dimanche, février 25, 2007

Bad Hinderlang, Oberjoch

I wasn't in a very good mood when we left on our 2-hour drive to Oberjoch. I had spent hours the day before packing for the trip (with the babies around to unpack everything at the very same time) and I guess that I was upset with Hubby for not being around to be of any help. He's the sort who would often just dress himself up, drink his coffee and then stand at the door asking, "Aren't you ready to leave?"

Then I was also uneasy over the price that we would be paying for the Hotel. For once I didn't compare prices at all, as trying to read German in brochures or on the Internet was too tiring. Anyway, that would be our first German ski holiday. I was wishing then that I had at least bothered to find out if the hotel was in the least near some skiable slope.

The uneasiness came from the fact that I've booked a second ski holiday in the French Alps for end-March and our hotel at Oberjoch is somehow more expensive than our Hotel-Club (formerly Club Med) in Flaine. Added to the fact that we have not been having much snow this winter, I felt that a disaster was forthcoming and that I would be nagged to death by Hubby for it.

When we arrived at Bad Hinterlang and it was mentioned somewhere that the AlpenHotel is 4-star, I started to feel even worse. Why did I book a 4-star hotel when we could do quite nicely with just 2 or 3 stars? Arrgh...why didn't I pay more attention when I booked the hotel? Hubby on the other hand seemed quite happy about it, in fact, I do not know if he was mocking me when he said, "Ah my chérie, it is good that you are spending money..." I asked him if that was breaking his heart and he replied, "Not as much as yours, I'm sure."

The connecting bedrooms were big. Everything was ready and waiting for us when we arrived. We had 2 TVs, 2 bathrooms, a microwave oven and a big fridge. And bathrobes and slippers. And we discovered to our joy that in this hotel, one could walk around in one's bathrobe and nobody would raise any eyebrow.

In fact there is a lovely pool (heated at 29ºC), a jacuzzi (where children are allowed), a sauna and an aromatic air bath ALL with a view of the surrounding mountains. Beautiful. The sauna is mixed, we would all shower and walk about naked in the sauna area and all this very naturally. Just the way I like it.

On Saturday, Hubby and I went for a full body massage, but well, we found our masseurs a little weak at the fingers. Guess we were too used to the powerful Indonesian girls back in Asia.

During meals, we were assigned our own table for the duration of our stay. And we were near the children's play room, their drinks and food station, and our own buffet. The food was typically German most of the time, but quite nicely done. I loved the salad bar (you can prepare your own dressing) and the children adored the ice cream bar.

The hotel is really very children-friendly. They have a well-equipped Kids' Club with a Playstation room, and children eat and drink for free at the hotel. Only set-back was that my babies took turns falling sick and I never got to put them there. I didn't get to ski either (the ski lifts are about 500m from the hotel, but only a few miserable slopes were open when we were there), nor sleep much, it was all in all quite a tiring holiday, actually.

On the last night, I left a rather sick Baby Girl to sleep with her doting father and took over her bed in the next room. Eldest Son came back from an evening away at the Kids' Club, prepared for bed and started cuddling up to me. My first reaction was to push him away (got rid of a whining Baby Girl, just wanted to be left in peace finally to read my book : One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez) and then I started crying and couldn't stop crying for a few hours after that.

Tears filled my eyes and the pages before me blurred. I started seeing Eldest Son at birth, of him in my arms, sleeping with me almost every night for years, of him always kissing and hugging me (and vice versa) and I realised that we have stopped doing that ever since he started going to school (spent most of my time screaming at him since), since the babies were born one after the other... It was horrible, I felt really bad and very very sad, and especially helpless that I could no longer turn back the clock and make things right. I am such a horrible mother and for that I cried myself sick well into the night. Then day came, I woke up and saw the mess he left the room in and started screaming at him - again...

Anyway, I would recommend the AlpenHotel at Bad Hinderlang, Oberjoch. I really appreciate its German efficiency, good organisation and good service. We wished that we had thought of staying there last year when we had lots of snow. We could definitely ski in Italy next winter, but the Italians are a mess, things would not be as smooth, safe and organised as in Germany. When you have children, this is an important consideration.

However, the Skischule Lanig sucked. Baby Girl started out all enthusiastic for her one-day ski class and spent all 3 hours crying. She found the exercises insipid and the instructor didn't look like she knew what she was doing. And the class (no way half as professional as the École de Ski Française, for example) and ski rentals were quite expensive compared to what we were used to paying in the French Alps. But the mountains are lovely, a nice place to spend a weekend in.

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