Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Highest Mountain (depending where you stand)

So we took the Seilbahn up to the top of Zugspitze (the highest mountain in Germany). There are two Seilbahns to the top, one starts in Germany, the other in Austria. Go figure.... do you really need two Seilbahn maybe 20 minutes away from each other? It's like a mini space race between Germany and Austria.

Check out those ski trails on the green mountain below. Nice......

Above the clouds! At the bottom right you can see part of the last Seilbahn tower.

A chilly 7 celcius at the top,  a warm 28 Celcius at the bottom.

The Zugspitze is high (2900m), and in the summer does look like the moon. Nothing but rock at the top, not a single plant. Not a living thing except tons of tourists and these little black birds soaring about picking crumbs from "the highest Biergarten in Germany".

A blackbird waiting for crumbs from those who always need to eat in really high places.
Biergarten at a very high altitude.

It's cold up here!

There's the deadly Gipfelkreuz behind Ani.
It was bracing standing there on top of all that rock, above the clouds, in the cold high altitude air. Unfortunately there were so many tourists it was comical. And you couldn't actually walk around the mountain (without risking a deady fall) but had to stay in the building where the Seilbahn unloads its passengers. There are numerous viewing platforms, and slowly one could make your way from one to the other. It was so crowded in the passages, I thought I was on an U-bahn.

O.k. so you spent 40 euros to go to the "top of Germany" so you have to really go to the top, all the way, to the Gipfelkreuz. The Kreuz is just 30 meters away from the viewing platforms, but it's on some seriously steep rock, with deadly drops left and right. To get there you should have climbing gear, i.e. harness, etc. so you could rope yourself to the steel guide cable. The problem is you and another million Germans want to do this, climb the puny section of deadly steep rock so you too can say you have touched the "top of Germany". Sorry I just don't get this! It's like climbing to the top of mount Everest and finding a film crew and models making an automobile commercial. It just ruins the whole adventure of climbing to the highest point if everyone else is already there. And in addition I would not risk my life on such a section of deadly rock with such a crowd of people pushing and shoving their way up and down the rock. 

But don't get me wrong, it is splendidly beautiful up there above the clouds teatering on the rocky knife edge of this ridiculously gigantic piece of rock.

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