WNT Jun 23, 2011
Special thanks to all the wonderful staff at the Wellnesshotel Der Krallerhof in Leogang, Austria for making the stay extremely comfortable and memorable and for the excellent soccer training facilities. Thanks to our amazing liaison Franz (if you need skis, head to his shop) as well as Ele, the 13-year-old (yet taller than Abby Wambach) daughter of the hotel owners, who made best friends out of all the U.S. players, and her brown lab Amy, who became the team dog. Also thanks to our little buddy Lukas, for attending all the trainings and teaching us a little more about Leogang.
Long story short. If you have the coin and the time to take a ski vacation to Europe, or are looking for a stunningly beautiful, quiet and peaceful summer destination, or you have a soccer team that needs a perfect place to train, we have five words for you: Der Krallerhoff Hotel; Leogang, Austria.
The U.S. team had lunch the day before they left at the top of a mountain and dined at about 6,000 feet. The squad took a gondola/ski lift up the mountain (took about 15 minutes and no, we weren't scared when it screeched to a stop and starting swinging....gulp), which passed over the World Championships Mountain Biking course, which was, if not suicidal for those riding down it, then certainly harrowing and extremely dangerous. (Watch out for those jutting tree roots! Oh, here comes steep hill of mud! Watch out for the jump! And hair pin turn at a 78 degrees downward slope! Can someone call the emergency evac helicopter?)
Lunch on the mountain
This is not a post-card. It's what all of Leogang looks like.