Monday, 24 February 2014

Recovering from snow rash in the Austrian Alps

It takes a hell of a view to distract you when your face is on fire.

Snow, blue skies and empty pistes. Bliss.
Image © Anita Isalska. See more on my Flickr page.
I just got back from my second visit to Ski Amade. Less than an hour from Salzburg, it's a winter sports paradise that miraculously manages to retain a relaxing, local feel. Anyone who has queued for 20 minutes to get on a Swiss ski lift or been sniffed at by a harassed waiter in an overcrowded Alpine brasserie knows how precious this is.

It only took a day or two of hitting the slopes for me to develop a curious case of snow face. A little more extreme than the usual giveaway ski mask tan line, I blew up in red itchy swellings where my face used to be. Whether it was wind burn, an extreme reaction to the cold or a combination of the two, I can't be sure. All I know is that I was glad for the excuse to wear a balaclava against the constant snowfall.
Dramatic views worth itching for...from the top of the piste in Flachau.
Image © Anita Isalska. See more on my Flickr page.
That the Austrian Alps are untarnished in my memory, despite my having spent my nights slathering my scarlet face in balm, can only be a compliment. That said, I'm not sure the Austrian tourist board will be rushing to adopt a new slogan any time soon: "Austria - so good, you'll forget your face rash".