Monthly Archives: December 2016

I pack my bag and take with me…

Are you already thinking about what to pack for your winter holiday?

So often people believe that they need to wear 15 layers to keep warm in the snow and during skiing – how wrong this is. Yes the winter is cold but consider the following:

  • Inside areas are strongly heated in winter, up to about 28 degrees in certain places, and also skiing is a strenuous exercise, so always dress in layers, which are easy to put on and take off and make sure you have a T shirt underneath.
  • You will need proper ski clothing to protect yourself, either an one piece suit or dungarees and a long high collar jacket out of warm and weather proof material. You can purchase your ski outfit at various local stores, like Cape Union Mart (country wide), Rapid Sports (in Cape Town) and GoneSkiing, an one stop Ski & Snowboard Shop on William Nicol Drive in Johannesburg.
  • Moon boots are another important item, but good waterproof cats or takkies will do the trick if necessary – alternatively get yourself a pair of moonboots while you are there – they are not expensive and perfect for tobogganing and walking and having fun in the snow!
  • Accessories like proper ski gloves, thick socks, headband and a good pair of sun glasses are a must. If you find the prices too high here, be assured that you will find many great bargains at fantastic quality on location.
  • Do not ski without glasses – the glare of the snow, especially higher up and even more so when the sun shines will make you “snow blind” and that’s not fun!
  • Wear a strong sun screen, even for those who frequent the beaches and think they are ‘sun proof’. The glare and intensity of the sun is different and you will burn! Also you need protection against the wind and cold, so use creams that help you to do that – that also counts for the guys.
  • And last but not least… Don’t forget your swimsuits – there are indoor pools in almost every village.
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Happy Holidays!!!

We hope your holidays will be filled with joy and laughter through the New Year.

Your SkiAustria Team

skiaustria-tours Tradition

Have you been good this year?

Everybody knows Santa Claus but who knows is companion „Krampus“? Santa Claus has long been the symbol of Christmas, bringing joy and presents to all the good girls and boys. But children in Austria also know his horned helper…

Rather than giving presents to children, Krampus gives the bad ones beatings with a whip (made from birch sticks and horsehair) and nightmares. As for the really, really naughty kids, Krampus drops them in a wicker basket on his back and takes them away to his lair – the underworld.

So on Krampus Night, the eve of December 5, children took care to not attract the attention of the intimidating beast, in hopes that Santa Claus would bring presents on Saint Nicholas Day, December 6 .

Traditional annual parades also known as Perchtenlauf are still held throughout Austria in which young men dress up in fur suits and carved wooden masks to chase people through the streets snarling and shaking chains at onlookers.

Image: © Zell am See-Kaprun Tourismus – http://zellamsee-kaprun.com / Walter Schweinöster

advent-calender-skiaustria-tours

Counting the days until Christmas…

Another way of counting the days until Christmas is by a calendar. Today there are many types of calendars in different countries. Some only have a picture behind each window, some are made in the theme of television shows or famous brands.

In Austria the calendars have 24 windows and normally a scene from the Christmas story is displayed underneath. But the best part of counting the days until Christmas are the small pieces of chocolate formed like a snowman, a candle or a present that are hidden behind each window.

A joy not only for the small ones but also for the chocolate loving grown-ups! 🙂