0 In 2014/ Austria/ Europe/ Our Story/ Western Europe

A New Year’s Eve Tradition – counting down to 2015 in the Austrian Alps

Never Ending Honeymoon | Austria

Every year, for the last eight years, we have been lucky enough to celebrate New Year in a different location around the world. One of the most epic New Year’s Eve nights was the legendary 2006/2007 party hop. We party hopped from dusk until dawn throughout Brisbane before attending a New Years Day concert featuring Ugly Ducking and Stafford Brothers… oh to be young again!

2007/2008 was a similar affair with us attending parties in Brisbane until the dawn of a new year. However, in 2008/2009 we changed things up a little by spending the warm summer night counting down the New Year on Noosa Beach with Dan’s family and some friends. The following year we celebrated with Helen and BJ by ducking under fireworks and weaving our way through the massive crowds in Rembrandtplein, a square in central Amsterdam. I recall being cold from the snow, sober because we didn’t know we could drink on the streets, and scared that my face was going to be blown off from the hundreds of fireworks that were being let off at our feet.

NYE 2009

Amsterdam 2009/2010

New Year 2010/2011 was plenty of fun dancing with mates to a cover band in a packed Irish bar in Melbourne, one that I almost missed thanks to budget airline last minute cancellations! Our last new year in the Southern Hemisphere (2011/2012) was spent knee-deep in mud, rocking to bands at the Coromandel Gold music festival in New Zealand as a newly engaged couple. This is not my video, but you can see the legendary mudslide here.

NYE 2011 coro

New Zealand 2011/2012

In 2012 we spent our first New Year married and living in London. Along with 20 others, we purchased tickets to a party in a boat on the River Thames and watched the magical fireworks light up the London sky.

NYE 2012

London 2012/2013

For me, 2013/2014 was a rather quiet affair. We arranged for 13 friends to meet in Berlin to watch the Sylvester (New Year’s Eve) fireworks at the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate). While I made it outside long enough to watch the fireworks and freeze in the sub-zero temperatures, I was not well enough to enjoy the dance party afterwards. From all accounts it was a fun night, but the hangover those that attended suffered the next day looked painful.

So, as you can see, we love counting in the New Year, it is a big deal to us and we now seek out the best places to party with friends. 2014/2015 was no different.

Now that we were back in Europe Dan was very keen to sneak in some snowboarding this winter. So he took charge of organising our Christmas and New Year’s adventure this year and did an amazing job.

After celebrating Christmas with friends in Munich, we hired a car and drove through what seemed like a blizzard to Austria. Since we were so close, we did stop off in the tiny town of Vaduz, Liechtenstein for lunch.

Liechtenstein castle everyone cropped

For five days we stayed at a hotel in the small town of Bludenz and caught the train to Schruns or train and bus to St Gallenkirch to ride the gondola up the mountains. Most of our party of eleven spent their days on the slopes.

6 Nadav teaching Jacqui

I, on the other hand, had enough of learning to snowboard after my first day and spent my days relaxing in the warmth, strolling through the snow covered villages and sampling hot chocolates everywhere.

View from our room

New Year’s Eve was spectacular. We started at our hotel before embracing freezing temperatures in the church courtyard in the middle of Schruns where we watched the amazing Sylvester fireworks that were fired from the mountain tops and hotels that surrounded us. We then partied at a local Irish pub (why not!) before being kicked out into minus 15 degrees at 4am to find a way home. Our awesome night was evidenced by the length of our hangovers the next day. We might not be as young as we once were… but we didn’t let that stop us!

10 NYE kiss

12 the group in Schruns

Most of us had extra day of recovery in Austria so we spent our last few hours riding a gondola up the mountain for some spectacular views over Bludenz.

Jacqui at top of gondola

But of course, the entire trip could not have run this smoothly without something going wrong. That just isn’t our style! So, as a perfect example of the travel mishaps we have now come to expect, Dan and I were very lucky to make it back London on Friday night.

After we were taken off route by the GPS I thought we were cutting it fine, but then, after we had dropped Ala and Steve off at their hostel in Germany, we were taken to the wrong location to drop off the car. It turns out that we (Dan) had misspelled the car hire company address. We corrected the address and dropped off the car at 5pm. We then dashed across Munich, catching the U2 to HBF (Central train station) then the prepaid Lufthansa bus to the airport. When we got to Terminal 1 at 6.55pm for our 7.30pm flight we discovered that my bag had been left at Terminal 2 because I put it in the wrong section under the bus! At this stage I was already planning a night in the Hilton I had seen around the corner. Daniel went to check in and collect our tickets as I convinced the driver to take the bus back to T1 collect my bag. It was casually sitting on the side of the road, probably about to be blown up by airport security. We made it through passport control and security at 7.05pm and onto the plane with only minutes to spare. Thankfully Munich’s airport is designed really well and we didn’t have to run too far. And the crew on our flight fed us lots of scotch to settle our nerves.

But of course, when we landed in Heathrow we made it through border security in record time only to find that Dan’s backpack was missing. It was on the next flight. So we finally retreated home and waited for the contents of Dan’s wardrobe to be delivered the next day. Typical!

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