Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reaching high at the Zugspitze

After a lunch of schnitzel at the holiday cottage, we had decided to head for the cable car to go up the Tirolean side of the Zugspitze. The drive over was a pretty one although we were very perturbed by the queues on the other side of the road going on for approximately six miles. The only thing along the way was the rittlespiele which we had driven by and there appeared to be no reason for the holdups. This got us planning to return via another route.

We arrived at the Zugspitze to find that the top of the mountain was in cloud at 2,900 metres. We were in awe as we drove along in the shadow of the mountain as it loomed over us. We got our tickets (again we didn’t have to pay for the kinder under 6’s free which seems to be the norm over here). The children were very excited and keen to make progress up the mountain finding it difficult to understand why they have to get changed out of their summer clothes to head up the mountain. It was a reported 3 degrees at the top. We got onto the cable car and Louis kept saying going now he was very keen for the driver to board and for us to be heading on our way.

The first part of the journey above the tree line was smooth and clear, as we got higher there was a real roll of the cable car as we went over the pylons, we got higher and higher and reached the snow line at about 2,200 metres. We went high into the clouds and had very poor visibility. We stepped out and the cold air immediately hit us. Mike, Keisha and Louis quickly skipped out onto the snow. We walked over to Germany and viewed the highest point. It was quite eerie to be so high in the clouds and at the top of the mountain having been at the bottom such a short time before, and felt a feeling of vulnerability. It made me wonder about Mike and his adventures to the top of the mountains although this was probably even more poignant for him as there are no crowds sitting drinking beer and he must be totally in awe of his surroundings, and he gets to view them in their isolated splendour. Mike has expressed an interest in climbing the Zugspitze as he felt it was too easy getting the cable car and something he was doing our amusement.

We headed back down, Mike, Keisha and Louis stood in the front window, and I wasn’t brave enough to join them even though I sat happily at the front on the way up. We were in cloud for a lot longer on the way down. We finished our visit with a spot of trampolining, go cart racing, and play in the playground accompanied by a drink and some rather posh ice cream sundaes.

We came back via Garmish a beautiful town, and drove through a beautiful valley via Alpsee. It was a wonderful drive by the lake. Another long day .

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