Wherever we’ve been throughout Germany and Austria, people have been active. Bike-riding to work; riding surfboards on the man-made wave in Munich’s Englischer Gardens; hiking through parks and through the hills. People stride, with serious hiking shoes and poles instead of meandering along. Exercise doesn’t seem to be a chore, or a “geez, that was one Bratwurst too many. Hand me my roller-blades” remedy. It’s just part of their lives.
Today, we walked for hours. Up, up , up and down, down, down along rocky cliffs, and then took 1500 steps through Eisriesenwelt – the world’s biggest ice cave complex.
The views from 1,700 metres were astounding. While I’m generally not afraid of heights, when you can see light aircraft cruising at your eye level, and your children’s girth is less than the space below the lowest rung of the guard fence, I became the crazy “stay away from the edge!” mother hen!
The temperature today was in the high 20’s, so the walk up was glorious. Luckily, we were layered with thermals and had scarves, beanies and gloves packed though, because on the 1.5 hour tour, 1 km inside the mountain, temperatures were below freezing. We carried small kerosene lanterns to view natural ice sculptures, frozen lakes and stalagmites, with a 400m thick ceiling of rock above us. Photos weren’t allowed, so I’ve had to pilfer one from the net…
To ease our aching bones, we headed to the Therme Amade, a pool/sauna complex with a wave pool, hot spas and water slides.
Once again, healthy, active families were everywhere – on bikes, out walking, and one keen roller-blader using his ski poles to propel him along!
We were happy to get a day of exercise in today as we’ll be doing a bit of bus-sitting tomorrow. Our one mega-touristy indulgence – The “Sound of Music” tour of Salzburg.
Cam is NOT impressed!