/ Europe2017

High Tea

Well, high lunch actually. Over a mile high!

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Vienna had a Vienna card that gave us free public transport and discounts on museums and attractions. We just about broke even on the three day card. Salzburg has similar but rather than discounts it gives total free admission to most of the city's attractions. At €42 for 3 days it's not cheap but has paid for itself in one single day!

The most expensive city attraction is the one we most definitely want and also one best experienced in good weather, which tomorrow and Wednesday are not forecast to bring. It's the Untersberg cable car. A 10 minute ride to the top of the Untersberg mountain, some 1776m above sea level. 

Now if I mention that the cable itself is only 2866m long you can work out that this is a steep ascent - 52° on average but 79° at its steepest. Impressive!

The cars hold 50 people but it was pretty cramped with 30 or so of us in there. It's spectacular all the way up but as you pass the first station post about 3/4 of the way up you go over a false summit and suddenly you're above a steep valley between the summits. Pretty much everyone gasped at this point. More so when a couple of folks spotted chamois in the valley. We missed those but did catch the alpine chough soaring on the breeze.

Here's some views:

It's high at the top, higher than Ben Nevis by 400m, 50% higher than Snowdon. 1776m is 1.1 miles high. Of course we're in and out of clouds at this altitude and it's cold. Hats come out, Liz finds her gloves.The paths are gentle slopes and surprisingly we are not as short of breath as I'd expected. At this height there is less than 17% oxygen in the air, compared with almost 21% at sea level. We've not brought walking poles so Liz is reluctant to go too far and anyway we do need to get back quickly as we have at least one other port of call today (got to get value for money out of those €42 cards).

Still a little bimble around and take pictures of plants not normally seen, such as this alpine bell-flower

A little tavern was on the summit so before descending hot-chocolate and home-made strudel just had to be done. Hmmm, rum in hot-chocolate, now there's an idea.
We managed to stake prime viewing position against the front window for the decent. Possibly because others were a wee bit scared. Sadly the cloud came in a little so the decent off the summit wasn't much to see but it soon improved

We've done cable cars before but none anywhere near as steep as this, nor taking us so high. 

Sadly our ticket is only good for one free trip!