Ever heard of a Krampus? I had not until a snowy night deep in the the Kals valley. It was the first day of advent, so

it was no surprise when St. Nicholas came bundling into the cosy wood clad bar accompanied by a choir of angels.

What a lovely tradition I thought, as the locals who had been propping up the bar quietened as he unrolled a scroll

and read aloud. But then the mood changed, Santa finished reciting and glancing out of the steamy windows we

watched as three huge masked figures emerged. The faces were grotesque. Huge tongues lolled out of gaping

mouths, wide, glaring eyes were framed by scraggly untamed hair, and on their backs, huge metal cow bells rang

to announce their arrival.


The men of the bar stumbled out into the cold, where, one by one they took on the Krampus and one by one, they

were thrown to the ground, clothing torn and knuckles bleeding. The Krampus accompanied St Nik on a tour of the

village, stopping to terrify children into being good - in my opinion, a far more effective threat than a lump of coal on

Christmas morning. Who knew that Christmas could have such a dark, terrifying side?


Luckily Christmas at MoaAlm was a little less scary, and rather more relaxed. We enjoyed a week of snow shoe

hiking and cross country skiing in the stunning snowy mountains. Christmas dinner was a vegan five course feast

featuring delicious beetroot wellington, and of course accompanied by local schnapps and wine. In the evening we

built a huge fire in the fire pit and sat chatting beneath the stars.


With the festive season now over, we are looking forward to a fantastic year here in Austria and hope you can join


Write a comment

Comments: 0