Evening Activities on the Seefeld Plateau
Seefeld Bowling Alley
Austrian bowling is just a little bit different from the type that the holiday visitor might be used to at home. The alley or "Kegelbahn" is normally light-years away from the ten-pin extravaganza in the nearest out-of-town shopping development.
Instead you're liable to get nine pins that don't always fall over when they're hit, balls that don't necessarily always run true - and heaps more fun than you'd normally expect from the sterile and serious environment of the local Bowl-o-Rama.
Summer and winter - one of the most popular things for families (or indeed any guest) to do has been to take a ride in one of the horse-drawn buggies. The buggies are available in most villages on the plateau and have central points where they gather to wait for potential customers. The routes start with a standard trip around the village and extend out to quite long rides to a lake or a restaurant or bar in the countryside.
The favourite with couples, however, is to take a ride in the evening. The romantic side of it all may sometimes be a bit overrated - but there is certainly something about the crisp night air and the stars slipping away behind the mountains....
The Seefeld Casino has been an attraction for holidaymakers since its opening in 1969. It is situated in the pedestrian centre of Seefeld in the direction of the railway station. Originally conceived as a seasonal attraction, it is now open year-round.
The casino promotes a special offer to guests on the plateau - anyone with the local guest card will receive chips up to a certain amount at a discount. There are also special dinner and casino packages available with some local hotels.
The most popular games are roulette - both American and European - and blackjack (pontoon). There are however opportunities for poker and baccara, as well as a number of slot machines. The dress code is more relaxed than more traditional casinos, but guests are still expected to dress smartly for their evening out at the tables
The typical dancing of the area is showcased at the various Tyrolean evenings in the villages on the Seefeld plateau. The dancers, yodellers and musicians may be professionals or they may be members of one of the clubs which help keep the traditions of the region alive.
The dancers are known as "Schuhplattler" - and the dances are based on formal sequences of dancing and then thigh- and shoe-slapping by the men, while the women spin or dance. Some of the figure dances tell stories, like the Miners' Dance, the Woodchoppers' Dance and the Jealousy Dance. The costumes are based on traditional dress ("Tracht") from the area, with the women in blouse, skirt and apron and the men in leather breeches, braces and white shirt.
Most performances will be accompanied by an accordion and the dancing is often interspersed with yodelling, a style of singing originally thought to have started as a method of communication between farms.
Almost every village in the Tyrol has a programme of live music in the summer months. The Seefeld plateau is especially lucky, as it plays host to a number of visiting foreign choirs and bands, as well as the open air concerts given by the local brass bands. The programme during any visitor's stay could therefore range between the University of Alabama brass band, for example, to a Cossack choir from Russia. Many of the events are organised by the local tourist offices and it is definitely worthwhile picking up a copy of the weekly programme at the start of the holiday.
Visitors will hear the local Austrian style of music in many hotels, bars and restaurants around the plateau. The traditional style co-exists quite happily with modern music in Austria and in fact one of Austria's best-loved ski stars, Hansi Hinterseer, turned to the romantic alpine ballads when he hung up his skis and is now a sought-after singer and actor. Perhaps a more modern and hard-edged version of this music is produced by groups like STS, Austria 3, or above all, the German favourites, the Zillertaler Schürzenjäger from the nearby Ziller valley.
Many hotels have their own entertainers - most being one-man players on piano or organ. Accordion music and zither music (as featured in the classic film "The Third Man") is also popular.
Occasional live rock music - mostly by local bands - can be found in the some of the local bars and nightclubs. Concerts by well-known groups are held in the Inn valley in Innsbruck or Telfs, while Munich to the north is a regular stop on tours by world-class acts.