High anxiety up in the alps

TYPICAL isn't it? What are meant to be some of the finest views of the Bavarian Alps eluded me on my little trip to Germany last week.The fog rolled in, the snow fell and I couldn't even see the sheer drop either side of the alpine peak I found myself on - though that was probably a blessing in disguise.

TYPICAL isn't it?

What are meant to be some of the finest views of the Bavarian Alps eluded me on my little trip to Germany last week.

The fog rolled in, the snow fell and I couldn't even see the sheer drop either side of the alpine peak I found myself on - though that was probably a blessing in disguise.

You seem my dear readers, as regular James Marston devotees among you will know, I was in Germany with my Dad, who is also interested in history, tracing the footsteps of the nasty Adolf Hitler.

I didn't realise but down near Berchtesgaten he had a whole complex with barracks, conference centre, houses for staff, underground bunkers and of course the famous Eagle's Nest known as the Kelsteinhaus .

It was at Berchtesgaten that Hitler made Neville Chamberlain visit him to try to avoid war.

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It was at Berchtesgaten Hitler humiliated the Czech prime minister by making him wait for hours before telling him he was going to have his country whether he liked it or not.

During Hitler's twelve years in power the place was effectively a second seat of government after Berlin.

Today the Kelsteinhaus high in the mountains is a restaurant where I enjoyed a large lager, a Bratwurst with some potatoes and sauerkraut before having a look around.

Now Hitler, a bit like me, wasn't too fond of heights and didn't like his mountainous house very much so he hardly ever used it.

And it is very high up. On a clear day you can see forever - well at least into Austria.

So high up in fact, I could feel myself getting anxious as I approached the edge.

Getting there is a bit of a mission.

You have to take a bus up this winding mountain road, it takes a while and the views, if not shrouded in fog, are meant to be amazing as long as you can dare look out of the window at them.

After a while the bus drops you off and you are on foot.

You walk down a 124 metre tunnel to a brass lift which whisks you up another 124metres to inside the Eagle's nest, and at 6,000ft up it's a pretty amazing testament to German engineering. I was impressed. I could imagine Adolf and Eva Braun and a few other top Nazis taking tea at the top, they did that sort of thing.

When we got to the top it was snowing quite heavily and you couldn't see much at all, later though the weather cleared and we had tantalising glimpses of amazing peaks, huge expanses of valley and a real feeling of being on top of the world.

No wonder such places are popular among megalomaniacs.

In the end I was glad to get down and cross the border into Austria.

Once over the border I gave up on Hitler and followed the footsteps of Julie Andrews instead where the hills are alive with the sound of music.

I'VE noticed that a number of beach huts near where I live in the Edwardian resort of Felixstowe have been pulled off the beach and on to the promenade.

Is this because the weather's changing and they are at risk of being swept away? Does this happen every year? or are they just been moved to be re decorated?

It's a question that's been puzzling me. Drop me a line if you know the answer.

I thought moving was bad enough.

As regular readers among you will know I left Ipswich this year and moved into a flat in Felixstowe. I've redecorated, refurnished, painted, carpeted and tidied up. Now I am having a new kitchen.

It's ever so stressful. I've had to organise a electrician, plumber, flooring people, and someone to put the whole thing in while I'm at work. And its only a small kitchen, God knows how people build a whole house.

Anyway in the mean time I don't have a kitchen at all.

I'm forced to eat out and live off things without metal that I can microwave - which doesn't include Fray Bentos pies or Spam as I have now discovered.

So if any of you fans out there would like to cook for me on night over the next couple of weeks I'm open to offers.

I'm not as demanding as Princess Margaret and in fact I'm quite a raconteur when I get going with a glass or four of red and a well stocked cheese board.

Can I bring a load of washing round while I'm at it?

COME on Gordon go and see the Queen.

I love an election don't you?

A few brandy and sodas late into the night watching the results come in. Will he won't he question seems to be on everybody's lips this week as the Labour party conference gets going.

The possibility of an Autumn poll is at least keeping us journalists busy with something to write about.

And elections are bread and meat to us hacks.

You get to go to a count, chat to the winners and losers and soak up the atmosphere.

I've only ever covered one general election so I'm itching to have another go.

Rest assured Gordon I'm ready if you are.

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