Summer in St Anton - ski bums 'n funky chicken
Trip Start Jun 02, 2008
49Trip End May 01, 2010
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Where I stayed
The carriage fills up with summer hikers donning sturdy boots, thick socks and long shorts. The scenery becomes more mountainous with vivid green pastures and chocolate box houses. And then we are pulling into St Anton Am Arlberg..capital of the Tyrol! The village has a quiet bustle about it,,,shops are open and walkers leisurely stroll the main street...a mixed generation of walkers and bikers who most likly tay away during the winter party months.
The next day I wake to clear blue skies - and temperatures already on the rise. At breakfast the girl in the pension advises me to take the Rosannaschlucht trail - a 3-4 hour hike from the top of the Rendlbahn cable car . "Are you trained?" she inquires...I wonder what kind of training you need for hiking, I'm a reasonably fit person but the only training I've had recently was with a personal trainer and a medicine ball and I ached for days after that,,,,"Take layers - its still cold at the top" she advises "Peel like an onion" ....I smile at this image and we both laugh ..
The views from the top of the Rendlbahn are amazing. All around the ground is now covered in a carpet of red flowers, pretty looking cattle graze with bells jangling round their necks. And the mountain peaks , still snow capped loom in the distance. I start off at a fast pace, and realise it has become is a personal challenge to overtake all the other walkers...and leap from rock to rock breaking into a jog as the path starts to descend steeply. At the bottom the valley opens up with a river rushing through. i stop to paddle in the clear crystal waters....
The next morning I wake to clear blue skies again and soaring temperatures ...I was planning to hike to the lake from the top of Rendlbahn and on to the Tritschalpe but somewhere in my orienteering I take the wrong turn and start of down the mountain
There was no point calling anyone else the rest of the day because everyone was out enjoying the sunshine ...before the weather changes. So I made for the wellness center...which has an outdoor pool tastefully cut into the ski slopes. Later I meet up with Enrique "the Merikan" up at the museum - a place once used by the French resistance in the second world war. In the winter months Harry the head chef serves fine cuisine and its a place to go if you want to eat in a grand and unusual setting. Today was busy ..there were three groups including a Japanese group here to listen to traditional Australian music. I join a young Australian lad for a beer. Soon another 3 seasonaires have arrived.... There seems to be a core of ski bums here for the summer season...most came for one season 8 to 10 years on but they can't think of anywhere they'd rather be.
The next evening I bump into teh Australian out drinking with his boss - an Austrian who runs traditional Austrian restaurant on Dorfstrabe ...they have been drinking since 1pm and are giggling like a couple of teenagers...the Irish lad joins us. The conversation quickly deteriorates and I feel as if I am back at uni....but its fun
The last few days in st Anton i busy myself trying to find an apartment, in between I try out a climbing wall with John from the funky chicken, make numerous visits to the museum for tea and to chat with Enrique. The seasoniares are keen to help me and each takes me up to an apartment they know of. All are critical of the high prices you now have to pay in st Anton...typically about 8000 Euros for a 1 bedroom in town, the lowest price I heard was 6000euros but it was up the hill. St Jacob is much cheaper. Eventually i settle on a small 1 bed 45 square meters below an Italian restaurant on Dorfstrabe 61 Theres no view or balcony but its clean, modern will sleep 4 at a push for friends..and is quiet. I meet the owners, a nice couple moving to Hamburg...and we agree to raise a contract. In German.
That night I leave st Anton on the late night sleeper heading for Vienna and then on to Bratislava from where I pick up my Ryan air flight to Stockholm....I will miss this place that I have become so fond of but I am comforted by the fact that in just five months time I will be returning...