When I was in middle school, my brother and I loved watching discovery show ‘Lonely Planet’. It was a travel show where the host Ian Wright used to travel around the globe and shared his amazing travelling experiences of the places and people. As kids, we loved this show and always dream of wandering around the world. But at the same time, we were lazy bones and wanted to travel were trekking is neither included nor hiking. We were kind of those people who loved eating pizza with always-extra cheese.
I was smiling, remembering all this while sitting on a wooden bench on my way to ‘Five Fingers’. Still gasping for breath with my 1.5-year-old on my back, I was wondering Wow this is life!
Brief history of caves
Dachstein Ice Caves are one of the most significant natural monuments of Austria. Its emergence begins way back before 200 million years ago. There was a warm primeval ocean called Tethys. The ocean was extended where today’s Dachstein massif is rising. These caves were first explored in 1910.
And the Journey Continues…
From Obetraun we took bus to our cable car stop, those cable cars took us to the ‘Dachstein ice caves’. Now we are here in Seilbahn the ‘middle station’ to start our tour. From here you need to walk up for 20 minutes to reach the entrance of the caves.
This was one of the toughest parts of the trip for me because the trail was steep and upward; with a child on your back and lot of ‘cheese fed belly’ it was difficult for me to climb up. But the sight around was so amazing, it was easing the hardship.
Outside the caves, it was quite hot but to enter the caves you need to cover yourself properly as the temperature inside was lower than 8 degree Celsius.
‘ICEY inside’…Dachstein Ice Caves
A guide came along; he took the whole group inside the cave. Initially, you could see the large caverns, stalagmites and stalactites. Later on, as you go deeper you get to see the sites of fascinating ice forms. They were so big, glittering and untouched with icicles. This ice was formed from the water that seeps from the Dachstein plateau into the caves from small cracks and cliffs.
The walk inside the cave was not that easy, sometimes it was steep upwards and sometimes it was sloppy. After some walking you get to see a big wall of ice and now you it’s worth it. From there you go through a frozen tunnel “the keyhole”. And then the real thing starts. You can see big ice preserves and ice formations. They have given these ice formations fairy-tale names like “ice palace”, “Tristan dome”, Big Ice Chapel”, Big Ice Mountain”. My favorite was “Castle of the Holy Grail”
This was my first experience with caves and now I know that caves are very wide and big inside. Especially theses caves were so big that they even had a frozen waterfall!
To be continued… contrast awaits