We spent the past week in Austria, gratefully eating up what others cooked and trying to burn off calories by sliding down snowy mountains on sleighs and doing a bit of nordic skiing. I do hope to learn how to ski in the future, but for now I am quite content keeping things low-key.
It's not the first time I've been to Austria. When I lived in Munich I went a couple of times to Salzburg because of its proximity, and spent another winter holiday in Schladming, which is a breathtaking resort but better suited to downhill skiing -although they do have a fantastic sleighing track.
This time we went to a tiny resort called Obsteig. What I most appreciated is the small scale of the place and the absolute quiet we found there. No queues for the lift, no one on the nordic tracks, it was very calming. The hotel had a great kindergarten-type place and it meant we could leave the kids there and go do some sport or just relax in the whirlpool. Bliss!
The hotel cooked great food, it was like eating in a restaurant every evening, and on the few opccasions we ate out, nothing disappointed. I even remarked that although the food culture is very similar to the Bavarian one, I found it was better in Austria. Maybe that was just luck. Who knows?
The strudel variation (apple and topfenstrudel (topfen is quark, or curd cheese)
Austrian food is very stick-to-your-ribs (potato and black pudding hash, wiener schnitzel...), and therefore I chose to eat dessert instead of lunch, knowing that I'd have a proper meal in the evening anyway. Can you blame me? I don't think it was super wise as far as calories are concerned, but I sampled a few strudels and kaiserschmarrns for the sake of comparison. I even ate the official Sachertorte at the Innsbruck branch of the Sacher hotel! (More of that later)
Kaiserschmarrn, a sort of big dense eggy pancake with raisins, mashed up served here with apple sauce