We walked in to explore the village, a cute and typical skiing village other than the near total absence of snow
. Our stroll led us to a mini-golf course with a difference. Although there was a normal mini-golf course there, there was also one that is played like pool. Eighteen "holes" on tables, played with golf clubs which had had their heads removed to turn them into pool sticks. By the time we finished it was rather cold, but despite the adverse conditions I emerged triumphant against the 8- and 10-year old and the wife.
The next morning we headed up the mountain to investigate where the concert would be held the following day. The day had started with sun but by the time we got up the mountain the clouds had arrived and snow was falling. At the top there was no shortage of snow, both real and fake, but the skiers had to share the mountain with many hikers who walked up from the valley. We had some lunch at the top and saw the stage already set up, which added to our already growing excitement. When we got back to the bottom of the mountain the village was beginning to get into party mode for the weekend, and there was much après-ski going on. We went back to the van but later returned to the village for dinner. When we left the restaurant after our meal the village was really kicking and a DJ was playing in the main square. We went to listen and watch for a little while. But a little while turned into quite a long while as our little Stefano began to feel the music inside him
. At first his leg was twitching to the music, but pretty soon he was bouncing around like a madman. His mother, who seldom needs encouragement, was soon into the fray. But at this point things got interesting as Stefano was approached by a lady who began to dance with him. And continued to dance with him for several songs. Leonardo, somewhat shyer than Stefano when it comes to strutting his stuff on the dance floor, found himself dragged into the proceedings by this same lady. And happily he didn’t protest and joined in on the festivities. Certainly with less abandon than his brother but it was great to see him come out of his shell a little. After their new girlfriend had left, Stefano made do with Heather as a dance partner. Until a young snowboarding, freestyle-dancing chap approached and began to show Stefano some moves. There is video of the whole evening which shows it better than I can describe it. Having left the restaurant planning only to watch a little of the festivities, we ended up dancing until the last song. I would have danced a lot more but unfortunately someone had to man the camera. But Stefano bounced around like a crazy person for nearly two hours and returned to the van a sweaty little monkey.
The next day we went up the mountain a couple of hours before the concert so we could have some lunch and find a good spot. We needed to find somewhere that would allow the boys to see over the crowd
. The morning began very sunny and it looked like we would get lucky. But by the time we finished our lunch the clouds had roiled back in and soon the snow began to fall again. We found a spot that we hoped would work for the boys, a little behind the main throng of people. But as the concert approached the view began to get more and more obstructed at Leo and Stefano eye-level. We went further back and up a small hill, but even there, as the concert began, the boys could see nothing of the stage. It was at this point that Heather and I realised that we would be getting quite a workout for this concert. I took Leonardo in my arms while she took Stefano, and other than short breaks between songs, they remained in our arms for the duration of the concert.
The concert was great, an excellent first one for the boys. And the weather behaved very oddly, changing within seconds from snow falling to blue sky and back to snow again. But during the second half of the concert it turned very blue and hot and remained that way for the rest of the day. As it turned out I could have done with the snow lasting a little longer, as it got painfully hot carrying a large load for an hour and a half while dancing in the snow.
After the concert, the party began.
The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the mountain was filled with people dancing and singing as the music played. This last weekend of the ski season is a party weekend and many people were dressed in some kind of funny outfit. We had planned to head down the mountain right after the concert and drive part of the way to our next destination. But since the atmosphere was so much fun, and Stefano had begun to dance again, we stayed to enjoy the party a while longer. After Stefano had got a few dances out of his system we took the cable car down and headed back to the van to prepare for our departure.
We all had a great time in Ischgl. And not only did the boys see their first concert but they both got to dance with a chick. Our next destination was Salzburg for some Mozart and Sound of Music sights, but we stopped for one night on the way in Innsbruck.
I edited together all the video footage of our stay in Ischgl, featuring Stefano’s groovy dance moves, and it can be found at the end of the picture section. Two words of warning: it is ten minutes long so you may need patience and to let it buffer by hitting pause once it starts; and it features music that some of our older readers will find appalling/not music.
Several days without wifi have left the blog a little backed up. Hopefully over the next couple of days it will get caught up. The day after my birthday we checked out of the hotel and left Munich, bound for Ischgl in Austria and The Killers playing a concert at the top of a mountain. We drove into Austria and climbed into the mountains. The weather started OK but began to cloud up en route. The forecast for the day of the concert wasn't great, but as long as we made it up to Ischgl and found somewhere to park the van, we would brave whatever the elements threw at us for the concert. And we did indeed get into Ischgl with no problems as it hadn’t appeared to have seen any snow in quite some time. But the skiing goes on regardless until the end of April, with fake snow. We found our spot for the next three days beside some apartments, on the edge of the village but only a five minute walk from the centre and the cable car that would take us to the concert.