It’s been a busy few weeks here in Germany as Adrian and I have been doing a lot to prepare for our trip back to the USA this fall and of course for our wedding on October 12. It’s amazing how much work gets put into these events! But we are very lucky to have lots of help from people back home and it looks like the whole thing is starting to take shape. We are already getting excited to see everyone and to finally get married!
Meanwhile we’ve fit in some time to have some fun as well, especially me! I just got back from my second annual trip to the Zillertal Valley in Austria for a week of skiing with my friends from school. We had a great time and the trip was just as successful as last year. After a brief stopover in Prague for one night to grab some supplies and an extra car to transport all six of us and our gear we drove 7 hours down to Austria to the same exact cabin we stayed in last year. It’s always nice to return to a vacation spot that you’ve already been to because there are no surprises: No getting lost on the way, no nervousness about dealing with the ownership, no ‘extra charge’ you aren’t expecting. We were able to start relaxing and plan our ski excursions right away.
The cabin we stay at is several miles from the ski area up a long, winding, snowy road which is inconvenient in some ways, but well worth it. You’ll see why by looking at a few pictures of the place:
As you can see, it’s a cozy place that’s perfect for relaxation and it has great mountain views right outside the door. We love it!
The Zillertal Valley is a great place to go skiing because there are actually 5 different areas you can drive to in the valley to ski at and one lift ticket works for all of them. It’s not exactly cheap (200€ for 6 days) but there is a ton of variety available which keeps the place interesting for a week of skiing. In fact last year we didn’t even go to Hoch Zillertal which turned out to be our favorite ski area this year.
The best thing about skiing in the Alps I think is the amazing views you get just from riding up the lift. It’s quite an amazing back drop to have whether you are eating lunch or skiing down the mountain. Here are a few pics of some of the great views you get:
One of the worst things about skiing in the alps is the crowds: many of the trails are so crowded here that it can be difficult to turn and steer around all of the people. Luckily, most of the skiers aren’t ‘experts’, so to speak. As long as you don’t mind skiing some of the more difficult terrain, you can avoid them. Many people come to this area just because of it’s reputation as a party town, especially the village of Mayrhofen. Austria in general is famous for its Apres Ski and I think many of the the people clogging up the trails are more interested in their next Weisbier or Jagermeister than the are their next run down the mountain. Which is fine by me: whatever keeps them off of the powder snow!
We enjoyed a little of the Apres Ski our selves (of course)… it’s a little cheesy but as long as you forget your inhibitions for a moment and try to just have a good time it can be fun. One of my favorite things about Austria is the attitude of the people there. Everyone is really just there to relax and have a good time. All of the smiles you see on peoples faces are pretty genuine and ours were no different.
While I was in Austria Adrian had a good week of work and was able to go out with some of her friends a few times. Jess and Steph also stopped back for a night before heading stateside.
Once I returned to Berlin we celebrated our 1 year engagement anniversary by walking back through the Tiergarten and grabbing a beer at our favorite biergarten. We were the only people brave (or dumb) enough to sit outside in the weather, but we had fun “reliving” our engagement. Two days later it was my birthday on the 5th of March. I turned 28 and after a night out to celebrate with some friends on the 4th, Adrian took me out for a fancy and delicious dinner at a French restaurant. We don’t eat expensive meals very often, so when we do it’s a real treat. The restaurant was called Heising and it was run by a very nice and accommodating old couple. It was a little more fancy in the interior than we are used to, but the food was absolutely delicious! I especially enjoyed the oysters and Scallops (being a native Mainer, I have always had a thing for shellfish) and they surprised us with a complimentary brandy at the end of our meal.
Adrian also surprised me with a trip to Paris as a present for my Birthday! She knows I am a bit of a Francophile and have a been wanting to go France for some time and what more perfect time to go then Paris in the spring? We are renting a apartment we found on Airbnb which is quickly becoming one of our favorite ways to find rooms to stay. We also found a great place in Budapest with them and are looking forward to seeing how this Paris room works out. Any suggestions for what to do in Paris?
For the next few weeks until our Paris trip, I expect to keep fairly busy working on my Master’s Thesis. My proposal is due in early April so I am looking forwarding to handing that in and getting it approved so I can get started on the real thing. It’s amazing how time flies; I feel like I just started school, but now it’s almost over. And hopefully the snow stops soon so we can start enjoying all the great things to do in Berlin come nicer weather!