Print from www.stmartinchalets.at from 25.05.2013
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St Martin Chalets Blog Entry
2012: A Year to Remember
It's getting enticingly close to the winter season now and we've already had our first heavy snowfall. It's definitely time to don the winter underwear and start preparations for the soon-to-be-arriving skiers - with the early weeks in December being a real treat. The Christmas markets last throughout December here in Austria and on the first weekend of the month (usually) St Nicolas comes to St Michael, accompanied by the horrible Krampus! The Krampuslauf generally involved the good children being rewarded with gifts from St Nicolas and bad children being whipped by the Krampus. It's pretty scary, although for some reason it's usually the parents who seem more scared than their little ones!
Aside from attending the Krampuslauf (which is not obligatory!), the first half of December is a great time to visit Austria. The last few years have seen some excellent snow - with plenty of powder for anyone interested in hitting the off-piste - and what's perhaps best of all is the pistes are virtually empty until the Christmas week. There seems to be a popular misconception that the snow doesn't fall until mid-December but that is far from the case (usually at least!).
As well as looking forward to the first weeks of skiing, we've also been reflecting on what has been our best summer to date. Most of our popular weeks in July and August were fully booked this year, which was fantastic for us and for our chalet owners alike. Austria has a wonderful climate in the summer (it's a bit like New Zealand in my experience), with generally hot, clear days and cool, crisp evenings. There's a lot going on too - with fishing, golf, loads of walking and cycling, plenty of tours, City breaks to nearby Salzburg, and our very well organised kids' camps. We've had a lot of positive feedback from parents this year, who seem to have appreciated the fact that they can come here, send the nippers off on some adventure or another, and have some much-needed time to themselves! And perhaps our most significant event this year has been Lungau's selection as an official UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Herby and I have already begun our training as Biosphere Guides, so we'll be able to lead you on some really interesting (honest!) excursions, talking you through exactly what makes the Lungau such a special part of Europe.
Right now, as well as daydreaming nostalgically and preparing for the winter, we're looking to focus on our shoulder seasons - late spring and autumn. We would love to be full all-year-round (well, maybe one or two weeks off would be nice!) and we reckon there's no reason why it can't happen. We've had some brilliant golf events in September and October, helped by some great weather, and there are some wonderful sights to see - including the impressive red deer 'rut', which takes place around the end of September. Spring here is also a wonderful time and sees the locals exchange their skis and boards for hang gliders, paragliders, bicycles, motorbikes and golf clubs. You name it, if it's an outdoor activity, it's happening here in Lungau!
So, as we look forward to welcoming some of you back for a spot of skiing, let me take this opportunity to thank you all for making 2012 a year to remember. Can't wait to see what 2013 will bring!
Lots of love,
Jodi and family!xxx