By: Blonde Two
My name is Blonde Two and I am afraid of heights. Blonde One will tell you (and she has always shown patience above the call of duty about this) that I am perfectly capable of getting vertigo standing on a rock that is no higher than two feet off the ground. I have been reduced to jelly many times at the mere thought of crossing any of the Dart’s many stepping stones and have video footage of me trying (and failing) to talk myself across a swing (not really swinging at all) bridge in New Zealand.
Which does beg the question, why Austria? Why the land of pronged peaks, precipitous pathways and pendulous passenger peregrination (okay, so you can take alliteration too far). An explanation is due I feel, if not to you lovely Blondees and Blondettes then to myself. I chose Austria (the Tirol to be precise) because of my girlhood love of the Chalet School series of books by Elinor Brent-Dyer. I grew up with the characters of these books and because of them, wanted to teach (still enjoy that) and hike (still enjoy that) and have several improbable sets of triplets (am so relieved I didn’t do that). As far as I can remember, neither Joey, Madge or their improbable sets of triplets (I forget how many) had to travel in cable cars, take speeding buses up steep sided roads or cross suspended wire bridges before they walked through alpine meadows, drinking fresh milk and admiring the Edelweiss.
Today’s walk was going to be a quick one up our “musical box” valley to “look at” the cable car station and come home again. The walk proved to be harder work than I imagined including a hill with the 14 stations of the cross displayed on the ascent (the fact that I stopped and carefully translated each one was nothing at all to do with being out of breath) and a (most people would say very little) swingish bridge with a see-through floor (who on earth would design that) that I had to virtually close my eyes to get across.By the time we got to the cable car station, I decided that I was so pumped with fear and exhaustion that I might as well face my hanging nemesis straight away rather than think about it overnight. So on we popped, it was very steep but I kept my eyes open all of the way (and even managed to turn around and look at the view twice). I was childishly elated at the top (2100 metres but we only did the one stage today) and the views, well the picture says it all! Wish me luck, tomorrow Mr Blonde Two is going for a bikeathon up a mountain and I am going to face the speeding bus and the precipitous cable car alone!!