Obergurgl: Snowstorm

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3rd day in the Austrian Alps…

We woke up daily to freshly fallen snow during our stay in Obergurgl.  But that morning was different.  The snow looked furious and it was coming down hard.  Visibility was low and the eerie sound from the howling winds followed by blaring sirens confirmed our suspicion.  There was a snow storm.  The slopes were a no-go.  Avalanche warnings filled the village, there would be no snowboarding for our boys that day.

Here’s our home video of that morning as we walked through the village amidst the bleak weather. 🙂

The snow started to die down around midday.  When we saw signs of the grey clouds retreating, we were out of the door in an instant and heading down to the meadow.

We went for a walk.  It felt wonderful and scary at the same time to step on the soft, deep snow and create fresh tracks.  We had to be cautious though as there were small streams, like cracks with fast flowing water, coming out of nowhere.

“Right after the storm is apparently the best time to do snow angels,” quipped our teen in between the flapping of his wings.

“And sledding would be epic!” added the little one.

“Let’s bury mum!” they both agreed.

“I’ll race you, dad!” and off they go, speeding down the hill on their sleds.

These would seem trivial to those who experience snow yearly, but to us who hail from a country in perpetual summer (not that it’s bad), playing in the snow makes for some unforgettable memories.

This is one of my favourite photos of Obergurgl.  Do you see the other mountain behind? It’s there but still largely covered by dense clouds.
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The sun was trying to come out after the storm.
As usual our two kids would lead the way but one was already far ahead and the other seemed to have fallen as asleep in the fluffy snow
Small streams with fast flowing water, like this one, appeared out of nowhere so we had to be cautious. 
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Our 16-year-old kid making a snow angel just like when he was six
This is why I always go all out in getting a proper winter gear for them.
Soft bed of snow
Oh yes, the daddy did this countless times as well.

The other nice things we did after the storm was to thaw in the warm pool in our chalet, and eat warm bread, pasta and mussels at the nearby Pizzeria Belmonte.


Lunch at Haus Gurgl Hotel’s Pizzeria Belmonte

That stormy day in the Alps was Christmas Eve.  We planned to attend the evening mass but we agreed that at -14 degree Celcius and with residual winds from the storm, walking to the church would be punishing. And so we just visited the church hours before the mass to say our own prayers.

St Johannes Nepomuk Kirche


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View of the village centre from the church

After some rest in the apartment, we were ready again. First, to socialise at the Christmas Eve gathering organised by our chalet owner, and second, for our family dinner at Steakhouse Salz & Pfeffer.

Our invite to the Christmas Eve gathering arrived in a bottle of champagne.
Luckily our Christmas Eve dinner was only a few meters away from our chalet. @ The Crystal Hotel’s Salz & Pfeffer

We did our traditional exchange-gifts once we got back to the apartment.  Each item should be meaningful, not more than 50 euros and has to be picked up along the way during our holiday.  The thoughtful gifts from that night – a soap dish 🙂 ,  a beanie, a small wooden rosary, a Holy Family snow globe, an Iphone carrier, a BMW fridge magnet, pairs of ski socks, a pair of ski goggles, and a balaclava. 🙂

At 1930m above sea level, in a remote village in the Austrian Alps, we got the Christmas that we hoped for – traditional, solemn and prayer-filled.


(We were extremely lucky because the storm that day was mild.  The storms that followed the week after claimed the life of a teen in another Austrian ski resort and a few more in Salzburg and Germany.)


Here are the other blogs on our Bavaria and Austria Holiday:

    1. Munich: Start of our family’s tales from last winter
    2. Munich: Viktualienmarkt Biergarten
    3. Munich: BMW Museum and BMW Welt
    4. Munich: Theatine Church and Odeonplatz
    5. Munich: Christmas Markets
    6. Munich: Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall
    7. Munich: City Aparthotel München
    8. Salzburg: Birthplace of Mozart and Silent Night
    9. Salzburg: Hohensalzburg Fortress 
    10. Salzburg: Residenzplatz Christmas Market
    11. Salzburg: Salzburg Cathedral
    12. Salzburg: Silent Night 200 at Salzburg Museum
    13. Salzburg: Silent Night Tour by Bob’s Special Tour
    14. Salzburg: Silent Night at Oberndorf and Laufen
    15. Salzkammergut: Road Trip to Hallstatt
    16. Salzkammergut: Christmas Market at St Wolfgang
    17. Salzburg: Krampus Run at Hellbrunn Palace
    18. Salzburg: Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg
    19. Obergurgl: A Week in the Austrian Alps
    20. Obergurgl: Chalet Obergurgl Luxury Apartments
    21. Obergurgl: Hohe Mut Alm Mountain Restaurant
    22. Obergurgl: Snowstorm on Christmas Eve
    23. Obergurgl: Day After the Storm
    24. Obergurgl: Snowshoeing
    25. Hochgurgl: Tobogganing
    26. Hochgurgl: Hochgurgl Cable Car Ride
    27. Vienna: First Impressions
    28. Vienna: Hofburgkapelle and Imperial Armoury
    29. Vienna: Schönbrunn Palace
    30. Vienna: Imperial Treasury and Hofburg
    31. Vienna: Prater
    32. Vienna: New Year’s Eve Fireworks and Waltz
    33. Vienna: Hilton Vienna Plaza
    34. Stuttgart: The Mercedes-Benz Museum
    35. Stuttgart: The Porsche Museum


    1. Hi there Neil, the food’s great in that Italian resto, even the mussels! Difficult to find seats though, especially at dinner. Yeah we were just lucky that the storm was mild. The heavy ones we’ve experienced were up in Klein Matterhorn in Zermatt, and in Tahoe in California.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Have only been in Austria in summer. Can you believe it today Nov. 26, snow fell , where we live , not far from Sacramento. Has never been this early! See you had a great time there., and the food looks delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello there, thanks for dropping by. Is it Sacramento in California? We love Sacramento. On the year that we were there, the wild fires had just stopped in November. That’s good that you have snow early this year, right? Do you go to Tahoe? That’s where we went skiing one winter and there were snow storms week after week. — Amor


  2. Looks lovely. Reminds me of a snowstorm in Cervinia when the slopes closed. We ended up sledging and snow tubing in the fun park with lots of children, warming up in the Welsh pub watching the football before retiring to the hotel pool. You can have so much fun even when things go wrong! Gift exchange on Christmas Eve though? That would be bad luck in our country! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The placed did look prettier after the dump of snow. Sounds fun in Cervinia. My son was just telling me last Saturday to have a look at it for next year. I also just heard last week that it’s bad luck playing Christmas carols in some parts of the UK?! Hahah… where I came from (Philippines), we play Christmas carols as early as September (yeah my folks are way too excited every year). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Our shops seem to decorate for Christmas earlier each year but I was always tought not to open presents before Christmas day. In some European countries it is not till January 6th which I think commemorates when the wise men arrived bearing gifts. If you plan a Christmas itinerary right, you could get 3 gift opening days! 😜

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