THE Traveler: James M. Hamilton of St. Paul.

The scene: The Hotel Schafsbergspitze perches on the summit of Schafberg Mountain, a 5,850-foot-tall giant.

The trip: Hamilton was visiting friends in a nearby village when he overnighted at the hotel, near the border of Upper Austria and Salzburg states. "This area of Austria is a living fairy tale. Mountains rise from the shores of clear lakes fringed with conifers and bedecked with sailboats. You reach Schafberg by means of a cog railway operated out of St. Wolfgang im Salzkammergut, located on the eastern end of Wolfgangsee (Lake Wolfgang). One can travel up and down the mountain in the course of a day or, as we did, catch the last train up and spend the night at the hotel atop the mountain. If you are lucky, a thunderstorm will fill the valleys in the night, the lightning flashes below you lighting your room. Dinner selections are simple and satisfying, beer plentiful," Hamilton wrote by e-mail.

About the shot: "Although there are many beautiful views from Schafberg, each changing by the minute as the sun and clouds move about above and below you, I favor this scene because it captures all of the elements of the surroundings: the height and ruggedness of the mountain, the softness of the surrounding slopes, and hints of the nearby lakes," he wrote. He shot this image with an Olympus OMD E-M5 camera outfitted with an Olympus 17mm lens.

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