Friday, September 16
We headed out to our next destination, Schönau am Königssee. Just near Berchtesgaden and right near Salzburg in Austria.
It sprinkled rain on and off and there were momentary bursts of sun. The alps would have been amazing if the sun was shining. We chose a southerly route to avoid the Munich traffic. It was a beautiful road.
We got on the autobahn and headed towards Berchtesgaden. It didn’t take long. We exited and drove along smaller roads. It was lunch time so we were in search of Gasthaus. We came upon the Gasthaus Obermühle, a pretty building with flowers and blue shutters. The parking lot was next to a pretty brook and a field full of noisy ducks and geese.
Inside it was warm and cosy. The waiter was very nice. He brought menus. At last, there was Forelle on the menu! This is trout. And I have always loved Forelle Müllerin Art. We had a really lovely salad with pretty flowers in it and a nice bitter arugula with many crispy greens. Then the trout with tasty parsley potatoes. A totally satisfying lunch. Afterward, I was tempted by the honey ice cream. Made from honey from their bees. I couldn’t resist!
We went on into Berchtesgaden and bought a little something for dinner and headed for Stoll’s Hotel Alpina. The weather was now sucky. Steady rain. Our room is comfy with a nice balcony. It will be perfect for our three day stay.
Saturday, September 17
Downright cold here this morning! They were predicting a high of 8C or 46F! Breakfast was typical German, and the place is crawling with them. 😁 This place caters to families (what was I thinking?) and there were a lot of kindern, running around madly. One group of Dads seemed to get ”Dad duty” yesterday. The Moms were nowhere to be seen. They had four little ones under four I would say. If they could harness the energy they have it would power the world! They even have a ”chill” area for the kids for them to let off steam. We passed by it and it was a madhouse! After breakfast we put on every warm piece of clothing I brought and set out.
Luther has always wanted me to go with him to the Eagles Nest. It was built by Adolph Hitler and was a sort of conference center for him where momentous decisions were made about war, and life and death. It sits way high on the tippy top of the Obersalzberg. There is an elevator made of brass which was drilled up through the mountain. It rises to what was “the summit of power” during the Nazi regime. It was built to impress. Evidently they had to blast a road out of a shear rock cliff to create the road that reached the elevator. It was 6 kilometers long and crossed the rock face twice with one switchback.
Today you drive to a parking lot and take a bus from there to the elevator level. There is a restaurant in the building now. It is one of the few buildings built by Hitler and the Nazis that wasn’t destroyed after the war.
Luther bought tickets online for the bus. We were to depart at eleven am. It rained through the night and was still raining when we got up. Optimistically we proceeded with the plan and had breakfast and headed out. It is only a 15 minute drive from our hotel. As luck would have it, it was not raining when we got to the bus departure point. It was also not raining at the elevator drop off point…it was not raining, it was snowing! They cancelled the buses. Too dangerous. Sigh. I really had looked forward to seeing it even if I wouldn’t be able to see any of the magnificent alps around it and the views.
We left in defeat. Returning to Berchtesgaden we parked and and walked along the Main Street in the town. It was cute with a big schloss platz with a pretty church and also prettily decorated buildings. We bought some sausages and meat and some wine in a couple of stores with Bavarian specialties. I found a great pair of boiled wool slippers! They will be perfect for the winter. It began to rain and was noon so we ducked into a small wine bar and had some wine.
We stopped in the grocery store for more cheese, grapes and bread. Also I bought mustard to take home. I have always loved the sharp German mustard. And we took a look to see if here they have the equivalent of zip lock bags. They did! So we bought some.
Later. This night we decided to try out the restaurant in the hotel. Turned out to be nicer than I expected. Good service and traditional German food. I like fish but I don’t order it often mainly because of how it is prepared. I like it simple. The way they prepare fish here in Germany is exactly how I like it. I guess that’s why I have been ordering it often lately.
I ordered the whole Char. It was served whole and grilled on top of a pile of roasted vegetables. It was delicious. It looks big, but once it is beheaded, de-tailed and the spine and bones removed you end up with two small filets. Luther fulfilled his wish to get a Wiener Schnitzel, which came with preiselbeere.
Sunday, September 18
The weather report was not promising. It was supposed to rain all day with a high of 50F. We went out to get gas, find an ATM and have lunch.
We left the hotel at around 12:15 and went first to get gas. Turns out they also sold the Vignette required in Austria so Luther bought that too. Then we found an ATM and got some money. Three things off our list so tomorrow we can just head for Austria.
We went down to the Königssee. It is a small-ish lake cut back in the Jurassic by glaciers. It is only 7.7 kilometers by 1.7 kilometers at its longest and widest. But it gets as deep as 190 meters or 600 feet. It is Germany’s third deepest lake. It is surrounded by the biggest alps in Germany — 2,700 (8,900 feet). It is much like a fjord since the walls of the mountains plunge straight into the water. There are no paths around most of the lake because there is literally no room for one. The end with the small town of Schönau does have some nice lakeside paths and from that end you can take a boat tour of the lake. The water is crystal clear because since 1909 they have allowed only electric boats on the lake.
It was very beautiful.
We went to Echostüberl for lunch. Right on the shores of the lake. A slew of outside tables made me wish for a nice day, but it was still raining so we went inside. It was cosy, warm and very lively. Very Gemütlich.
On the way back to the hotel. After the filling lunch we decided we will eat in the room since we have plenty of food left. Tomorrow it is only a 2.5 hour drive to Pörtschach, Austria.