Friday, July 31, 2015

A drive to Ebensee

Back in 2007 I did a two week train trip in Europe and during that trip I went to some of the places that were used in the film 'Where Eagles Dare'. It's probably my favourite adventure film. As I mentioned in the blog about the Linz Schloss Museum. the cable car scenes from the film were shot in Ebensee. Marianne had suggested that we rent a car and drive into the country side, so we turned up at the rental car company at about 9 am and shortly after, drove off in a black Skoda.

Whenever I rent a car these days, before driving off in the car, I take photos all around the car to have my evidence of any damage. The same at the end of the rental.

This was the first time I ever had a black rental car. Robin still hates white rental cars since we had so many of them in Australia.

This is the approximate route that we took. Note that we drove beside Trauensee and Attersee lakes.

The first hour or so of the drive out to Wels was not particularly pleasant since we took route 1 which is lined with factories. However we eventually turned off and headed down to the mountains.

Once we go away from the industrial area, the countryside improved dramatically.

The northern tip of Lake Trauensee.

We stopped for a break about half way down the lake. If you read the Wiki article about this lake it is supposed to have a monster called Lungy lurking in the depths.

Lungy the swan. The water is crystal clear.

Truly impressive mountains.

We proceeded down the west bank of the lake and passed through a couple of long tunnels.

We reached Ebensee and drove to the bottom of the cable car ride. If you have watched the film, you probably might recognize the structure. The actual cars were different back in 1968 when the film was made.

Yes, it's a long way up there and I took the cable car ride up there in 2007. The ride is both expensive and somewhat scary.

In the film you can see shots of these mini waterfalls.

Ebensee really has a spectacular location. We drove to the site of the former WWII concentration camp but all the parking spots were filled so we did not see it.

I thought the town looked much better in Summer than when I visited it in Winter (March) 2007.

The south end of the lake.

Those mountains are really impressive.

We continued around to Lake Attersee. It's very pleasant driving.

The southern end of Lake Attersee. It's not as dramatic as Trauensee. 

We drove up the eastern side of the lake. It would have been very pleasant except for all the cyclists who shared the road with the cars. There was no verge on the sides of the roads so you had to be particularly vigilant since there were lots of cars and trucks coming in the opposite direction.

No room to manoeuvre.

We continued north to the Danube but by then we were getting tired. We stopped for a rest at Feldkirchen an der Donau and then headed back to Linz.

It's a quiet small Austrian village. Pleasant.

It was a very nice drive that took about six hours. I filled up with petrol before handing back the car and I had only used about 13 liters or 4 US gallons. The Skoda was fine to drive but not as much fun as our Mini.

Just for fun, I have found my photos of the cable car ride from 2007. Here they are.

Behold the low cloud.

One of the cable cars. There is another that comes down as this one goes up.

The layout is still the same as in the film.

Leaving the base station.

It does not take long for it to be a long way down.

The film shows this vertical view and yes, it is somewhat scary.

One of the pylons that hold up the travelling wires.

The other cable car going down.

The other passengers.

Reaching the top which is nothing like the film which used a set. In fact the cable car does not go up to the Castle in Werfen at all since that is many miles away south of Salzburg. This is much higher than that castle.

Back down near the bottom, these huts were shown in the film.

Driving out of the parking lot.

It's one of those things I had to do once in my life, but not twice.