New Year’s Eve in Bad Hofgastein

 We’re back in Bad Hofgastein for the n-th time again. We decided to spend a week here over the New Year’s Eve and enjoy the mountains and the fresh air.

We booked the Kur & Sport Hotel Rauscher a month ago, it was the only hotel that still had free rooms. Breakfast is included and we booked dinner too, half pension was a good price and we don’t have to think where to go for dinner so it’s less stress.  We got up on the day before New Year’s Eve, had breakfast and packed so it was noon by the time we got on the road. We picked up the usual cappuccino from McCafe before leaving the city. We stopped half way to tank gas and have lunch at our usual place.

We planned to arrive while it was still daylight outside but we had some traffic jam on the way so it was almost dark by the time we arrived.

My first impression of the hotel is “meh”, especially our room are so tiny and old-style. There is almost no snow in the valley but I am hoping that it will snow soon. I want winter wonderland! The slopes have artificial snow so skiing and snowboarding is guaranteed, although depending on the weather the slopes could get pretty bad in the afternoon. I hope it will be warm and sunny so that I can go to the top of the mountain, be lazy and enjoy the mountains and the sun. The spa is only a few steps from our hotel. Yaaay!

I packed lots of walking, hiking and running gear and I can’t wait to go outside and move after 3 rest days. I brought my ice skates too and I am hoping that the ice skating rink is prepared but last year it was too warm down here in the valley and the ice in the rink melted and it was bad. ๐Ÿ˜• My plan B is coffee and cakes, they’re the best in Austria.

So we finally arrived to the hotel shortly before it got dark. After taking a short break in the room, we headed to the hotel restaurant for dinner. It’s a 4 course a la carte dinner, with salad from the bar, soup, a choice of main course and dessert. The main course is selected at breakfast and we didn’t get to pick it for that evening since we arrive in the afternoon. I got the oven potato with turkey breast stripes since they didn’t have the fish for late arrivals.  I spent the day of New Year’s Eve at the spa: swimming, reading on my Kindle and taking aqua gym classes. It was awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

We decided to take the late dinner at the hotel restaurant for New Year’s Eve because the menu was so much better. The food was amazing and we finished right before midnight. We planned to go out to the main square at midnight but we got too lazy after all the food so we watched Big Bang Theory till midnight and then checked the fireworks from our balcony.

I started the New Year with a workout in the hotel room. I checked the hotel gym but it’s so pathetic that I refuse to go there to exercise. I actually just purchased the 1-year coach on Freeletics (it’s 30% off right now!!!) so I did the test for the personalised training plan and I still had some energy left so I trained legs with Kayla Itsines BBG. I picked the leg circuits on week 11 and 12 and did one round of 7 minutes each.

 Afterwards I went on a long walk in the city and in the park and took some nice pictures with my DSLR which I transfered to my iPad and uploaded in the cloud. Travel tip: add wifi to your DSLR camera with Eyefi Wifi SD cards & sync your pics to your phone, tablet & cloud.

So I spent a wonderful afternoon walking in the park. It was such a beautiful weather, the sun was shining and it wasn’t cold. So many people were in the park walking, running and cross country skiing. It snowed last night, it wasn’t exactly winter wonderland and some melted already but I love that there’s a bit of white.  Next day I went ice skating and, even though I almost face planted a few times, I loved it so much that I stayed for 1,5 hours on the ice skating rink, no breaks. I think the ice skating counts as a workout! Everything hurted so much and I was so sore after this. Post-ice skating lunch was Kaiserschmarrn. Quick tip: when in Austria, eat Kaiserschmarrn. ๐Ÿ˜

We’ve been coming here to Bad Hofgastein every year for over 8 years, this is my favorite mountain resort town. Cafe Schwaiger is also my favorite cafe here and the people at this cafe know me already and they know how I like my coffee. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Sunday I planned to go cross country skiing since it snowed all night. Well, the cross country skiing experiment was a big fail. I could blame it on my muscles that are still sore from the workout from the last two days or that the slope was really full which it was but the truth is that I chickened out and I sucked big time. I was slower than a turtle and I annoyed some people on the slope because I slowed them down. I made half a round and then gave up and returned the equipment so I don’t cause a riot, get cursed at and get kicked off the slope. I guess I will be sticking to watching cross country skiing on tv from now on. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

 So I came back to the hotel defeated and did another workout in the room. I may have failed at cross country skiing but I still got my workout in! I started with the first Freeletics workout in my training plan which was only 100 jumping jacks plus dynamic warmup before and stretching after. The coach is taking it really slow with me, this felt barely like a warmup. So I also did Kayla Itsines BBG week 11 arms and abs, each circuit once for 7 minutes, and finished with a nice long upper body cooldown stretching.

I craved for chocolate so I waited for my bf to return from skiing and we went to my favorite cake place and I had a slice of Sachertorte. Winter wonderland was in full mode so we took a nice long walk in the big snow after that big cake and visited the ducks in the park.  Monday was a rest day for me so I spent the day on the top of the mountain being lazy. I was hoping for a warm sunny weather today so I could sleep in the sun but it was snowing and it was very cold outside, -6 degrees Celsius. Cloudy with a small chance of sun. So I quickly hid inside the warm restaurant with a hot cappuccino, reading on my Kindle and watching people ski and snowboard outside. Lunch for two was clear soup with pancake stripes (or Frittatensuppe, must try when in Austria!!!) and Kaiserschmarrn with apple sauce. So yummy! ๐Ÿ˜

 On the last day I went again ice skating and took a cake break for lunch at my favorite cafe. Afterwards I took a nice long walk in the park. It was the perfect relaxing day to end the trip, although we had a bit of a trouble opening the trunk of the car. It seemed like it froze shut and we finally got it opened after I noticed the button with the trunk on the remote key. I pressed it and voila, it opened. ๐Ÿ˜‚

We overslept on the day we were suppossed to drive back. Checkout was at 10 am and breakfast was until 10 am, which was incredibly stupid. We quickly packed, had breakfast and checked out. The srive home took us 4 hours including a short coffee break and a 1-hour wait at the border.

The next few days are for resting and relaxing. We plan to go to the city for a walk, or to the cinema one day but I will mostly use this time to get mentally prepared for going back to work on Monday and get back into my usual routine.

See all the pictures here.

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