was once the home of Mozart and the von Trapp family of 'The Sound of Music' fame, two assets for the city which make it the most touristy place I have been to so far. The workers here don't even humor me with my attempts at Deutch; they hear my accent and greet me with well practiced English. I visited Mozart's birth place, crawled all over a fortress, and paid a visit to a surprisingly thorough brewery/museum, which nearly a liter's worth of beer samples are offered with the price of admission. I also decided to climb a mountain (a real mountain). The first time I saw said mountain, I squinted at it judiciously and promptly decided that it would be mine, regardless of whether climbing it would be a good idea or even possible. Which mountain did I decide to climb?
The beginning of its trail (and all along the way) is lined with memorials marking places where people had died. Would my name become the newest addition to its gravely roster (continue dear reader and find out!)? The whole of my taking Untersberg was peppered with jeopardy. With a bearing no more speific than 'up,' twice I found myself on the wrong path and having to double back, which was especially inconvenient when the wrong path involved shimmying against a rock face on a narrow path. Very often I would have to employ all of my attention and limbs in order to continue, and I braved foul creatures that would lurk unseen in the foliage only to erupt from their hiding places when less than a meter stood between us (I hope that never again am I made to shout in terror by cute baby deer). I packed little more food and water than I would need to reach the peak. From there I hoped to take a cable car that leads to a small town just south of Salzburg. I missed the last car by an hour and had to about-face at the top and revisit my path from a higher perspective (higher as in altitude, not moral attitude). Gravity would imply it is easier to unmount a peak than to climb it, but I would not argue that is the case. Halfway down, my legs were quivering like spagetti. On the plus side, my blisters are now very nearly callouses. Despite the pain, I was often smiling. The effort was beautiful every inch of the way ... all six hours of it... and I am eager to do it again.
Over breakfast on the day after my ascent, I discovered that over the weekend a young man had fallen 300 meters from a ledge and perished, and that another couple had gone missing. :)