As I am incapable of planning ahead and having reservations, I met a man on the train who works at Obertauern and could recommend ski lodging for a reasonable price. Because it is early season, a lot of hotels weren't open yet, so I ended up staying in a room above a disco (good thing I am a heavy sleeper). The room was cheap, clean, walking distance from the slopes and came with a breakfast so as long as you don't mind the vibrations of the base below you, it was a great place to stay!
The first day I skied, I quickly realized that I was the ONLY telemarker on the entire mountain (and it is a big mountain). People kept coming up to me and after a bunch of gibberish (German) I would hear the word "telemarker." Luckily most of them switched to perfect English when I mentioned that I hadn't understood a word they said. They all thought I was crazy (apparently not many people from the US ski at Obertaurn). As I got ready to head back to my hotel at the end of the day, I heard loud, fun music coming from one of the ski lodges... it sounded like a party! As I like parties, I headed inside and was introduced to the world of Apres Ski (after ski in French). The idea is that after you ski all day, you are stoked by having a great day, but have nothing to do except head to your lodging. In order to give people something to do, lodges and restaurants open up from 3-6 to let skiers party until dinner time. Skiers come by the mass, still in their ski clothes to enjoy Apres Ski. The music is hilarious (YMCA, Macerena, and Austrian Yodeling) and people are amazingly agile while dancing in their ski boots. I even partook in some of the festivities (yep, I tried dancing in ski boots). At 6, the Apres Ski places shut down to clean up for dinner.
One of the best things about travelling alone is the number of people you meet. The second day I set out skiing with a woman from Austria who rips! We had a great day skiing and once again participated in Apres Ski. What a kick... I wish I had a video camera so that everyone could appreciate how amazing it is. When I decide to quit teaching and make my millions, I will open an Apres Ski place in the states!
Austria exceeded all of my expectations and I can't wait to go back to ski there again this winter... hopefully I can convince friends to come too!