Of all the European countries I want to visit Austria is always on the top of the list. The main reason for this is that I want to see Salzburg. This small and quaint city is where they film the location of the hit movie ‘The Sound of Music’. Who can forget that scene when Maria runs and twirls with her pretty dirndl dress in the lush rolling hills while singing the song ‘The hills are alive with the sound of music? Or that sweet song ‘Sixteen going on 17’ when rebellious daughter Liesl played by actress Charmian Carr dancing and flirting with her teenage love inside the timeless and romantic gazebo?
My mind was all set and I was excited to go but unfortunately after all the planning; we’ve decided to forego visiting Salzburg and maybe do it another time in the not too distant future (sigh!). What we really need is a true Alpine experience, a place to spend 6 full days in the mountain where the children can enjoy a summer break full of stories, of wonderful memories that they can cherish in their lifetime, of them swimming in a cold lake, gazing at the stars at night, laughing and giggling as they come down driving from the mountain in a luge. For me, that is what childhood and holidays are all about– an unforgettable moment with your love ones.
Luckily for us, we’ve found this perfect place. A gorgeous mountain ski resort somewhere in Schladming (apparently, the place is also stunning in winter). It is a small former mining town in the northwest of the Austrian state of Styria. You can hate me for betraying and turning my back against my first love Salzburg but I think I’ve fallen in love with this picturesque place; of lush green valleys, of cute Austrian chalet tucked in a place far and wonderful, of watching the cows grazing in the green meadow- a true Alpine beauty. It’s the sort of place I want to live for a few days to genuinely experience mountain life.
One of the chalet that we stayed offered us a free summer card, which means that we can enjoy going on the gondola and chair lifts with no extra cost, free use of the swimming pools and lakes, exciting mountain activities such as guided tour, luge, ziplining among the heaps of things they offer. We’ve been spoiled with a wide array of choices that we all find hard it to resist.
Our itineraries consist of going up to the mountain in the morning and have lunch there. It depends what we want to do while in there, if we decide to go hiking, to relax or to merely enjoy the alpine scenery while the kids play. In the afternoon, we would then come down from the mountain and swim in the pools or lakes or play miniature golf course in the town centre. The chalet that we stayed was only a short 10 minutes’ drive from all these amazing places which was very convenient. It was also self-catering so there were days that we would rather sit and chill in our own private balcony most evenings and enjoy a hot drink while relishing the warmth of the late summer sun.
It was fun and memorable experience but also kind of wearing to be honest; seeing and doing too many things is not something I would recommend. My advice would be to pick the activities that you are very keen and interested while you also allow yourself a time to relax.