I had ideas of going to Bavaria over Easter and indeed had booked for Fussen where I believe The Great Escape was partly filmed. Anyway, Where Eagles Dare won again and it didn't mean altering the flights to Munich.
Munich? I nearly ended up in Rome (where my mother and I are going next Easter so I was almost a year early for the flight and somewhat late for the planned trip to Munich. You may wonder how on earth this happened but after a night at the Travelodge near Terminal 5, I was very much on time for the 0700 flight to Munich and dutifully saw that I would be going from Terminal 5's B gates and am sure that I soon afterwards saw Gate B44 so over I went.
It is fair to say that my heart sank when I saw B44 was a flight to Rome, also at 0700. Had I misread it? It seems odd knowing how pernickety and careful I try to be but, whatever, I was in the wrong place and a shuttle back meant I was too late. I must thank British Airways for helping me out and booking me - at no extra cost - on the 0900 flight. I felt foolish and embarrassed but was made to feel better that someone else on the Munich flight had also ended up at B44. Was the gate altered? Whatever, I will assume that I messed up but was immensely grateful to British Airways for allowing me to start my holiday rather than turning back to Swindon.
All it cost me was a new rail ticket. Normally, I buy an unrestricted ticket to allow for delays but this time I had committed to a particular train and didn't make it. Anyway, I was in the Gasthof Sunkler in Golling an der Salzach just an hour later than I had expected before the earlier havoc. It is a nice place and I had a very comfortable stay there again. The room was a decent size and the breakfast was good also and all for around £35 a night.
Rejoice! On the Saturday I went to Saalfelden and found the hill from where the opening scene of Where Eagles Dare was filmed. It had taken time and I am very grateful to Rene Hebels (www.hebels.nl) for pointing me in the right direction. My collection of photos from Where Eagles Dare filming locations is now on my website and Rene is one person who is acknowledged for his help.
The final part in reaching the spot above the Ritzensee had a marked path but also other signs warning off people from going left and right. A case, I suppose, of eyes front. I did check that I could proceed and was told yes to avoid being chased off by a dog. The weather was terrific and I could not have asked for a better day to complete the Where Eagles Dare jigsaw of filming locations.
I returned to Golling an der Salzach and enjoyed a couple of hours in the Aqua Salza spa. After a comeback from tennis elbow, the heat seems to have done some good.
Sunday was spent re-visiting the huts in the meadow above Pfarrwerfen and I found it easily enough. There were no warning-off signs so I ventured further in and also around the field's perimeter and had very decent views given the further good weather. Seeing no-one around and buoyed by the lack of signs forbidding entrance, I went to have a closer look at the huts only for an untethered horse to come out and follow me. I am happy to say that I unashamedly fled! As someone told me, it was probably better than some German soldiers appearing, though.
I went in the afternoon to Altenmarkt im Pongau by train and bus and had a leisurely couple of hours in their spa, Therme Amade. I managed to check in for my British Airways flight the following day whilst waiting for the train at Bischofshofen and later had a nice meal in Golling. Easter has occasionally been a problem in Austria finding somewhere to eat but Golling is a big enough town to have ample options and this time was no exception.
 The excellent and friendly Gastehaus Sunkler in Golling an der Salzach.





Just to prove that I did eventually find the spot where the opening scenes of Where Eagles Dare were filmed.





The perils of eating a picnic. Ritzensee in Saalfelden.





The area from which the commandos reached the huts near Pfarrwerfen in Where Eagles Dare.





 The huts used in Where Eagles Dare. Look closely and you may see the horse.





The castle lies behind the bridge (close to Werfen Bahnhof) used in Where Eagles Dare.


I was up early the next morning and the trains went smoothly to Munich Airport. I went to the correct gate too - it had Heathrow on the board to prove the point - and so I had an easier journey back.