Best Kids Ski Resorts – Postcards From Sölden

Micah : Hi, my name’s Micah, and this is my ski friend Emmett. We took our moms on a road trip through Austria in a huge skimobile we called SNOWBernard.
Emmett : Why’d we call it SNOWBernard?
Micah : Something to do with snow dogs—those big drooling dogs with barrels around their necks. It was our moms’ idea.

Micah : We flew from the US to Munich. We were on our way to ski Sölden, Austria, where the first World Cup ski race takes place on its glacier each season, but we stopped in Innsbruck first.
Eemmett : Innsbruck is pretty cool. It’s this really old city surrounded by mountains. It has a HUGE Olympic ski jump (Bergisel Stadium) with a cemetery below… in case, you know, something bad happens. Plus, Innsbruck’s got a cool castle.
Micah : You mean a schloss. emmett : Yeah, I mean a schloss. mIcAH (with eye roll): Our moms loved to take pictures of Austrian schlosses

This is the Schloss Ambras Innsbruck where Archduke Ferdinand II lived as ruler of Austria in the mid-1500s.post_c_3
Emmett : That Archduke was a knight. He sure had a ton of armor and swords.
Micah : Did you see the metal armor the Archduke wore to his own wedding? They had to make the tummy so big it looked like a pot-belly stove.

Emmett : They said he invented the world’s first bathroom. He should have called it a “throneroom.” Snort!
These are the bells of Grassmayr. Our guide, Monica, showed us around her family’s Innsbruck bell foundry.
Micah : As my mom would say, the foundry was a “highlight.” We learned how all those huge bells in churches are made. The Grassmayr foundry used to make cannons, too. They made cannons so small and maneuverable, they changed the way war was waged back in the old days.
Emmett : I think our moms liked Grassmayr’s bell therapy best. They said it’s like going to a spa. You stand in the base of a big bell as it’s rung and feel the vibrations run through you. It’s supposed to make you feel good.
Micah : It made my brain vibrate.

Micah : This  is the church along the road to Sölden that my mom stopped at to take pictures. She took forever.
Emmett : Finally! We made it to the Aqua Dome in Längenfeld, about 30 minutes from Sölden. It’s a 538-square-foot thermal spa— the only hot spring in Austria’s Tirol. It even has a waterslide and a lazy river.
Micah : My mom went naked in the part of the spa that’s for adults only. Heh heh!
Emmett : All adults go naked in spas in Europe.
Emmett & Micah : GROSS!

This is The Alphotel, our ski lodge in Sölden. Pool? Check. Ping-pong table? Check. Internet? Check. Schnitzel and apfelsaft? Check.

Sölden is situated in the Ötztal Valley of the Austrian Tirol. Back home in North America, we know it for the World Cup ski race it stages on its glacier every October. But Sölden is a lot more than just a glacier. It has more than 70 lifts and 186 miles of ski terrain.

Micah : It was my first time skiing in Europe.
Emmett : Mine, too. Props dude, we nailed it.

Huge letters spell out ALMZEIT at the top of Sölden. You can swing and slide on the letters—there’s actually a swing and a slide—looking out over the Ötztal Valley.

We rode up the Bergbahnen to the top of Gaislachkogl at 10,000 feet above sea level. There’s a scary suspension bridge on the peak, plus a restaurant called Bar Ice Q—it looks like a SpaceX shuttle.
Micah: SpaceX with fancy food. Did you see all those wine bottles?
Emmett : You can eat dinner up there late at night. Our moms said if we go back to Sölden someday, we’ll be sure to make a reservation.

Obergurgl is Sölden’s next-door neighbor. It has 24 lifts and 68 miles of ski runs.post_c_2
Emmett : I liked skiing the trees!
Micah : I liked skiing with our guide, Ollie. He was funny.

This is our funny guide Ollie.
Emmett : He’s an Austrian who speaks English with an Australian accent.
Micah : Ollie the Aussie!

We had lunch with our moms and Ollie in one of those huts in the middle of a ski slope.
Emmett : They call them hüttes.
Micah : They serve really creamy hot chocolate.
Emmett : They call it heiße schokolade
Micah :Who are you? Google Translator? And what’s with the ß?
Emmett : No idea.
Micah : My mom really liked the shops along Sölden’s main drag: Bogner, J. Lindeberg, Napapijri. She said after skiing fast with me all day, she needed some “retail therapy.”

Emmett : Our moms took photos of Hotel Bergland in the village of Sölden. They  said the hotel was very “chic.”
Micah : Which is translation for: They didn’t want to take us inside it.
Emmett : They wanted to be alone to go to its “chic” bar and drink “chic” Aperol Spritzs.
Micah : That’s ok. We had a better time. We got to stay back at our hotel and play ping-pong.
Emmett : Dude, I so beat you at ping-pong.
Micah :  Hey Mom! I want to go back to Sölden for a re-match.

You should take your kids to ski Sölden, too. But don’t just take our word for it.