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Zugspitze, Innsbruck, and Neuschwanstein

July 29, 2012

The next day we decided to take a rest day; Thomas and I took a téléphérique to the summit of Zugspitze. At the top there is a huge complex compelete with bars, cafes and a hut. It’s nice to be able to grab a celebratory drink at the summit and a meal, though it does ruin the solitude in reaching the top of a mountain. Today Thomas and I were the unworthy summiters who took the lift to the top. Once at the summit, I wanted to head over to the summit cross, the true summit. My dad told me not too, but I brought my ice axe up with the intention of doing it anyway. I ducked under a closed sign, walked on top of a snowbank around a cafe, across a section of snow, up a fixed ladder and to the summit cross. One day I will actually climb it.

Thomas and I grabbed a drink in a cafe and took the lift down. While we went to the summit my dad went on a walk around Eibsee, a nearby lake. We drove to Innsbruck and went walking around the city; since it was Sunday it was nearly empty except for on the river. We planned to go to an outdoor store and get info on some nearby hiking and climbing areas but they were all closed. Too bad. We drove the long way back, stopping to look at the Austrian route on Zugspitze that my dad and I attempted in 2010 before hitting three feet of snow covering the via ferrata cables on the last few hundred meters at the “stopzelheizer” above the Wiener-Neustädter-Hütte. I would recommend this route late in season, because it is the shortest though also the steepest.

Bicycle inner tube vending machine.

The next morning we had to drive back to Prague. On the way we drove to Neuschwanstein, a picturesque castle that most famously inspired the Disney Castle. Though modern and touristy, the castle was very nice because of its pristine condition. Too bad we didn’t have time to wait for the next tour, because they were fully booked until the afternoon.

We finished up the drive, and got back into Prague.

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