We boarded an early morning train from Innsbruck and as we wound our way up into the alps, through layers of fog, trees and mountain tunnels – my excitement began to grow. I hadn’t slept the previous night and the conference I had just attended and taught a workshop at had been wonderful, yet draining.
What did I really crave? Rest and relaxation.
What was I promised in Seefeld? Relaxation.
The views alone inspire a feeling of rest in Seefeld. Everywhere one looks, a picture-perfect postcard view is a sight for sore eyes and a tired soul. It even reminded me of my home state of Vermont, in a grand way that put me at ease. I had a good feeling! But I needed some sleep before I was fully able to enjoy the mountain paradise I found myself in.
Luckily, the spa and my suite at Klosterbräu Hotel & Spa was very finely suited not only to allow me the sleep I needed but to convince me Seefeld might just be heaven. If such a thing exists on earth. Lit candles scattered throughout the property impart a distinctly romantic, calming vibe but it was the mud treatment followed by a rain shower in a steam room that I will actually remember forever. The drops of water seemed to wash away every care and worry that had been tensing my body. I remember thinking forward and wondering when I might be able to return.
Emerging from a peaceful slumber after the sun had set, I prepared myself for pure torture in Tirol. We (Sarah, Terry, Andy, Ken & myself) dined on 5 incredible courses at Astoria Hotel and had such a wonderful time where inhibitions were so non-existent that I do believe I might have faked a British accent and agreed to bath naked in beer the next day. It was either the high altitude or the Austrian wine. It was heaven. Laughter unlike any I had experienced in a long time filled our evening alongside the memorable dishes.
On my balcony that night, wrapped in a heavy blanket, bright stars overhead – I compared the Austria I’d imagined with the one I was experiencing. Some things were unchanged. I’d once imagined window boxes on every building, women in dirndls and lots of (euphemism-free) sausage. I found all of that in Seefeld. Yet there was also modern architecture, elegant cuisine reminiscent of the best restaurants in New York City, clothing representative of every style, warm people, smiles everywhere, church bells tolling the hour, a commitment to fitness and health and a laid-back vibe that I would have previously associated only with places like Jamaica.
Awaking to a dawn that set the alps aglow in light, I steeled myself for a day of deep breaths and long, contented sighs. My preparations were not in vain and though the amount of activities we fit into the day seems a bit manic in hindsight … relaxing was the point indeed. Moving to Krumers Post Hotel & Spa for a good breakfast, yoga on the roof, a walk around the lake breathing the clear mountain air and a hot candle wax massage that would have made my knees buckle if I’d been able to walk at all after (no exaggeration) … caused me to contemplate how I might miss our train and stay a few extra days. Or, forever. If I had a significant other to accompany me, it would have been truly perfect. Enjoy Seefeld as I did, I couldn’t help but wonder how much more I might be fulfilled if not alone. There are so many places in the world I’ve enjoyed alone without a second thought. Seefeld is a town well suited to a romantic getaway and not in the way so many holiday packages seem to schedule romance. Seefeld comes at you from the side and makes you long for someone to share it with. It isn’t in-your-face with pre-packaged champagne and chocolate. It’s more subtle. It’s more like heaven without claiming to be, than anywhere I’ve been.
On the train ride from Seefeld back to Innsbruck, I replayed the images of our quick weekend getaway in my head and vowed to one day return. As winter sweeps across the northern hemisphere now, I still want to return. Seefeld in the winter will be different than Seefeld in August, but I love to ski. And I would love to return to Seefeld in Tirol!
Perhaps you should plan your trip to Tirol for January 13 to 22 when Seefeld plays host, alongside Innsbruck, to the Youth Olympic Winter Games … I hope my images from Tirol inspire you to plan your trip soon. I can’t imagine you’d be disappointed.
This trip was sponsored by Seefeld Tourism following the TBU conference in Innsbruck. However, views and opinions are my own. You can tell by my overuse of clichés – that tends to happen when I really love a place!