Welcome to Kitzbühel
We made it: here we are now, ready to go skiing in beautiful Kitzbühel! This evening was really just about settling in for a week in town. I'm lucky enough to have gotten a 6-bed dorm room all to myself at Snowbunnys: apparently, there'll be nobody to share it with until Wednesday. Craig, Sarah, Kade and myself had no trouble finding ski gear and clothing for hire this evening: the hire shop next door to the hostel was very busy (everyone preparing for the Monday run), but they had plenty of good-quality gear for everyone; and it wasn't too expensive either, especially with a 10% "Snowbunnys discount" :P. Plus, we managed to find The Londoner — one of Kitzbühel's most famous pubs — and to relax there over a few Flying Hirsches, while enjoying the pleasant sounds of the pub's shameless "fake band" (about 80% of the time, they were just pretending to play or to sing, with a backed recording actually doing most of the work).
Christmas in a ski village is going to be very nice and all; but it's also going to have its complications. Closure of shops will be chiefmost among them. The supermarkets here in Kitzbühel are apparently closed every Sunday — as such, we were unable to buy any groceries, or to cook dinner in the hostel, this evening. Not to worry: we treated ourselves to a nice restaurant dinner instead; and it turned out not to blow our budgets too shockingly, either. The supermarkets are also going to close at 2pm tomorrow afternoon (in preparation of Christmas eve), and they will also (of course) be closed all day on the 25th and the 26th. Could be a bit tricky: but with a bit of planning, we'll work it out.
One other thing about Kitzbühel: it's really cold. I've been in cold European cities non-stop for over 3 weeks now; but Kitzbühel's easily the coldest of them all. Ye 'ol thermometer's down to -10°C, pretty much every evening after sunset. Seldom goes far about zero, either — even at the warmest time of the day. This is good for skiing, of course: but it does make hanging out of an evening a little unpleasant. Anyway, I guess that as long as we keep inside and stay rugged-up, it shouldn't be a problem. And the warm, thick ski parka that I've hired for the week should come in handy, too.