My initial idea was to keep this trip as cheap as possible. After all, we’re only talking about 3 days and it’s really an extra on top of the other vacations we had already planned to do this year. So I was sitting on a budget. Then again, the team was eager to get to a place with guaranteed top après-ski options and as that’s such a vital part of the trip, who was I to disagree…
So, little later we had pinpointed our destination: Ischgl, Austria. Known for… the Schatzi bar, the Pacha club – to name a few. Lots of hotel choices to stay at – we went for Wirlerhof, in Galtür. Turned out to be a great pick. Ideal location, spacious rooms, wellness and a pool, delicious breakfast – no complaints!
It’s not only the destination, it’s also the journey
Thank god for the company car, while it still lasts… Instead of taking a bus (and having to pay quite some extra for that), it wasn’t difficult to get a few volunteers out of our group of 17 to put their car into good use. It took us about 9 hours to get from Antwerp to the Wirlerhof hotel, including a few short stops. As we left at 3 am in the morning we avoided all traffic around Antwerp and even in Stuttgart we didn’t encounter any jams, so happy! With some funky tunes from our various playlists bursting from the speakers alternated with some in-depth conversations, time flew by and before we knew it, we arrived at the Wirlerhof hotel.
What to do when you don’t ski?
On the first afternoon after arriving we stayed at Galtür and although this is – as I learned – a smaller ski area, it has some great mountain views. We just got our new camera, so ideal to get myself familiar and try out some fun stuff. The first and third day the sun was out, so having a drink on a terrace wasn’t bad either.
In Ischgl there’s lot of different places to check out. I took a day pass without skis, which costs EUR 23 but that only brought me to a few stations (Idalp via the A3 lift and Pardatschgrat via the B8). If you want to go further, that would cost another EUR 14. Views are great, so certainly worth it!
On the map that you can get from the ski depot you can easily see where there’s a restaurant. I really liked the Alpenhaus panorma views at Idalp. And food’s good – man, that cake’s delicious!
A few others went just over the border to Switzerland, to get some shopping.
So, in conclusion: everyone can enjoy some fresh pow-pow!
My first après-ski
In the late afternoon après-ski is calling. There’s really no escaping. And it goes with a certain schedule as well. Initial après-ski starts at around 4pm, right after skiing. Around 7-8pm it’s dinner and then after that there’s a continuation of the après-ski drinking, ideally followed with after-drinks in another bar or dancing hotspot.
On our first day we went to the Schatzi b ar. Apparently known for pretty girls dressed in tiny Tiroler outfits dancing on the bar. Crowded place, mainly packed with testosterone-driven male individuals drooling all over the place and desperately trying to get a shot with the girls. A little sad, but amusing scene. On the third day we paid the place a visit again and learned you can reserve a table – of course, preferably one with the best view – if you know what I mean.
On the second day the Kuhstahl was the après-ski place to be. Again, packed as hell, so difficult to get our group in. We ended up somewhat outside, where there was more space and got some drinking games on. Apparently another must when going skiing… So many options, it’s crazy. Luckily we had some real experts with us, so never a dull moment.
When you get along with your colleagues, it’s really fun to go on a trip like this and get to know each other a little differently. It’s all about the team spirit. Lot of great memories and amusing anecdotes – these are my personal favourites:
– Who would have thought that a pizza Hawaii comes with pineapple!? The horror!!!
– Near-death experience with the crazy taxi driver getting us from Ischgl back to the hotel at night. Shouting “chillax!” apparently doesn’t work with those guys…
– What’s the right pronunciation of the word “kip” (“chicken” in Dutch)? Room for debate, apparently. Endless discussions in the Nevada restaurant. Still not entirely sure of the conclusion…
– Peer pressure… no getting out of heading a polonaise at Kuhstahl
– Sleeping in the same room with a colleague – not always a success. Depending on the volume of the snoring you might be forced to take your pillow and mattress to the bathroom!
– Who says older guys can’t keep up? We got a fierce demonstration of dance moves that are totally out of whack
– Not into Schlager songs? Then you haven’t heard “Johny Depp, Johny Depp, Johny Depp Depp Depp” or “Nicki Lauda” yet…
– Getting to know the wonderful world of gif wars in Whatsapp
– Going for a night out or staying in to play some Yahtzee? Or in other words: deciding to go for FOMO or JOMO
– Our mantra of this trip: “Zeh nah kalm!” (freely translated as “take it easy”)
Thanks ya’ll for the unforgettable experience and let’s get the group doubled for next year!