We’ve left Paris and headed into Austria. I don’t mind admitting one of the mountain passes we came over left me shitting myself! There were sheer drops of over 2000 feet, with flimsy wooden barriers. Yet as we drove down the hairpins there were lorries overtaking us and speeding their way down the road. How? I don’t know how but they were. It left me feeling so inadequate.
Then further on we came toward Grossglockner glacier and we had to drive up a similar pass, almost all the way in first gear. A memory that sticks with me is that as we drove up I spotted a rucsac by the side of the road and a rifle leaning against the rock. There was a man about 50 yards away bent down over some animal and my instant thought was ‘fancy leaving a rifle just leaning against the rock on a busy road.’
Anyway, we finally got to a kind of reception/gift shop which apparently was the entrance office to the glacier itself. It turns out they have tunnelled into the glacier edge so you can walk through it. We did that of course and it was bizarre. We were inside a glacier and you could hear noises constantly coming from it, pops crackles and cracks, some quite loud. You could see also where the access path made of wood and metal had been moved many times to keep up with the movement of the glacier itself.
The colour inside the glacier was amazing, a blue that was almost like gemstone. Oddly it wasn’t that cold even when we felt the ice walls of the tunnel. We tasted the water where it runs off the glacier and over the steep mountainside and it was very cold, but the purest water ever.
We stayed the night in the car park and were the only ones there, directly across the road from an enormous hotel!