It's about 5:30pm and I'm on the train again, heading back to Vienna. Unfortunately this weekend I didn't have a good, steady supply of internet so the blog was neglected. This was probably one of the more eventful ski trips I've been on and to add to the disappointment of no blogging updates – my digital camera ran out of battery juice shortly after our arrival. I'll be able to steal some pictures from my two cohorts but it just isn't the same. Oh well. It's just starting to get dark now but I have a pretty awesome view of the giant Alps we're leaving behind on the train. We've been on since 4:15pm or so and won't get into Vienna until just after 9:30pm so we're in for a long haul. With our music and laptops and my Michael Savage podcast, we should have plenty to keep us busy.Anyhow, more details about Zell am See!So I gave Jeff a skiing offer he couldn't refuse at the beginning of the week, and after several reminders he finally caved and gave me a concisive “Yes.” On Thursday during class, Andrew told me he had caught wind of our weekend skiing plans and asked if he could tag along. I said of course, and at 5:30pm we were on our way.Our train arrived Thursday night around 11:00pm and we made our way to the hostel which couldn't have been more than half a kilometer from the train station. The reception desk at the hostel only stays open until 10:00pm so someone hid a key for us in an envelope outside of the building. It took us a good 10 or 15 minutes to discern the broken English directions about where to find the key, but we finally did and got our stuff inside. We had already decided drinks were in order along with some grub after the long trip. We found an interesting but lively bar near the center of town where we were able to quench our thirst and fill our bellies at a good price.Friday morning got off to a late as Jeff had to get his ski rental all set up for the weekend. Andrew decided to sit the day out and recover from the events of last night. He was in no shape to attempt skiing for the first time. The weather on the mountain was pretty crappy but the snow was great and the lift lines were sparse. Jeff and I lasted until about lunchtime but Thursday night caught up to us, too, and we slowly made our way down to the bottom. For dinner, the hostel receptionist recommended a great restaurant with tons of choices. It was the first time in a while we had all been so full – and the food was great! That night we decided to take it easy so we stayed in our room and watched movies.On Saturday, it was Andrew's turn to get some rental skis set up. He also didn't have any ski pants but he was able to find some nice, fairly cheap ones at the rental shop. The hostel was also full Saturday night so we were moved next door to the Pension Hoffner. We were given a discounted price and the place was pretty neat. A hearty breakfast was also included. After we got everything moved next door and got Andrew's skis figured out, we decided to head to the Kitzsteinhorn via ski bus shuttle, Zell am See's highest skiing area and part of a glacier. It sounded pretty intimidating but most of the runs on the map were only moderate to difficult and even some easy runs. The weather, though, was horrible – windy, snowing and cold! NOT great conditions for our first-time-skiing-friend, Andrew. Not only that, but the sudden altitude change Andrew's body wasn't used to gave him altitude sickness and his Saturday was cut short as he found his way back to the bus stop. Jeff and I continued skiing for the rest of the day, and although the conditions weren't great, skiing was still awesome! We spent most of our Saturday evening at a restaurant near the hotel and only went to a small bar near the train station for a couple drinks.I woke up this morning to a “warmish” breeze coming from the window. When I looked up, all I could see was blue. This was going to be an awesome day.I didn't bother waiting for the guys and hopped out of bed to get some breakfast. After that, I gathered up all my things so they'd be ready to go that afternoon. After I was all paid up at the office, I got on the ski bus to Kitzsteinhorn again where I was sure to witness some awe-inspiring views. Awe-inspiring was an understatement and even the gondola ride up got me excited. The sun was shining and I could see huge, jagged Alpine peaks for hundreds of miles. The glacier was wide open with only the T-bar lifts to ski around. It was the typical European ski resort and I was loving it!The three of us met up for lunch on the hill and laid out our plan of attack for getting to the train station on time. It all worked out and here we are on the “Alpenkonvention” train, direct to Vienna. I still haven't gotten to the bottom of what that's all about, but I remember there being one from Kitzbühel, too. It must have something to do with making stops at all the skiing hotspots and still going directly to Vienna (no transfers in Innsbruck, Salzburg, Wörgl or anywhere else). I believe only on Sundays, too.Anywho, I've got a small German verb conjugation worksheet to fill out for homework due tomorrow so I'll be blogging more the rest of the week. Tschüss!

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