The latest Where Eagles Dare trip took place over Easter and was blessed with excellent weather. I flew with British Airways to Munich on the Thursday evening before moving on to Stainach-Irdning the following morning.
I despaired of myself yet again after a decent flight. I had bought one of Deutsche Bahn's non-changeable and non-refundable tickets and, as it was the same price going from Munich Airport or the city centre, saw no harm in booking from the airport and asking if that section from the airport to Munchen HBF would be valid for travel the day before. It wasn't so, fine, I went to buy another ticket. I was approached by someone who offered me a ticket for a slightly cheaper price and I could see that it was valid. I could also see that it was half-price which aroused my suspicions but, no, against my better nature, I gave him the 10 euros requested and promptly spent a miserable fifteen stop, forty-five minute journey agonising whether a ticket inspector would come along. It was okay as it happened, it might still have been okay anyway but, out of curiosity, I kept the ticket and looked into it on my return and, whilst transferable, it seems some ID card might have been necessary... Sorry, dull stuff, but I shan’t be doing it again.
I put up in the very convenient Hotel Dolomit near the Hauptbahnhof and it was ideal. Decent size room, friendly staff and an excellent breakfast the next morning at a knockdown price in the Hotel Cristal next door.

There was no doubt that I travelled the next morning to Stainach-Irdning with a genuinely valid ticket but, as the train started off in Saarbrucken, it was already heaving at Munich so I had to sit in a doorway. It was okay but I was impressed when two ladies who were leaving at the first stop half an hour after leaving Munich, told me to grab their seats. The journey took four hours and was on time. Stainach-Irdning station is odd really because Irdning is directly opposite Stainach but quite a distance: forty odd minutes walk and I was staying half way between the two.

It is an intriguing place for any Where Eagles Dare fans because the place I stayed, Ortnerhof Ennstal, is in beautiful countryside with the most perfect views - in good weather, of course - of the Grimming Mountain where the terra firma part of the film ends before the Junkers departs amidst a hail of bullets. My room had one such view of the mountain as well as a balcony and it was a fantastic position although some distance from the towns of Stainach and Irdning. The only problem was that they do not take Mastercard - as I am sure I had read but I might have been mistaken - and I had just enough cash to pay but it was a little bit of a headache.

I had been in touch with another fan of the film who had flown his own light aircraft to and over the film locations. I am very grateful to Rene and his website,, is fascinating and he gave me some excellent advice.

Grimming Mountain from my room at the Ortnerhof Ennstal

The Grimming Mountain in the general direction of where the plane left at the end of Where Eagles Dare

The view towards Liezen from Aigen im Ennstal

The town of Irdning

The town of Stainach

The stunning location of the Ortnerhof Ennstal showing the Grimming Mountain

The airfield used at the end of Where Eagles Dare, Oberhausen, is just a few minutes walk from the Ortnerhof Ennstal and the walk I took - during which I inevitably went wrong: just slightly, really - took in a view of the airfield. There was only snow on the higher plains and this generally flat for miles area made for some wonderful walks and blisters... Only recently did some cider vinegar cure my feet of the twelve or so hours walking over two days but it was well worth it.
Aching legs were soothed at one of the Bad Mitterndorf spas, a fifteen minute train ride away. With trains only operating every two hours, getting back had to be precisely planned and, on the Friday, I decided that I would eat there. Being Easter and from previous experience of Germany and Austria, not everywhere is open and it became more of an issue than I had anticipated. The place I planned to go to closed at 6 pm, another one was open but full with reservations and, in the end, I was glad to find a simple Gasthof which provided a more than ample meal and got me back just in time for the last train to Stainach-Irdning.
Eating the following day was a problem. Establishing that I could pay by Mastercard at the simple restaurant in Stainach-Irdning railway station, I said that I would be back in the evening before 7 pm only to find them closed. Stainach is not a big place and I couldn't find anywhere open so relied upon snacks I had brought with me which wasn't at all ideal. I'm not sure what else I could have done but, hey ho, put it down to experience. The next day I went into Irdning and established very thoroughly that the place I chose would be open. The waitress, possibly surprised, thought that I had been let down the day before by their place and so a tiny bit of explanation was required on my part but they were open and I ate well that evening.
I had read that the opening scene of Where Eagles was filmed near Aigen im Ennstal, a small town close to Stainach but who knows? It is forty-eight years since the film was made and, whilst the countryside may not change that greatly, it is difficult to be entirely sure. Anyway, I tried and had a perfect day with no clouds so took plenty of photos. Something looks familiar but then again I know myself and want things to look familiar. Ultimately, it's a bit of fun but I will remain non-committal and have another place to visit which, if good weather permits, will allow me to form a better idea. It keeps the interest going...
Oh dear, the return day was a long one. On a train at 7.10 am with three changes, I was slightly pensive as some were tight and I am never entirely at ease even though the continent tends to have a more integrated system. That went well but, just outside Vienna from where I was flying back from, I received a message saying that the British Airways flight I was booked on, had been cancelled. There were very high winds in southern England and flights had been disrupted. The re-booked flight was only an hour and a half later so it could have been worse but I was early enough anyway and, well, there is only so much that one can do in airports.
I still rushed to the airport hoping against hope that I might be put on the earlier flight which would have been desperately tight but it was worth a go. I failed so had, after long delays to both flights, six hours in Vienna Airport. It wasn't fun. When we did get going, the flight itself was fine - and many of us were grateful for the smoother conditions which many hadn't experienced throughout the day - and I joined in with some drinks with a group who had spent the weekend in Vienna. Heathrow was a bit chaotic also and I was eventually pleased to get home somewhere around 10 pm.