Friday, December 14, 2012

St Johann im Pongau: Days 3 and 4

We've been having a nice relaxing week in our little Alpine town, the One Who Speaks Russian and I. The hotel has a spa and a swimming pool, and there is a supermarket across the road with a good supply of chocolate. We have books (lots of books) and a few movies, and a beautiful view of snowy mountains out the sliding door. Also, have I mentioned,


It's not a wet cold like you get in London. This is a crisp cold, hovering around minus ten Celsius and diving to minus eighteen at dawn, before the sun has had a chance to warm everything up again. On Tuesday we went out to find the McDonalds (wifi), and had a bit of an adventure trying to find a way across town and the river that was open to pedestrians. They only clear some of the footpaths of snow, and I'm sure in some places the roads are supposed to be higher speed so don't actually have footpaths, but eventually we saw the sign and slogged towards it through pristine white snow or grey mush, depending on whether we were following an actual path or not. The snow in some places is as deep as my knee.

Our internet at the hotel came with a five hour limit on it, so it was nice to be able to sit and check emails and things without worrying about the time. As we were walking back up the hill, a little old lady called us back and insisted on giving us lollies, which was very nice of her. When we got back to the hotel we sat in the spa for a while, and then retreated to our room for dinner.

Our little bar fridge doesn't have quite enough room for my sparkly red bowl of salad, but I've found a better solution: leave it just outside the sliding door in the day time, and it's perfectly crisp in the evening - not actually frozen. So I've been calling the balcony the fridge.

On Wednesday I spent most of the day determined to finish a book, and went out to see the local church just after the sun had dropped behind the mountains. The slopes were luminous, and the Christmas lights strung all around town were sparkling in the dusk. I didn't actually get in to see the church, but I had a nice walk anyway, taking pictures and watching the chairlift take people up the mountain. TOWSR and I had considered skiing, but neither of us has had much practice, and thought the expense and likelihood of broken bones probably wasn't worth it. Especially as my foot has only just healed. I'm keen to try skating on Friday, though, if the rink is open...


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