This was summer and closest I could get to see ice. I went with Panorama Tours. This was a tour I had to take the previous day. The scheduled time was two and I was still on London time. So, when I arrived with warm clothes and an adventurous heart, they told me I was one hour late but were good enough to reschedule the tour. Should always remember to set the watch right.
Cable car to take us half way through
Eisriesenwelt – The largest ice caves in the world. It is close to Werfen, a picturesque Austrian village an hour away from Salzburg which has some nice houses and a castle on top of a hill. It's potential was discovered by a Doctor Oedl and set up as a tourist attraction over the years. No idea how he managed to get so high up the Alps. I was huffing and puffing up hill after we were dropped off at the base; also avoided looking down as the mountains gained height, the lows were so scary. What if I slipped on the pebbles and fell? Go on up, up, don’t look down, don’t look down.
The ice caves were magnificent! As I entered a gust of icy cold wind hit my face. Holding little carbide lamps we trudged long the wooden planks, taking in huge icy stalactites and stalagmites forming shapes which with some help from imagination one could call – polar bears, elephants (which was now melting into a camel), an ice palace. It was very very dark inside and huge ice structures loomed over. Deathly silence and heartbeats. Flickers of lamp and awe. Never seen anything like this before.
The perks of traveling alone? You meet interesting people you would have otherwise ignored. This woman from New Zealand now staying near London – traveling alone like me. I could sense sadness in her while she talked of home. Recently divorced after 25 years of marriage; husband preferred someone younger. She has been traveling like crazy to forget her pain. They say every sad change brings something good with it. She said she was learning to travel and live on her own and had made some very good friends. But the pain was still there, still hurting.
It was raining as I left to get the train to Freiberg. Another day, another adventure.