From the town where we were stationed, Ansbach in northern Bavaria, we departed early on a Friday, arrived in the Salzburg area toward mid-afternoon, replete with camping gear made available for use by Army Recreational Services. We found a beautiful rustic camping area on a mountainside overlooking the Salzburg area. It was beautiful in the daylight and we knew it would be wonderful to see under the stars. We pitched the tents and got the site ready and when hungry, we walked to a wonderful gasthaus located on the premises. We enjoyed a wonderful Tyrolean dinner complete with a delicious slice of Black Forest cake and a nice bottle of white wine. We then spent several hours sitting on the mountainside, laughing and chatting while enjoying the beautiful view below. It was clear that evening and the stars looked as if we could reach out and touch them. By ten, knowing we had a lot of places to go and see in the morning, we decided to turn in to be fresh in the morning. Everyone fell asleep quickly in the wonderful mountain air.
Around two or three in the morning I awoke, hearing sounds like dripping water and moving water and, as I became fully awake, I realized I was wet. Waking up my wife who jumped up quickly, I switched on a flashlight and found water coming under the tent. The tent was saturated and dripping inside and the rain was coming down in torrents. Our friends were doing the same thing we were and as quick as we could, we rolled up the soaking tents and put them in the car trunk. Thankfully, our extra clothing was still in the car so we would be able to change to dry clothes. We found a place serving a German style continental breakfast and were able to take turns using the restroom to change, then sat down and hoped for the storm to cease while enjoying very strong coffee and hard rolls and sweet butter. It continued to rain but much lighter in volume, so we decided to try and find a place for the Saturday night in Salzburg.
Weekends in Salzburg in the spring are always full of tourists, so it was difficult to find lodging but finally we found one room with two beds, one a double and the other a single. The decision was made to draw straws and I lost, meaning the other couple got the double bed and my wife got the single. Lucky me was in the floor, but I must admit it beat being on the mountain since the rain continued until Sunday morning when the sun finally broke through. We did, however, enjoy a great dinner Saturday night with a visit to a European night spot. Amazing how all the music was either from the States or England, most of which was even performed in English.
Sunday we spent sightseeing and visiting specialty shops in both Salzburg and nearby Berchtesgaden, Gemany before heading north again so that we fellows had a chance to get ready for field maneuvers beginning the next day. And to this day when I hear someone say that no place on earth has rain as heavy when it falls as back here in the Sunshine State, I just tell them to take a trip in spring or summer to the Tyrolean Alps. They are in for a big shock. Then there is one last thing and that's the sound that the hills make telling us they are alive. Well, you've probably guessed it by now. It was the sound of gushing rainwater which, if it had enough town, might have washed us right down the mountainside in our sleep. And just to add, the rainwater came with lots of thunder and lightning which is eye opening when you are up at a fairly high altitude on a clear mountain slope.