The charm of the cold
Whether in the far north or in the Alps – in winter it is cold and dark like in a refrigerator. For some, however, this is the best time of year to visit. Three new illustrated books show what makes a holiday in the snow so special.
“It was the owner’s wish to have the feeling of being in the snow in the house,” says architect Robbert Jan Admiraal. “In every room and at any time of the day.” That is why the private chalet in Hinterthal in the Salzburger Land is built on stilts, everything is glazed, even the lift, and there is an indoor pool with a panorama of the Hochkönig.
In the suites, stuffed deer heads and chimneys, antler chandeliers and sheepskins add a rustic touch. The splendid new illustrated book shows a dozen of these design hideaways “Charming Chalets” (Callwey Verlag), from Méribel to Gstaad. Lots of glass and lots of wood with a history, the most popular is ancient stone pine from barns.
One could be jealous of the owners of these domiciles in literally a prime location. Fortunately, you can rent some top chalets – since Corona there has been a run on these accommodations as upscale holiday homes.
With luxury chalet providers such as Le Collectionist, vacationers spend an average of 20,000 euros per week. For this “invisible service” is included. In other words, the maid sneaks in in the morning to light the fireplace and set the breakfast table. Nice to dream.
Ski tours with pleasure in Austria
Those who go up the mountain instead of taking a gondola are particularly looking forward to the hut feast up on the summit. So that it doesn’t end in culinary disappointment because there are only french fries and fried pork schnitzel on the overcrowded buffet, the new band provides “On the trail of pleasure” (Ecowin Verlag, Bergwelten) 50 recommended ski tours with a stop in the Austrian Alps, from Vorarlberg to Lower Austria.
Author Flo Scheimpflug, himself a climber and currently training to be a mountain guide, has tested them all. He presents the delicacies tours in a well-organized manner – according to the level of difficulty, according to the length and, above all, according to the enjoyment factor: ski huts with authentic cuisine.
A three-hour ski tour, for example, leads on the Hohen Kalmberg in the Salzkammergut to the Goisererhütte at an altitude of 1,592 meters. With an all-round view of the Salzkammergut, the Dachstein and the striking Gosaukamm. There are homemade cheese dumplings, raspberry cake and original Goiserer apple strudel.
Another delicacy tour leads to the Simonyhütte, which opened in 1877. You can stay the night here – and enjoy one of the best Kaiserschmarrn in Upper Austria.
Winter is beautiful in the north
What does it look like when winter comes in the far north? The cliché says: cold and dark like in a refrigerator. For photographer Michael Königshofer, this is the best time of year to visit. “Because the north is so fantastic, especially in winter. So beautiful. Original and deserted. Unobtrusive and powerful at the same time. “
He was out and about in Northern Europe for 165 days, mostly between January and March. He sketches in fantastic pictures in his illustrated book “Winter in the fridge” (teNeues) everyday life in this extreme environment of the Arctic Circle. He hitchhikes, hikes, lives with host families or in youth hostels. He walks through snow-covered villages, speaks to locals, waits for snowstorms for days, freezes and warms up in saunas.
He met creative people almost everywhere: wood carvers in Iceland, musk ox wool artists in Greenland, heavy metal musicians in Norway. In the cold, dark winter, “creativity is the best weapon against boredom,” an Icelander explains to him. At the North Cape, the photographer meets other adventurers who love the Nordic winter as “hot” as he does: Arctic surfers who dare to venture into the ice-cold water in the world’s northernmost surf camp on Unstad Beach.