Welcome to our garden in Winter. It is quite cold and white out here! When the weather allows for the snow to melt a bit down, the snowdrops, tulips and early daffodils start showing everywhere.

Skiing 2018. In February, we went to Mariazell in Styria for our skiing holiday. The skiing resort of Mariazell is located at the foot of Bürgeralpe, which is one of the peaks in the South of the Mürzsteg Alps, with skiing tracks starting at 1255 m above sea level.  The trails for downhill skiing range from black (i.e. very difficult trails often covered in ice or large bumps designed to challenge skiers), red trails (i.e. still difficult, steep and not very smooth; advised for more advanced skiers) and blue trails, for beginners to intermediates wishing to improve their skills. I blogged last year about my back-to-skiing experience in “Is it Spring Yet?“, so this year I simply considered myself as a beginner wishing to improve.

The blue trail in Mariazell starts with a steeper part, and I was advised to firstly practice in the easiest, wider and shorter trail with a very shallow slope that is used by beginner skiers to learn. I also had three hours of private ski lessons, and did a lot of practice with my husband, so my downhill skiing in blue area went very well. Our boy was busy skiing with kids (through the ski school), massively enjoying red and black trails that I elegantly postponed until next winter 😉

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Restaurants in Mariazell. Is there anything more enjoyable after a day of skiing than dining in a well decorated, traditional Austrian restaurant? Here are some photos from our favourite restaurants, some of which we visited twice: Restaurant im Hotel Goldenes KreuzBrauhaus Mariazell and Restaurant im Hotel Drei Hasen.

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“Restaurant im Hotel Goldenes Kreuz” – Note elegant Villeroy & Boch plates and antique silver cutlery
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An antique marionette puppet at the “Restaurant im Hotel Goldenes Kreuz”
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“Restaurant im Hotel Drei Hasen” – traditional Austrian atmosphere
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The dessert “Drei Hasen” (eng. Three Hares) that concludes a main meal at the restaurant “Drei Hasen”
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The Mariazell Basilica at night
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