Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Amoser Alm

On our last day in Dorfgastein, we decided that we had to go to the Amoser alm. The kids have gone in the past to bake bread here, but that happens on Thursday and we were here on a Monday. Rob went down to the tourist information office in town and had them call to make certain that the alm had krapfen that day. I kid you not! This is a matter of great concern if you're going to trek out there. Krapfen are basically a jelly donut, but the Amoser alm krapfen are divine donuts. Rob calls them 'a little bit of heaven' and he's not exaggerating. They did have krapfen, and so we went despite the weather forecast.
[click to enlarge] As soon as we arrived it began to downpour. So we slipped inside to eat our krapfen and hot chocolate. Soon though, the kids found the fly swatters and were hard at work exterminating them, both inside and out. They absolutely loved the work; why have I never bought them fly swatters?
Here you might be able to see the rain coming down. This is looking up at the bread oven and the house from the hut that holds the chickens, rabbits, and two ducks.
Sebastian loved the krapfen as much as the fly extermination.
In the midst of all of this chaos of rain and guests running inside and back out and ordering diverse and sundry items, Frau Rock is serene. In fact, this humungous pan of blueberries was her next project: she was making jam over the next two days. Visiting any of the alms we've seen leaves me in awe of these people. I cannot believe the amount of work they do to keep up a farm, a restaurant, and make so many of their own items from scratch. Frau Rock is definitely cut out for it. Not only does she maintain her good sense of humor, know how to entertain kids on a rainy day, teach bread baking to tourists in any language, she does it all in a dirndl. Let's hear it for her, people!
Joss was out back, playing in the water trough, making friends with the calves, not wearing enough clothes again in the rain.
Then the weather cleared up and we moved outside for some Rat-a-Tat Cat (with intermittent fly swatting).
This is just to show you what real Austrians do when they come to these parts. They Climb Every Mountain. And they do actually use the ski poles. If they are old school, they use wooden walking sticks, and at some destinations we've been to, like the ice caves, you can buy the enameled badges to put on your stick.
Rob was going to settle up the bill and I told him that I needed one more krapfen. I mean, who knows when I might come back this way again? And it is sort of like the $64 tomato, in that the work and money that it takes to get to one of these would be halved if you ate two. "Besides," I told him, "two bits of heaven are better than one bit of heaven." He concurred.
After that, we decided that we had better start down while the rain had let up. Although we did not have our ski poles, we brought the stroller and we meandered down the hills looking at things like this. Beautiful. Then we sat down for a minute under a tree, and as soon as we did, it began to pour again. We waited for five or ten minutes, putting on kids' rain gear, and then decided that we were going to go for it instead of trying to wait out the rain. It didn't let up until we had gotten back home, which was probably an hour later. If The Hills Are Alive, we realized, it is because it has been raining. A lot.
Close to the bottom of the hill, a teeny green truck stopped next to us. The driver rolled down the steamy window without a word and handed me an edelweiss blossom. When I exclaimed over it, he reached down and pulled out two more, along with some berries I'd never seen before. Then he drove off. Edelweiss are hard flowers to find because they really are blossoms of snow and only grow up at the very tops of these mountains (this is the point where I confess that we only go to the easy lower alms, and there are actually hoch alms that are located much higher on the mountains and are only accessible during the summer months). So this is the first time I'd ever seen a live one. We decided the little man in the truck was the Edelweiss fairy. He crystallized the way that we feel about the Amoser alm and all of Dorfgastein: that it is magical and you never know what might happen. You might get an edelweiss. You might taste the most perfect jelly donut of your life. You might find a red and white mushroom. And who knows? Maybe there are gnomes who live underneath it?!
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1 comment:

MOM said...

I can't believe the edelweiss fairy! What a perfect day, even with the rain. It makes me very nostalgic to see Joss there and think back to when it was just Maddie and Will.
I've got to get to Dorgastein before my knees give out. Maybe the walking poles would help. Or you could always get a big red Grandma stroller for me.