As always, when we travel we get up early. We were sleeping in a typical wooden house in Gosau Valley, Austria, close to Hallstatt, which is considered the most beautiful town in the world. We don’t know if it is true… we have seen so many beautiful towns… but for sure it is in the top10. From Gosau we took the car and drove towards the largest ice cave in the world. This is one of many must-see places in Salzburgerland, a land full of surprises!
In order to reach the cave entrance it is needed to take a cable car from the visitor centre and then walk for some minutes through a forest, a dark tunnel and then rocky cliffs. Just this was a completely adventure and the views were astonishing. But nothing compared to what we were going to discover inside that rock mass.
Once in the entrance they give you gas lanterns, the same they used 100 years ago. Anton von Posselt-Czorich from Salzburg penetrated about 200 meters into this dark cave by himself in 1879, this is when this cave was discovered. Later he published a report about his discovery but the cave was forgotten for many years till Alexander von Mörk continued with the exploration in 1913.
The Eisriesenwelt is a cave labyrinth with a total length of more than 40 kilometers. However, it is only possible to visit 1km. But it is enough to contemplate the magnificent ice formations. Inside the cave we climbed hundreds of meters through rock and ice, turned left and right many times, passed through ice tunnels and rock holes… all with our gas lanterns, sometimes too dark, sometimes with some lights pointing to the biggest ice formations.
The cave started with chemical dissolution that formed fissures and cracks in the limestones. Over millions of years it grew with the mountains and finally water and air currents helped to build this natural wonder. Actually, due to the verticality of the cave, the difference of temperature between the lowest and the highest part creates heavy air currents that are also responsible of maintaining the ice in the lower part of the cave.
It is important to know that it is forbidden to take photos or videos inside the cave, this is why the photos here are taken from the official website. As you see, if you ever travel to Austria or maybe Baviera in the south of Germany, this cave is a must in your travel. You cannot be in another place like this. And after your visit you can have a typical lunch from the Alps just before taking the cable car again to descent the mountain.