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Published: September 12th 2018
Linds at the Top of Germany
The little chapel on the hill is behind him
It was a bright, clear, calm and sunny day with a high of 28 degrees so it looked like a perfect day to visit the Zugspitze or the highest mountain in Germany.
We got a 3 day Zugspitze ticket at the station which will allow us to get onto the mountain railways and chairlifts. The trip we did today was an engineering miracle started back in the 1920s when the first cog railway was constructed. Since then cable ways have been added or updated to cater for growth. Our cog train took us first up to Grainau, a village further up the valley. We then changed to the Zugspitze train which took us right up to 2600 meters. It is very steep and looking at the mountain you would wonder how a train could get to that height. It winds uphill through trees for several kilometers to the Riffelriss Stn when we could all get out and take a photo out over the Eibsee. We then entered a tunnel for the next approx. 6kms to the top of the railway at 2650, during which we had the story of the construction shown on screens. It is amazing the conditions that
The Eibsee viewed from Riffenriss Stn
Riffenriss Stn marks the beginning of the tunnel section of the railway.
had to be endured to construct huge structures and pour masses of concrete at that great height and without roads.
At the railway top we stepped out amongst the masses. People everywhere, and we thought they were all back at work? Half of Germany seemed to be on top on the mountain - well, sort of. The tables, viewing platforms, and paths had people everywhere. There's masses of room fortunately. We chose to walk out on one of the stony tracks and ogle at the views all around. It is spectacular. The rocks are shattered, steep, and very craggy. They show the folding of the limestone rocks as the continents collided into each other and were pushes upwards. We looked over what is left of the glacier and visited the highest chapel in the world and sat down to a welcome drink before embarking on the next part of the journey upwards to the actual Zugspitze, 300m higher in a cable car. At this point there is a massive building with 360 degree viewing areas. We could see for miles out to snow covered 4000m peaks as far as the eye could see. All around were steep drop-offs which
Mountains stretch forever
This view is towards Austria with higher snow clad mountains in the distance.
we were to take to go down.
We took the Cable Car from the top down to Eibsee which is a drop from 2950 to 973m. It has a freespan of 3200m which is the longest in the world. In other words there is nothing holding it from the top to the next anchor point for that span. We really couldn't see too much as each car was jammed with the maximum load of people. If this is autumn, I hate to think what it was like earlier.
We arrived back in GaPa on the little cog train late in the afternoon and felt pretty tired, probably from the height, the crowds and the heat. It is like our top summer temperature at home so not particularly comfortable.
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