Monday, January 30, 2006

holiday on ice

Woerthersee (onemorehandbag) I had a wonderful weekend. On Saturday, I went skiing to Gerlitzen with my Mum. Allthough all the car-parks were full we had several of the slopes pretty much to ourselves. Most of the Hungarian holidaymakers and Slovenian day-trippers seemed to be more in après ski mode, judging from the full ski huts.

The reason why almost no locals where around was because the greater part of the Wörthersee was frozen.
Frozen lake, what's the big deal, you might think. Well, this lake only -partially- freezes every five to ten years and the last time the whole lake was officially declared safe for skating was in 1981. Winters are usually very cold in Carinthia but for a lake which is up to 85 metres (!) deep you can imagine that temperatures need to stay very cold for a long period of time in order for the lake to build a sufficiently thick layer of ice. When it does and the local "Eislaufverein" (skating association) declares it safe, the whole town's on the ice and you can occasionally see the Eislaufverein doing patrol rounds in funny red retro VW beetles. They already had the same fleet of cars back in that memorable ice-dominated winter of 1981 when the lake was covered in beautiful ice for weeks and people skated in costumes on Shrove Tuesday when Austrians (well, children mostly) put on fancy dress. My Mum opted for the no-hassle costume for me and so I dressed as a "ghost", the central feature of the costume being an old white bedspread.

Here, a short digression is called for. It is safe to say that I am probably the least patriotic creature on the face of the earth and definitely the only (female) Carinthian who has never owned/worn a dirndl dress in her life. That might possibly have something to do with the fact that you mainly need a dirndl if you're a member of a choir (as most Carinthians tend to be) and my complete and utter lack of musical talent guaranteed a choir-free youth for me. Nevertheless, I am absolutely positive that the Wörthersee is the most beautiful body of water. Don't let anybody tell you any different. In spite of the fact that I myself must have peed into the lake at least 20 times when I was younger (as in considerably younger, okay?) the lake miraculously has drinking water quality. Pity us if you want, but for us land-locked alpine folks it's the closest we can get to Southern dolce vita and I dare you to find any resident of Klagenfurt who does not passionately love the lake and have fond memories of childhood summers at Strandbad, eating artificial-tasting ice-cream and building sand (yes, sand) castles.

Yesterday, the number of cars in the vicinity of Strandbad probably exceeded that of a scorching summer day. I wisely chose to leave mine at the Minimundus car park and walk to the ice-covered lake through the idyllic Europapark. With a friend I skated the whole "safe" area in glorious sunshine. There hardly ever are moments when I want to exchange the urban delights of Vienna for the provincial pleasures of Klagenfurt, but yesterday I wished I had taken some extra days off.
Unlike Novala obviously was, my friend and I were not in the mood for self-mutilation.

Otherwise, I'm officially ancient (34) since yesterday although judging from the amount of Hello Kitty! stuff I got from my colleagues today you might think it was my 14th birthday.

Lunch-break purchases: I thought I was safe as I had a lunch-date but on my way back to the office I dropped into the housewife's nirvana that is TCHIBO and bought incredibly comfortable microfleece so-called "wellness pants" (ideal for slouching around at home) I had admired on my Mum plus some (fuchsia-coloured!) underwear which was on sale.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy b-lated b-day!!! As for me, as of tomorrow, mini skirts will be banished from my wardrobe and I will no longer be able to refer to myself as a twentysomething(sniff!). But what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

1/31/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger onemorehandbag said...

Thanks, darling! What? Your birthday's tomorrow?! I don't believe in horoscopes at all but aquarii are the coolest. Obviously.

1/31/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. On both counts.

1/31/2006 05:08:00 PM  
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