Alpine skiing is one of very few sports I enjoy watching. If you do too, you will have noticed this season’s Ski World Cup has begun. As usual, the opening races take place in Soelden in Austria’s Oetztal Valley.

Looking at the world’s fastest skiers tear down the slopes, I was reminded of how attractive this Alpine village looks all dressed in summer garb. At ca. 470 km² (about 180 square miles), Soelden is actually Austria’s largest municipality. Lots of space for the 3 500 inhabitants.

Lovely, isn’t it? You’re almost spoiled for scenic beauty in the Alps. So much, you might become – dare I say it – blasé. That’s why I was so pleased to discover this little jewel in the landscape:

I adore the old covered bridges that are so prevalent in the Alps. Not surprising then, that this man-made structure is my favourite feature of Soelden.

This covered bridge is called Gaislachkoglbrücke (Gaislachkogl Bridge), named for one of the many mountains surrounding the village.

Meanwhile, back at the races, my fave skier, Aksel Lund Svindal, placed at no. 12. I have high hopes; Aksel did win gold in the Super G at the Vancouver Olympics, after all. Here’s wishing him better luck in the coming rounds of the circus.

Disclosure: I visited Sölden as a guest of the Austrian Tourist Board. As ever, any opinions expressed are my own.

Do you follow the Alpine Ski World Cup? Or are you perhaps more interested in old bridges?