September 6, 2010

Ice bears spotted

The mountain tops were blanketed under clouds all weekend as Ayelet, her parents, and I spent the weekend in the Austrian Alps. So what do you do when the weather is rainy and in the 50s??? You figure out a way to make it all seem warm and less wet. We went into an ice cave (Dachstein Welterbe).

We started our journey up the steep mountain in a cable car - no more unknown mountain hikes like in Garmisch. We went from the rain at the bottom of the mountain right up into the clouds where it was coming from. All you could see in the distance on our short walk up the hill were the tall pines about 30 feet away.

Now, don't tell on us for this next part because we did see a sign for no photos at the entry. However, I really should have asked for an explanation from the tour guide about this policy. In the future, I think instead I will just test how many people ask me not to take photos from now on. Anyway, enjoy our photos.

The entry was cold, like a walk-in refrigerator. However, there was no ice to be found. We quickly flipped through our English pamphlets(the tour was only spoken in German) and realized it was still above freezing in the first chamber. We walked with our group through the cave bear graveyard (no bones seen) and passed through a large steel door to a claustrophobic freezer. I couldn't get the images out of my head of the gigantic boulders that had fallen from the ceiling after thousands of years of freezing and thawing. I spotted one rock that looked like it was ready to break and passed my scientific observation onto Ayelet. She was not too pleased about my curiosity [AG: here you could substitute the word "paranoia" for "curiosity" ;-) ] at that moment.

Luckily, the small tunnels opened up into giant caverns with waves of frozen water. The temperature now sat around the freezing point and every now and then sprinkles of water pelted us from the rock above. We found many dry spots to pause and take pictures before leaving our dark surroundings for a balmy blast of heat outside. Mission accomplished on making 50s feel warm! The sun never really did come out for us all weekend, but the ice cave made it a memorable trip without comparison.

Ayelet and Eldad on the cable car

No comments:

Post a Comment