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Day 5: Skiing Christmas Eve, St Anton, Austria – an odd Christmas Eve

By on December 24, 2009 in Austria

An early start to the day.

I was up on the slopes at Rendl just after 9 am. The cable car up to the main ski area was empty (and the seats toasty – the Rendl cable car has great heated seats).

Today the weather was cloudy, but the light was not too flat, and there was occasional sunshine.

For the first hour, I seemed to be the only one on the slopes. I did whole runs without seeing anyone; the lifts seemed deserted.

The snow conditions were very good. A few places the snow was a bit thin, and there are a few areas of ice, but I have spent the first-hour skiing virgin groomed trails.

Around 10:15 am a few more people hit the slopes, but lifts still remained ski on, i.e. no queue.

By 11 am local time, I have stopped for a coffee (of the two restaurants at the top of the Rendl cable car and neither of them make hot coffee. They make coffee, but it is only warm). The view from the Panorama Restaurant at the top of the Rendl cable car is stunning.

The view from the Panorama Restaurant

The view from the Panorama Restaurant

From the Panorama Restaurant, I took a lift part way back up the mountain and then skied down route 1 back to St Anton for lunch at the Krazy Kanguruh (Crazy Kangaroo).

The Krazy Kanguruh (Crazy Kangaroo) was surprisingly quiet (where was everyone? Rendl was also very quiet) and there was hardly anyone there for lunch. The menu was not very extensive, salads, soups, pasta and burgers, and I had the skiers favourite – spaghetti bolognese (spag bog).

Service at the Krazy Kanguruh (Crazy Kangaroo) was speedy (there was nearly as many staff as customers), the spag bog was hot, very tasty (a bit too salty), and the portion was large. All for around €10.

I met a bunch of Australians in the Krazy Kanguruh (Crazy Kangaroo). What a surprise. Two had come from Australia for skiing, and the other two were travelling.

After lunch, I skied around St Anton, and it was surprisingly quiet and very warm with temperatures around 5°C, almost spring skiing conditions.

At 3:30 pm, I decided to stop for a drink on the way back to St Anton. My first stop was the Krazy Kanguruh (Crazy Kangaroo) where they offered good happy hour prices, but not a lot was going on. It was very quiet. May be a bit too early? At 3:45 pm the place seemed to be filling up, but mainly with ski instructors. Where are all the skiers?

After the Krazy Kanguruh (Crazy Kangaroo) I decided to move on to Mooserwirt, which is close-by. I arrived at 4:30 pm and the place was dead. Nothing was going on. Almost empty. Doesn’t anything happen in St Anton on Christmas Eve?

Apparently, the reason Mooserwirts was so quiet is that Christmas Eve is the only night of the season the DJ gets off. I have also heard that all the bars in town are shut tonight, and the only bar that will be open is Scottys Bar in this hotel (Rosanna).

So, Christmas Eve in St Anton is odd. The slopes are empty (which is good), but all the bars are shut. I expected the place to be buzzing with people celebrating Christmas Eve. I guess I got that wrong!

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