The El is the metro rail in Chicago. It stands for ELevated train

We were on a glacier

I was exhausted running in the high altitude

I am frightened of heights, so it was very scary for me going down

Wow, what a neat photo!

The Snowy Lands of the Zugspitze

While eating our breakfast (yes, yes, and yes) the next morning, we were reminded of home. A old crazy American guy was staying at our hotel, and he was not happy about the coffee, and he let everyone know at the top of his lungs. I was reminded of the Chicago El for some reason...

On our way up, the land was green

The dude running our hotel told us that he could hook us up with a discount for the mountain train, and we used that to get a few bucks off our $45 tickets. We made sure to be on the first train up the mountain that morning (of course), and it was bright and mostly sunny day. We took a regular train to the base of the mountain, and then switched to a smaller train that moved up the mountain on some weird cogwheel system, much like the way the roller coasters go up that first big hill. Eventually we left the green forest and entered a tunnel. Twenty minutes later we emerged... in a completely different world.


A whole new world

Exiting the station we found ourselves in a completely white and bright land, with mountain peeks peeking out from behind wisps of clouds. The wind howled around us, and it was quite cold up there. What a complete an utter change from where we had just come from. Late spring had turned into the middle of winter. It was quite striking.

We had to take a cable car up to the actual peak, and up there we found a snack shop and some restaurants. And some very frightening views straight down to the lands that we had left.

After touring for a bit up there we decided to have a snack and a beer (we were too early for lunch food, but not for beer!). After we'd been up there for a couple of hours, we decided to head back down.

A calm and relaxing ride down, 10,000 feet in 10 minutes

Now, our ticket was good for both the cogwheel train, and the cable car. The cable car went to the base of the mountain, where we would catch the regular train back to the city. The cogwheel train had taken about 35 minutes to go up the mountain. The cable car took 10 minutes. 10 minutes for 10,000 feet! Damn! I waited in line while Lin-Wei used the bathroom. And as the time neared for the cable car to leave, there was no little wife in sight! What's going on here? And with just a few minutes to spare Lin-Wei came TEARING around the corner, running as fast as she could, and collapsed, panting, in a chair. "I got lost!" she exclaimed. She seemed very upset.

The ride down was fine, but it was weird thinking that just one thin cable was all that was keeping us from plunging 10,000 feet (much faster than 10 minutes). But it went without incident, and we took the train back to Garnish-with-Parmesan.

I think we had Chinese for lunch. I'm pretty sure the waitress tried to speak Chinese to Lin-Wei, and I'm pretty sure all were embarrassed when there was not much of a reply. Lin-Wei didn't eat much.
Time to gorge ourselves

Copyright (c) The Sticklers 2006