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TALES FROM THE TIROL - James Cove, Innsbruck, Austria
Friday February 8, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

PlanetSKI is based in Innsbruck for the rest of the winter. To ski as many resorts as we can & write about whatever takes our fancy...





There are many reasons for living in Innsbruck.

Right now the best one that springs to mind is its pedestrian traffic signals.

There is not some red or green figure of a matchstick man waiting or walking across the road that you see elsewhere.

In Innsbruck on some signals they are skiers and snowboarders.


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And if you are dressed for skiing or snowboarding then the buses are free.

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Innsbruck lives, breathes and eats snowsports.

And that is pretty much why I have decided to live here for the rest of the winter.

There is actually a ski area directly linked to the city centre - Nordkette.

It is in the snowy mountains in the main picture above and I'll be there over the weekend so check back for further details about a resort that is the genuine article - a 'hidden gem'.

And to get there is is a simple funicular from the city centre and then a cable car or two.

It is like having a ski lift in Trafalgar Square in London with a ski resort at 2,234m above where the London Eye is.

Here's the view from the top back down to Innsbruck.

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Innsbruck is without question my favourite city in the mountains.

The architecture is fabulous and with a backdrop that simply cannot be beaten.

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I'll be posting more about the city - its culture, its history, its nightlife, its dining and its many, many attractions over the coming months, so do check back to hear about my love affair with the place.

And much about surrounding life in the Tirol.

But first things first.

Let's go skiing.

The resort of Kuhtai is 35 minutes or so from the city centre.

It goes from 2,020m to 2,520 and has 24 lifts and 80kms of groomed pistes.

It sits at the top of a high-alpine pass:

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The drive up is fabulous after the bumper January snow.

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Though at times it was hard to follow the marker posts by the side of the road - they remain submerged in snow.

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And as we arrived in resort evidence of the winter so far:

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And my thoughts as I stood at the top of the first lift of many and what promises to be perhaps the best 3-months of my life?

Kuhtai proved to be a fabulous first choice.

The resort is flanked on either side by steep slopes and expansive terrain.

Tales from the TirolNorth-facing slopes 














Tales from the TirolSouth-facing slopes
















It is popular with British skiers and snowboarders with a strong presence from the UK operator, Inghams.

It takes over the whole of this hotel, The Hotel Elizabeth, and it is packed pretty much every week of the resort's long season.

Its location by the lifts is perfect.

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"Kühtai is a favourite with intermediate skiers and boarders who want a snow-sure resort. It's the highest ski resort in Austria and yet it's only a 45-minute transfer from Innsbruck airport," said Harvey Gähl, Inghams Head of Purchasing for Austria.

"Our guests enjoy the convenience and comfort of our Chalet Hotel Elisabeth, with its doorstep skiing and chalet catering - including an in-house pizzeria," Harvey added.

See more here on The Hotel Elizabeth that is offering an extra saving of £100 per person if booked by 11pm on 12th February 2019.

The resort also sees many freeriders from Innsbruck.

After Nordkette it offers the nearest and steepest powder fields.

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Today though I am keeping to the marked runs.

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And as I glanced at the piste map I noticed another resort next-door that I have never even heard of - Hochoetz.

Right, that one is on my list.

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Lunch was my favourite: Speckknoedel soup.

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As I chatted to the waitress and I explained I was here for 3-months and she offered me her view.

"Well, you must learn German then and speak our language," she said.

Actually she ordered me to.

"I would love to but I'm here to ski and all those evening language classes would be a waste of drinking time, and your beer is some of the best in the world," I retorted.

"OK but there is one thing you must do then," she said.

"What?" I answered.

She looked me in the eye.

"I feel I know your character already and I reckon you will love doing it."

"Promise me you will do it and I will tell you."

"I promise."

"Learn how to cook your lunch - Speckknoedel. If you can't learn the language then learn how to cook some of our Austrian specialities."

And several hours later after a visit to the market in Innsbruck to get my ingredients:

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I set to work (with Austrian beer as my inspiration).

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And after following the recipe to the letter:

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And the final result:

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Seems I am getting into the Tirolean groove already...

And check out the video below on Innsbruck:


Now I know this is PlanetSKI not PlanetSOUP...

However a few people have sent messages asking for the recipe as it is also their favourite soup.

And let's face it If I can make a semblance of it then anyone can.

So here it is:

Ingredients (for 4 people)

250g chopped bread rolls
¼ litre of milk
2 eggs
3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
80g of bacon, very finely diced
30g of butter

1½ litres of vegetable or beef broth

How to make

Pour some of the milk (warmed) over the chopped bread rolls, and let them soak for a few minutes. While you let them soak, fry the bacon in some butter.

Add the remaining milk, eggs and bacon to the bread, along with some salt and mix by hand. Add the bread crumbs to the mixture and continue to mix by hand. If the dough is too wet, add more bread crumbs.

With wet hands, shape out 8-12 large dumplings and place them in the simmering salt water. Leave for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve the bacon dumplings in a large bowl with the broth poured over the top. Sprinkle

chives on top to garnish and serve with a side plate of coleslaw.

Something tells me the next 3-months will not ‘perhaps' be the best time of my entire life.

They will be.

And just in case you are wondering where the new PlanetSKI base is in the city (I have been asked that too) then here is the main picture again.

We're in the large pinky/orange one on the left:















Life doesn't get much better...

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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