A June 2004 trip
to Seefeld by jim
Quote: Both as part of the World Tourism Games and on my own, I took advantage of many of the outdoor activities that Seefeld had to offer.
One particular highlight was the championship golf course. Playing on a mountain course was unique and quite a workout. I also enjoyed the Seefeld casino. It's nothing like a Vegas-type casino, but I like the more elegant approach to casinos in Europe as a change of pace to my many Vegas jaunts.
Don’t miss out on the breakfast spreads at your hotel. You will need the energy to deal with all of the outdoor activities and the higher altitude.
Check out a solarium/spa in the area. My aching muscles and joints needed a little soothing.
Do as many outdoor activities as possible. You can find amazing guides for everything from hiking to rock climbing. The equipment is excellent and you are in an area that has something to offer people of all fitness/adventure levels. I simply stopped in one of the sports shops and took care of all the things I wanted to do (ie bike rentals, mountain guide, recommendation for white water rafting, etc).
But just as importantly, the Hotel Hocheder is a very fine place to stay. The rooms are very comfortable and large. In addition to a nice bathroom and a large area for the bed, there was a sitting area and spacious balcony where you could chill out or relax. There was also lots of closet and drawer space, too, that allowed you to really settle in your room. Other nice features included a very comfortable bed, high-speed internet access in the room, a nice tub, and a hearty breakfast buffet every morning. I also had a very enjoyable dinner in the main dining area and several drinks in the bar area. Finally, all guests have access to a solarium with pool, hot tub, and sauna next door at a sister hotel.
This is definitely a top notch, legitimate four-star European hotel with a friendly, accommodating staff (although the bartender could be a little gruff at times). Without reservation, I strongly recommend the Hotel Hocheder.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 28, 2004
+43 (5212) 2039
Attraction | "Swarovski Crystal Worlds"
I must admit that I wasn’t particularly interested in going to Swarovski, but after I went I was glad I had seen it for several reasons. First, the museum is pretty interesting. You go through several rooms and see crystal integrated into art in very interesting ways. I particularly enjoyed the crystal chamber. It was a globe-shaped chamber with crystal mirrors covering the walls. When you walked in the room, your voice echoed in an eerie way and your images on the walls changed regularly. It was like something out of a James Bond movie. I also liked some of the art and the creativity that went into several of the rooms. It was also interesting to get the history of Swarovski.
Second, I had seen the "giant" fountain in several brochures and wanted to see it in person. The "giant" fountain is shaped like the head of a giant with crystal eyes and water flowing from his mouth. You walk into the giant’s head to visit the museum.
Third, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the crystal products sold in the store. It had everything from jewelry and clothes to ornaments and everything else you can imagine. The one constant, crystal, was a part of everything.
Finally, I had a pleasant meal in the Luna Café. I was very surprised at the quality of food and would recommend eating there. All said, I would recommend the Swarovski Crystal Worlds if you are interested in crystal, want to buy a crystal product, or you are passing by the area and want to see something that is a little bit different.
You can find the website here.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 28, 2004
Swarovski Kristallwelten (Swarovski Crystal Worlds)
Innsbruck, Austria 6112
43 5224 51080 0
Attraction | "White water rafting in Landeck"
This was my first time rafting, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I’m pretty adventurous and like extreme sports and I definitely felt like we went through some pretty hairy stuff. At the very least we got beat about with lots of dips and turns, and a few spots where we almost turned over. Throw in some pretty big rocks, some narrow chutes, and some decent dips, and it was a very nice experience. It lasted about 40 minutes and I enjoyed every bit of it. We had to wear neoprene wetsuits because of the temperature of the water, but I didn’t even notice how cold it was after the first couple of minutes because I was having so much fun.
If you are adventurous, ask for the front of the boat (there will be several opportunities to switch positions). Also, there is a particularly interesting 100-meter stretch of rapids where the boat pulls over and you can walk back upstream along the river. Then you get to jump into the water and ride the rapids in the water. It was so cool--I can’t express how much I recommend it. Only a few brave souls opted to do it, but we all were glad we did. There were a couple of seconds where I wasn’t sure (the current was very strong and you do get dunked pretty forcefully). But it all works out in the end and the short period where you feel helpless adds to the excitement. I strongly recommend this activity for everyone.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 29, 2004
Whitewater Rafting in Landeck
Sport Camp Tirol
+43 (0)5442 61222
As for the golf, this was a thinking golfers course. There was a premium on shot selection and you had to hit a shorter club on many of the holes. In fact, you only need your driver on about four holes. But when you do need your driver, you have a chance to really hit some neat shots. For example, the 18th hole is downhill about 300 yards. I reached the green with a lucky bounce (unfortunately I three-putted). Hole 8 is a similar distance and just as fun. I reached the sand trap beside the green and ended up making a birdie. On other holes, you can cut the corners to save some distance, but the safe shots are usually the best way to go. On many a par-four you should hit an iron and not necessarily try to hit the longest drive.
The greens were in relatively good shape. They had been worked over a bit the week before I played, but I thought they were fine. You get some big breaks on a few holes, but the holes are pretty fair.
If you are an avid golfer, it is definitely worth playing. I only wish I had had my own clubs. I felt I could have really done some damage with my score.
Golf Club Seefeld
As for the competition, there were some amazing athletes including former Olympic athletes (and I mean the real Olympics). There were many highlights, but some of my personal favorites included the following:
- The 16 degree Celsius temperature of the lake swim in the triathlon: it literally took your breath away, and there were some funny sights when people were desperately struggling to get out of the water.- The championship mountain golf course: the scenery was amazing and some of the golf shots were spectacular.- An American winning the gold medal in the skiing competition: it was neat to see an American win the gold against all of the European skiers (he won for the under 35-year-old age group and gave a former Olympic downhill skier from Great Britain a run for the overall best time as well).- The enthusiasm of the teams: I loved the way the total exuberance of the teams (particularly the larger European teams) helped elevate the spirit of the games. The dancing, the music, the celebrations, the outfits . . . it was truly amazing. And teams from almost 50 countries participated, so it was a fun mix of people.- Tumbling over the handlebars of my mountain bike: I got a little too aggressive on a turn and tumbled in front of the fan area. But I was so exhausted that I was thankful for the brief pause. The talent of the mountain bikers was outstanding and I was clearly outclassed, but all of the participants, including myself, had our own personal goals (just finishing without having a heart attack was mine).
There is something for all fitness levels, and you can go as extreme as you want (and a little bit beyond). Readily available activities include mountain biking (and road biking), hiking, canyoning/rock climbing, white water rafting, paragliding, golf, tennis, and almost anything else you can do outside. You would have to spend months to try all of the mountain trails available . . . and it might take months to fully adjust to the elevation because you definitely feel the effects as you exercise. But that just makes it that much more satisfying when you finish a great ride or hike.
You can easily find a mountain guide at any of the local sports shops. Even if the shop doesn’t offer the activity, you can bet they will be able to recommend and call somebody for you. There are also dozens of outdoor tour companies. I particularly enjoyed the white water rafting tour (it was my first white water rafting excursion, and was quite a thrill). But a guide for most things isn’t necessary. There are plenty of trail maps and everything is nicely marked so that you can hit the trails on your own.
Charlotte, North Carolina