Oberau – An Austrian Alpine Wonderland

So, to kick off on my series of travel related blogs our first destination is Oberau. Part of the Wildschönau, it is nestled up in the Austrian Alps as a Skiing resort set closely to it’s bigger cousin Niederau.

We were fortunate enough to spend seven nights in Oberau on a skiing package holiday. The Building directly to the left of the church’s bell tower is the Kellerwirt, the family run Hotel we stayed at. The Hotel building itself was once a monastery where monks lived their day-to-day lives and would take in travelers, running it as a hotel back as early as 1100. The main building still has much of the original interior and on the first night we were able to dine in a small stone alcove, tastefully lit from sconces.

The Kellerwirt hospitality was amazing. Family Keller look after the guests personally with Claudia maintaining the reception and dining areas, making sure everyone is welcome and tended to. Hans, who runs the business aspects, was always friendly and could be found most nights in the lower level bar. He also is a collector of fine wine and has a large cellar full of a wide range of wine. After travelling through many Hotels is was the most homely, yet professionally maintained, hotel we have so far had the pleasure of staying at. We even got a free VHS tape which showcased the village in all aspects as well as the villagers themself.

The food was amazing. the Kellerwirt offered Half board, breakfast and dinner. So generous and tasty we rarely had any lunch apart from a quick snack to keep us on the slopes. Breakfast was cold cuts, cheese, fruit, yogurt, muesli, cereal and toast. As much or as little as you wanted. Though, prehaps the most exciting thing about breakfast was the menu for the dinner that night would be set at each table. To give you an idea of the types of Haute cuisine they offered we dined on everything from Ox Rump steaks with crumbed potatoes, Chicken Schnitzel with cranberry sauce to minted lamb shanks with vegetable medelies. These were always offered with a Salad bar starter which was amazing with plenty of fresh vegetables and delicate dressings, a soup which never failed to make me wish I could have soup every day and a delicious dessert. But enough about the food as I will only make you jealous. it was that good.

Now the main reason we were in the valley was this…

The snow and the skiing. We purchased three days of tuition on Snowboards and 6 days of Snowboard Hire and lift passes. To anyone who has never gone skiing before I highly recommend snowboarding. If you try snowboarding you must get lessons unless you are a ninja natural. I attempted snowboarding in 2007 with no lessons and I am not a ninja natural so I got hurt and frustrated and gave up. the lessons offered by the Happy Ski School were brilliant and our instructor was excellent and helped us grasp the basics. Three days though was how long it took before I was able to make my first ‘s’ turn which essentially the ability to carve down a slope. Completely chuffed with myself on the fourth day I started showing off a little which meant going a little too fast. This left me falling at a high-speed and bruising, if not cracking, a rib. So I ended up taking the rest of the day off, and the next day to let myself heal a little. The last day I spent a few hours on the piste simple because I could help myself and it was a lot of painful fun.

So in a hard lesson I just lost half of the blog I wrote for Oberau. Instead of rewriting I will just post what is here with some nice photos. Enjoy ^^

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