The reason that we are in this area is two-fold, firstly we wanted to come to Bavaria to drive the Romantic Road before going west to visit the Black Forest. Secondly, I am a bit of a history geek so I wanted to see the Kehlsteinhaus (www.berchtesgaden.com/kehlstein), the Eagles Nest, which is on top of the mountain above Berchtesgaden.
Hitler fell in love with the beauty of the Obersalzberg an alpine village a couple kms above Berchtesgadan and bought a house (it was blown up by Allied Troops after the war). After his rise to power in 1933 he established a seat of power second only to Berlin. The Nazi’s drove local people out of their homes and created the Fuhrersperrgebiet, which was an area that no-one was allowed to go. On the top of the mountain above Berchtesgaden the Kehlsteinhaus was built at great expense (30m Reichmarks). It was completed in 1938, after only 2 years of construction in extreme conditions, and gifted to Hitler as his 50th birthday present. I’ve seen these on news reels and on photographs, including the formidable war photographer Lee Miller lying in the bath there after the US First Airborne arrived. We plan to go to the Kehlsteinhaus tomorrow.
Our plan for today is to visit Berchtesgaden village and then go onto Lake Konigssee, which is meant to be quite beautiful. We drove down to the village and had a lovely stroll around, managing to fit in buying me a couple of jumpers –given our luck with the weather I think I’ll be wearing them a lot. The village is serenely pretty, with little alpine houses surrounded by forests and mountains. A stop off at tourist information gave us maps and details of where Juno is welcomed.
We then headed to Lake Konigsee and discovered it to be rather popular, the car park was virtually full and it was huge. We parked in the motorhome section, where others are clearly taking the opportunity to wild camp and took a walk to find the lake going past numerous tat selling stores, particularly Bavarian outfits – Greg and I managed to resist.
Lake Konigssee is a large lake (8kms long up to 1 1/4 kms wide) surrounded by mountains and should be more beautiful than it seems. There are boat trips that take you to St Bartholoma (1 ½ hours), where you can find pretty chapels and an ice vault. The boat then goes on to Salet (1 ¾ hours) where you can see waterfalls together with meadows. Alternatively, you can take a cable car ride up to Jenner mountain summit, 1,874m. In order to keep the lake clean private boat traffic is forbidden.
The queue for the boat was enormous and the place was rammed so we searched around for a walk around the lake. There was only one, which was to Malerwinkel (painters corner). It was a lovely walk, around 30 minutes and escaped the crowds. Juno had a run about and we enjoyed the view. I stupidly had flipflops on, so Greg and Juno got to explore for a while whilst I sat on a bench looking at a lovely view of the lake, doing silly smiling faces at people when they spoke German to me.
We are finding wifi very difficult to get in Germany, more so than France, so Greg’s bought a local sim card but that isn’t easy to get working either. Hopefully it will all be resolved soon as Greg is having a meltdown. It’s football transfer window deadline looming and he may not be able to breathe if he can’t find out who is going where.
On the way back to the stellplatz we stopped off at a supermarket for a couple things that we hadn’t managed to find in Lidl. Wow, what a discovery we made. Some background of my own now, my favourite foods are sweetcorn (as you know), north Indian curries, crisps and cheese. Greg came running out of the supermarket excited as a boy can be, what had he found………..currywurst flavoured crips!!! Wow, curry plus crisps, why haven’t Walkers picked up on this at home I wonder? Gary Linekar would love them I’m sure. Having tried them Greg is pretty sure they have knocked his current Number 1 flavour crisps off top spot – Paprika for anyone interested (?!) but not the rubbish McCoys ones in the UK (sorry Ross), but the far far nicer German ones.
The stellplatz was much busier tonight with some motorhomes giving up and leaving, although there was an Italian van that turned up around 9pm, scored a free night and just left their van in the middle of the park – Greg and I were impressed with the blatant disregard of German rules. One Dutch family had a somewhat strange contraption on the top of their car, basically a roof box which folded upwards and turned into a bedroom accessible by a ladder. Genius. Early start tomorrow for the Kehlsteinhaus, first bus is 7.40am and we plan to be on it……