Hard of hearing

The mountains

August, 16th 2015die Berge

Source: Picture of the Author

I probably inherited the love and fascination for the mountains from my parents. Already at the age of 4-5 years my parents took me and my brother to the Austrian Alps on holiday. At that time my enthusiasm for the mountains was still dampened a little by the physical effort to climb them, there are quite a lot of my footprints in Tirol, but as a young teenager the beauty of the mountains has captured me forever. I find it especially fascinating that when you are standing up high, you are surrounded by the many peaks and after these peaks there are even more peaks as far as you can see, or not.
I certainly couldn’t have imagined at the time that I would ever live in an Alpine country!

Last week we searched and found a little cooling in the mountains. We were on the Rigi, Titlis and Stanserhorn. Apart from pleasant temperatures, the wonderful views have pleased me and all of us. Traveling up and donwn the mountains, I chewed chewing gum diligently. The difference in height, combined with speed, creates pressure on the eardrum. Normally, I can chew and counterbalance this with counterpressure and it doesn’t hurt. Only if I have a cold, I know that I better can avoid the way upstairs.
The same goes for flying. I had to fly a few times when I had a cold and I felt my ears hurt while landing! I also usually feel it on my ears, half an hour or so before the actual landing, that the approach is initiated. Luckily, I can usually counterbalance this with counter-pressure and thus prevent pain. But I even know of people who don’t want to fly anymore because of the earaches in the plane.

The way up and down is therefore sometimes not without a challenge for me and my ears. My husband, for example, loves to drive through passes and pin bends, preferably without traffic in front of us. For me, on the other hand, it isn‘t that much fun. Something in my head, probably the organ of equilibrium, makes me a little dizzy during the last years with these sharp needle curves, despite the beautiful view.
I experience a similar feeling of dizzines today when I look down from the mountain face (or whatever altitude). I’m always happy when there’s good protection.

My husband and I visited the famous Swiss mountain, The Jungfrau, three times. That was a strange experience for me. On the one hand, I was attracted by the Aletsch glacier in the restaurant every time. It’s hard to describe, but it was as if there was an invisible connection that pulled me physically in the direction the Aletsch glacier,. I’ve never felt anything like this before and I was particularly impressed.
And also the height (3400 m above sea level) made my head dizzy. A very impressive experience, which makes you aware of the uniqueness of the mountains.

As a native of the lowlands, the mountains will always retain a certain fascination and mysticism for me and I am sure that I will marvel again and again over the mountains. With and without snow.


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