Many years ago I traveled to Salzburg, Austria. I highly recommend it unless you suffer from acrophobia. This Alpine city’s tourist attractions often require transport to high places and the World of the Ice Giants was no different.
In case you’re wondering, the World of the Ice Giants is an ice cave and you can catch a tour bus to get there after you arrive in Salzburg. And be prepared to meet some fascinating people on the bus. For example, one terribly acrophobic fellow brought his family on the cave tour because he figured that a cave wouldn’t trigger his fears. Don’t ask me why he was vacationing in the mountains…
The funicular. (Photo credit: barbaraluef)
If you have ever visited the Austrian Alps, you probably remember the narrow winding roads that overlook steep falls. Most of us enjoyed those until the roads could take us no farther. Then a truly unique funicular took us up to the next level. It was the world’s steepest and the views were amazing if you weren’t afraid of them.
Unfortunately, the funicular doesn’t take you to the cave’s entrance. You have to walk up a long and winding dirt road that overlooks even more cliffs. Only a minimal wood fence separates you from your death as you ascend.
The path to the cave entrance. (Photo credit: egonwegh)
And then we finally reached the cave. The acrophobe was relieved, just for a moment, that his agony had ended. But caves are funny things. When you picture a cave, you probably think of something you enter through the front and traverse by just walking forward. Not so with this one. Mother Nature has a sense of humor and gave us a magnificent vertical cave.
Inside the caves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I think we spent at least 20 minutes walking upstairs on our cave tour then then 20 minutes walking back down. In a cave full of ice. And ice is not slippery.
Looking out from the cave. (Photo credit: Dale Harvey)
And then it was back down the path and to the funicular. And that’s where the acrophobe finally proclaimed that he couldn’t go any farther. Once his wife explained that he couldn’t stay there, she took a photo of him so his mother would believe that he had actually ventured so high. (The man had his grown children with him, so the mention of his mother was precious.)
And on our way down I’m sure he cursed himself for not paying enough attention to details in the tourist brochures.