I had just been unceremoniously struck-down by tonsillitis; it felt a good-deal further away from home than the 797 miles that it was from my base in the Alpbachtal.

Contemplating the pros and cons of being stuck in a remote Austrian village beyond the date of my return flight to Manchester, I staggered downstairs to see what, if anything, the proprietress could suggest to alleviate my considerable pain. Marieanne – you were my saviour. Not only were you sympathetic to my plight but also you gave me a knock-out(legal, at least in Austria) tablet which numbed the pain and amazingly saw off the severest of my symptoms. The general feeling of being under-the-weather did undermine my holiday in Alpbach but I was equally unfortunate that the elements also conspiring against me. It should though be added that it was mid May and therefore no guarantor of wall-to-wall sunshine.

An appraisal of Alpbach and all it has to offer will undoubtedly follow in due course. This entry though is to merely name-check the Fuerstenhof; hopefully my endorsement will encourage others to benefit from this no-frills establishment that very much came to my rescue. If you want facilities-galore, ‘wellness’ and Kneipp treatments as well as lavish evening-meals then you can still stay at the Fuerstenhof, utilising the next-door Alphof, as well as the nearby Boeglerhof. I also commend the Hotel Post for it’s evening-meals, open to non-residents. Please don’t misunderstand my commendation of other establishments and what they have to offer as a slight upon the Fuerstenhof; they simply offer services that it doesn’t and neither pretends to. Being a simply-furnished, clean and unpretentious b & b in the true Austrian and Tyrolean-style, it gives patrons a comfortable room to repose in and a generous breakfast to fuel an assault upon the Gratlspitze and Schatzberg. It therefore has much in common with Pension Hochegg in Obergurgl which will also receive it’s own stand-alone blog-entry in the future.

Despite the kindness extended to me by Marieanne my health and the weather never allowed me to enjoy Alpbach and surrounding areas to the extent that I had intended. I therefore feel I have unfinished business with the area and will be returning, thankfully, now without my tonsils. The Fuerstenhof can be enjoyed through those wonderful people at Thomson Crystal, to whom on this occasion I will turn a blind-eye to due to there being no single-supplement levied on your stay. This begs the question: why can that be achieved in some accommodation but no in others? I await your answers but any that act as apologists for Thomson Crystal and Inghams, you’ll have your work cut out to convince me of the legitimacy of fleecing travellers who have the good sense to travel with one less piece of baggage than most.