Alpine Sports Week, Austria

As you’ll have probably noted from my previous two posts (which you can catch up on here and here), the first few days of were fairly tough for me in terms of mustering up the courage to participate in the activities more suited to an adrenaline junkie than a girl who can barely get behind the wheel of a car (this is a whole other story). However, our final day was to be spent on a Segway Tour, something I was actually excited about rather than daunted and terrified – a first! The strange little futuristic hoverboard type machines had always intrigued me and I was keen to try it out for myself.

After another hearty breakfast (the hotel had an amazing spread with freshly made omelettes, all the types of bread you could imagine, cereals, fruit and teas) we took a short walk to the bus stop in an attempt to use the local public transport to find our way to the start of the segway route. Unfortunately, trying to find the sign for the correct bus while it was bucketing it down with rain proved harder than we initially thought, as we missed the only bus.

Victoria, the wonderful leader of the sports week and PR for the Wilder Kaiser region kindly rescued us, taking us in her car to the allocated spot – where we met our segway guide.

As I’m sure you’ll know if you’ve been on one of these nifty contraptions before, they work on balance and are steered by the way you lean or how much weight you put onto a certain side. I actually found it really easy to control at first and had great fun zooming up and down hills, around the beautiful surrounding countryside and through trees. However, as the time wore on and we became more tired, it became more difficult to control and I found myself almost falling off at times because if you don’t put your feet in the right place when you’re going up or down steep hills, it can fling you forwards or backwards. I was absolutely fine on flat ground, but as we rode back to our hotel (slowly, for me) – I was relieved to step off and onto my own two feet again!

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Sorry, let me just zoom in on that face of pure concentration!

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After arriving back ‘home’, we peeled off our rain-sodden clothes and wrapped ourselves into the hotel dressing gowns ready for round two at the beautiful spa which is included for all guests to use. Considering we’d been thrown completely out of our comfort zones for the previous couple of days, it was nice to be somewhere I felt at ease! Em, Danielle and I were having a lovely time trying out all the different waters, teas and steam rooms at the spa, forgetting that we were in a European country and things are done a little differently out there…

Before long, the place filled up with tonnes of guests and very little in the way of clothing, dressing gowns – or swimwear. We tried to get our heads round this, as we understood it was the norm however trying to focus on our conversations was a bit of a struggle when a man in the same room decided to stand up and jiggle around, swooshing his towel over his body. I won’t go into any further graphic detail, just in case you’re eating your tea – but we did have to stifle a bit of a giggle and leave at that point.

With the rain finally clearing and just one day before we flew home, we decided to have one final lay around in the area outside our rooms – which looks like a pond, but was actually a fully functioning swimming pool. I wore my favourite South Beach crochet two piece, with pom-pom detailing (I’m obsessed with anything with pom-poms at the moment?!) and my Surania bikini.

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After a short power nap, we then started getting ready for our final dinner of the trip – we were told to the best pizza restaurant in the whole of Austria! I decided to wear my Motel Rocks suns and moons dress (£35), which I whip out on any occasion I can – as it’s so comfortable and doesn’t restrict the stomach area (which is a huge bonus for me, especially if I’m eating out), yet it’s still rather flattering. If I could design my perfect dress from scratch, this would be it – down to the pattern, which has me written all over it (not literally though, don’t worry).

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Before we arrived at the restaurant, we were dropped at a nearby evening market to explore (I exchanged the heels above for something flatter). There were some incredible homemade items, including honey, oils and fresh kaiserschmarrn (an Austrian favourite, almost like scrambled pancakes, delicious with sprinkled icing sugar and fruit). A centrepiece of the market included an interesting game which everyone got stuck into after dinner – an inflatable bouncy castle type structure where the ‘player’ has to stack and climb up as many beer crates as they can in order to reach the very top. It sounds odd but it was hilarious to watch, especially if the ‘player’ has had a few cocktails!

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Memory was rather unlike the traditional Austrian restaurants we’d been to previously – as it was modern, with an Italian menu and didn’t feature any gingham table cloths. However what it lacked in tradition it more than made up for in what it offered, with the most incredible pizzas and cocktails I’ve ever tasted (and I’ve just come back from Italy, so that’s saying something). With a friendly, relaxed feel and an extensive choice of toppings, we ordered various courses to share – as well as a large pizza each. As I’m lactose intolerant my pizza was missing the cheese (in case you’re wondering) with just fresh tomato, garlic, olive oil and oregano. Oddly, I actually prefer this than one smothered in cheese as it’s far less greasy and doesn’t induce the usual bloating you suffer after a pizza night!

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Danielle and Em went for a ‘Memory Kiss’ concoction – with rose petals and white chocolate, while I opted for a Hugo – a traditional regional cocktail with prosecco, elderflower and soda.

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The gelato offered by the restaurant looked out of this world, however unfortunately I could only manage a picture!

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After exploring the evening market once again once it got dark, we headed back to the hotel to pack for our flight the following morning. We were sad to be leaving, as we’d had a fantastic week, met so many great people and tried things we’d never experienced before (and might never again). The food was incredible, the views were out of this world and despite being more terrified than ever at some of the activities, I’d enjoyed myself – with a feeling of achievement and satisfaction.

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If you’d like to plan your very own Austrian adventure at next year’s alpine sports week, the Wilder Kaiser region are offering an incredible deal (click here for more info) – just 99 euros to try your hand at any activity you desire (and as many as you like). Running from the 20th – 27th June, the week promises those who’d like a bit of a challenge with the time of their life! Hotel wise, I’d really recommend the Vital & Panoramahotel Sonnenhof in Going, as it’s clean, comfortable and provides the perfect base for all the nearby activities. Thank you to the Austrian Tourist Board and the Tirol Tourist Board for putting together an amazing itinerary and hosting us for the week, I had an absolutely fantastic time! Thank you also to Em who took the majority of my pictures on the trip for me and Danielle who stepped in as photographer for the suns & moons pictures, I appreciate you putting up with my strange posing!