Sölden for non-skiers – yes, I am talking about Austria 

Do not let the snow picture above to fool you. When your back isn’ ready for ski anymore (nop, not for snowboarding either) you try to find alternative solutions. Even when you are in the skin paradise, a.k.a. Austria. That is what I did, this early spring, in Sölden. Where I found out 5 things to do in Sölden for non-skiers (perfect, no, considering that summer is on the way?!)

1. See the snow and the slopes from above. 

Or, if it’s summer, the stunning view of the valley. At 3.000 meters altitude, on the BIG# Platform of Gaislachkogl I could find the perfect spot to admire the beauty of the Austrian Alps and to sob a little on the view of the snowboarders charming the slope. A breathtaking 360-degree views awaited there for me. Next to the top station of Gaislachkogl mountain gondola it is the light glass-steel construction of the panorama restaurant at Gaislachkogl. 

2. Go to the Spa! 

Not any spa, of course, but the famous Aqua Dome. At Längenfeld’s Aqua Dome, only 15 km away from Sölden, you can relay body, mind and soul. Encircled by the mighty three thousand meter high peaks of Ötztal Valley, this unique thermal spa promises a beautiful experience. The eye-catching architecture of the “Ursprung” spa hall mirrors the beauty of nature in the surroundings. Wood, stone, light and water are part of the amazing scenery. Add to that: a total of 12 indoor and outdoor pools with pleasant temperatures between 34 and 36 degree Celsius, the indoor pools connected to the three striking outdoor pools . And a panoramic view panoramic view comprises Gamskogel, Fernerkogel, Hauerkogel and all the other summits that surround Längenfeld. (www.aqua-dome.at)

3. Indulge your need for speed at the motorcycle museum. 

TOP Mountain Motorcycle Museum is the place to be when you are passionate about motorcycles, cars and horse power history. The museum is beautifully set up agains an amazing scenery – the slopes of Obergurgl-Hochgurgl. And it has a history to pay attention –  on 17 January 2021, the motorbike museum on the Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road with over 350 unique exhibits was in full fire and almost completely destroyed, a huge loss for the entire motorbike and classic car community, but motorbike enthusiasts Attila and Alban Scheiber did not give up on their lifelong dream and have opened in November 2021 the new Motorcycle Experience World: bigger, more spectacular, more informative and more exciting! What did I liked? Of course, the variety of the pieces here (almost 500 motorcycles from all ages and brands), but also the rare and partly antique vintage motorbikes and oldtimers from 1885 to the present day. And, yes, I found also my dream car here from Porsche Heritage part of the museum. Do not forget to enjoy the coffee in this special venue! (https://www.crosspoint.tirol/en-museum

4. More adrenaline at 007 Elements in James Bond style.

Of course, I am talking about the 007 Bond exhibition, the only one in Europe at this kind. The name 007 ELEMENTS reflects the visitor’s journey through a series of galleries (cars, gadgets, scenes from the iconic films with 0007 agent. The installation focuses on “Spectre” movie, which was shot in Sölden and also features other titles in the long-running Bond film franchise. 007 ELEMENTS is housed inside a beautiful, bespoke building designed inside the summit of the Gaislachkogl Mountain in Sölden.
The building is next to the ice Q restaurant, the location for the Hoffler Klinik in “Spectre” (remember?)  where James Bond meets Dr. Madeleine Swann and the snow chase sequence begins in the film. Of course, the remains of the destroyed plane is still there, inside (more about this exhibition I wrote at the inauguration, here – click). 

5. Go and see a show. Not any show, THE Hannibal glacier show. 

Hannibal was named – “The Greatest Show You Can Enjoy in The Alps”. And I can say, from my own experience, that is completely true. The Rettenbach Glacier in Sölden turned into a stage and became the backdrop for the reconstruction of the famous crossing of the Alps. More than 300 actors and a lot of special performances took place here.

The artistic network directed by Lawine Torrèn in collaboration with Sölden and Red Bull, has put on stage Hannibal’s historic crossing of the Alps. Sometimes silent, sometimes thundering, a precise choreography of dancers and avalanches, snowcats, motocross bikes, airplanes, helicopters, skidoos, parachutists, and skiers spreads across the fantastic mountains of the Ötztal Rettenbach Glacier. The ultimate showdown features plenty of music, light effects, video films, and a pyrotechnic show.

How Hannibal Show was born? Ernst Lorenzi, a local from Sölden and founder of this gigantic open-air theater spectacle, has always been convinced that the Alpine scenery of Rettenbach Glacier is truly unique. He thought that both the terrain and geographic features resemble a giant Colosseum – an ideal setting not only for winter sports but also for events of a very different kind. Together with Red Bull owner Didi Mateschitz, a magnificent idea was born: performing a theater play in the giant natural glacier arena! In 2001, the first “Hannibal” performance took place. Since then, the open-air spectacle has been set on stage on the Rettenbach Glacier every two years in the middle of April. (More info and films – here – https://www.soelden.com/winter/events/hannibal-the-open-air-theatre.html)  

PLUS: for the skiers and snowboarders – season in Sölden is from October to early May. It is the only ski resort in Austria with three 3.000 peaks with lift access. 144 kilometers of slopes, 31 state-of-the-art lifts, 2 glacier ski areas with  Rettenbach- and Tiefenbachgletscher, 30 hust and restaurants. 

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