Unlike the film “Hostel,” my first experience at one of these shared accommodations wasn’t life threatening. What a relief!
We pulled into Alpine Village River Inn in Thredbo after dark, and I didn’t really know what to expect. All I knew was that it was bloody cold and I needed to grab my backpack and get inside. (Yes, I said bloody as my UK travelmates are rubbing off on me. Plus, doesn’t it just sound so cool?)
When we got to reception, Disco handed out keys at random. Since I was nearby, I grabbed one of them. The room ended up being a six-share room with three bunk beds and an en suite bathroom. There were no closets or lockers to put our stuff in, but at least the bathroom was clean.
Since I had one of the three room keys, I got to the room first and claimed a bottom bunk. As I quickly learned, the bottom bunk is a highly prized possession. Apparently once you’re older than ten, enthusiasm for clambering up and down a ladder to the top bunk diminishes tenfold.
My roommates for the night were Jill and Joyce from the Netherlands, who were friends traveling together; Christina from Germany and Fernanda from Argentina, who were graduate students taking advantage of a long weekend and Elizabeth from the U.S., who was a recent college grad in Oz on a working holiday.
In general, the hostel situation was pretty good. Sharing one bathroom among six girls was a bit rough but doable. It was like being in a college dorm again and having to maneuver yourself around so many other people. Privacy, long, relaxing showers and face time in front of a mirror were nonexistent. Good thing I left what little make up I brought back in Sydney because I’d hate to carry it all this way and never use it. There would be no time for any of that in conditions like this (although there were a few people who made the effort every day – good on ya!).
The hostel had internet stations and wireless access for AU$1 per 15 minutes as well as a restaurant and bar upstairs. We had our dinner in the restaurant, which was more like an upmarket cafeteria decorated like an Austrian ski lodge. Everyone was hungry and practically inhaled the pizzas two at a time. The staff had a difficult time keeping up with us, and we had to wait a bit for them to make more pizzas. Our tour package included dinner but drinks, even soft drinks, were ala carte. I bought a glass of Coke for AU$2.50.
After dinner, Disco herded us toward the bar where a single ski lay across two bar stools. Within the ski, were four holes to accommodate four shot glasses. This was the Thredbo Ski Shot. Four people at a time took shots off of the ski, with the two people at the ends controlling the speed of the shots. You can just imagine how hilarious this was when people were different heights. I’m not sure what kind of liquor we drank, but it was very sweet and tasted like butterscotch.
Afterwards, we hung out at the bar and more hostel guests arrived. I wouldn’t say the place was bumpin’ but at least we weren’t the only patrons there anymore. Some people chatted with one another while others made their way to bed to rest up for a huge day of hiking in the morning.
|Slide Album: Thredbo Ski Shot|