Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria
I’m saying goodbye to my beautiful two-ish month streak of posting consistently that I’ve been patting myself on the back for from earlier this year— things tend to get inevitably pushed aside with travel plans, to-do work lists, and standard social life maintenance. (“Adrienne, why won’t you hang out with us?!”.) I’ll admit, balance was never my forté.
But I’ve got a cup of coffee at a cafe where I’m hoarding a table and outlet, a Spotify playlist that I’ve so eloquently titled ‘Bad Bitches’ that’s blaring through my iPhone earbuds, and my regular work set aside for this. Anything for you guys.
You may be wondering why I decided to go to a random glacier kind of in the middle of nowhere in Austria. One day while I was internet sleuthing, I stumbled across an article that listed some of the world’s "craziest viewing platforms". I saw a picture of a glass staircase hanging off the side of a mountain aptly named the “Staircase to Nothingness”. And so I naturally decided I really needed to go.
Ramsau au Dachstein is basically in the middle of nowhere-- the closest city is Salzburg (~100 km) which is a train ride and bus ride away. This is not a point that people even pass through; you kind of have to go seek it yourself. And the internet is not helpful in giving any information? Perfect.
Adrienne, your personal tour guide, reporting here: Take an hour long train from Salzburg to Schladming (population <5000) and pray that the busses, which, of course, don’t have a schedule posted online because it’s a small town, are running regularly to Ramsau am Dachstein. As fate would have it, I had two hours to kill before the next bus would come by. Bus frequency doesn't seem to be a big thing here. I maybe saw 5 people while exploring the town in the two hours I wandered around.
I had no expectations as to the length of time I would be on the bus nor did I even have a vague idea as to where to get off. It took some language barrier hurdles between my bus driver and I to figure out that Ramsau am Dachstein was another hour long trip up the hills. I got stared at by every local that boarded the bus probably wondering where I was headed to in this sparsely populated town. The confusion from the randomness of the situation was palpable. ("What is this girl doing here?".) Your guess is as good as mine.
After an hour of ascending sketchy winding roads on a huge almost empty charter bus, I was plopped down at the base of the mountain where I would then take a gondola to get to the glacier. By this time, I was thoroughly exhausted and hungry, yet so, so grateful that I had finally made it.
This is the shit that I get myself into. I’m stubborn enough to indulge in something where I have no idea how to navigate but am absolutely adamant about going to.
Was it worth it? I spent hours traveling here but practically had a glacier, suspension bridge, and incredible views from 2700 meters/8800 feet up in the air all to myself, save for a group of five German guys commenting on how pleasant the weather was. I can't tell if they were sarcastic-- seeing as I wore shorts to a glacier, it seems that they may have been poking fun at my poor outfit choices.
I was so high up that I was practically in the clouds, and as the Germans would warn me, I shouldn't touch the metal railing because they would shock me pretty badly. Sometimes that'll happen when thunderclouds are swirling right above you, I've learned.
It was damn worth it.