like the Red Bull Freestyle Skiing Championships which were held on Saturday night right in the middle of the village.

Also the village itself was quite nice and there were spas everywhere. I’m told that is what the translation of Bad is in German, hence Bad Gustein.