coordinates view
MSMU Travels Salzblog 2018 Salzburg, Austria

Through Haley’s Lens: “I will lift mine eyes up into the hills from whence cometh my help…”

47.7772 N. 13.0079E.

These are the coordinates of the most beautiful place in the world. Well, to me at least.

There are so many things to do and places to see in the small city of Salzburg. Just in the 14 days that we have been here, we’ve covered so much ground, yet have so much left to go! Untersberg, however, is at the top of my list of favorite places so far and no other Salzburg spot has beaten the stunning views that exist on the top of the mountain.

I knew about Untersberg before I even arrived on the mountain and was fascinated by the photographs I saw when doing some pre-trip research. If you’ve ever seen The Sound of Music, Untersberg was popularized in the opening credits of the film and was a prominent fixture in the film’s story-line.

As I looked through photos of Untersberg, the pictures of the cross quietly sitting at the top, overlooking the Austrian-Germany border and the quiet city of Salzburg looked almost unreal. I immediately put it at the top of my list of must-see’s. I decided to get a coordinate necklace

with the coordinates of Untersberg, and I have worn it proudly since I received it.

necklace with coordinates
My necklace!

It has been one thing to wear it, but it was different to wear it and actually stand right on those points.

The journey up there was – interesting. In order to travel up to Untersberg, an ability to tolerate heights and suspension was … well, required. We traveled upwards in a cable car that paces itself well and practically hugs the mountains at their sides. At first, it is not too bad because you are fairly close to the ground and not moving very quickly, but as you begin to move up further and further, the car seems to slow down – and so does time. It is an eight and a half minute journey that brings you to a whopping 5,287ft. (Or, in other words, a mile up!)

views from the cable car
This is the view from the cable car on the way up to Untersberg!

Before we departed on the cable car, we were warned about one small bump that would be felt while moving past the top of one peak – while everyone was prepared for that one, no one was prepared for the second bump that sent the whole group for a simultaneous “WHOA!” My palms were sweating, that’s for sure. The ride up did make for some stunning views though. We spotted some mountain goats and even saw some people brave enough to hike and climb.

All of the anxiety and sweaty palms were worth it, though. Because we stepped out onto the platform and walked a few steps to see this:

view from platform
The view we saw once we stepped off of the platform!

We all stopped for a few minutes to soak in the views before a small group of us began to work our way up to the main cross that stood on the mountain. Of course – everyone was taking photographs and trying their best to capture these views that any photograph cannot truly embody or do justice.

smiling on top of untersberg
Once we reached the top, it was nothing but smiles and relief!
untersberg cross
The Cross at the top of Untersberg

In the near distance (at least it seemed) stood a smaller cross that a few of my classmates and I braved a walk to. It didn’t take us long on our journey to realize it wasn’t a walk – it was a full on hike! What else was to be expected though, right? There were a few falls, slips, trips, and laughs along the way but we made it! Thankfully, we were there for each other as we made our way through the rocky paths, uphill. (Side note: there were steps too, so that was nice).

Once we arrived, my breath was taken away again.

The views from this cross were probably the most beautiful. There wasn’t a single angle you could not see, a mountain you felt you couldn’t touch, or a dream you thought you couldn’t reach. It made you feel like you were on top of the world with nothing against you.

After the excitement of picture-taking settled down, it was pleasant to just sit on top of the mountain with friends and simply marvel at the vista.

During my time sitting by myself, I couldn’t help but think about the absolute beauty of God’s creation. As an individual who is deeply connected with her faith, I thoroughly enjoyed being able to sit and internalize what it is He has created and praise Him quietly for it. In Psalm 33:5, it says “the earth is filled with his unfailing love.” Looking at these views reminded me of love – the blessing I was given to be there and the love God has to reveal a beauty that majestic.

It didn’t take long before I turned around and realized I was standing on those special numbers: 47.7772 N and 13.0079 E. I touched my necklace while I was there and simply thought, “this is something truly special.” I will never forget that place and will never be able to considering it will always be close to my heart (figuratively and literally).

coordinates view
This is a photo from the coordinate points on my necklace!

To continue to keep up, follow our blog photo posts on Wednesdays and my hashtag #WasIstDasWednesdays on the @msmutravels Instagram.

P.S. We did have to hike back down the mountain to the cable car kiosk, but we made it successfully and ended the trip with some refreshing drinks. A thunderstorm also rolled in causing us to rush to get back on the cable car to leave – a large group of us squished in to fit and the nerves on the ride down were eased by playing a riddle. An interesting day it was…

Untersberg View
A common theme for Haley on the trip so far has been finding the beauty in the smaller things. She says, “hiking on Untersberg and seeing gorgeous views is no hidden secret; although, every now and then you would turn a corner or pass a trail and see a view completely different than the rest. It made the day on the mountain interesting. This was one of my favorite hidden and unexpected views I found of Germany in the distance. Stunning!”

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