Travelled : 48 kilometres from Bad Reichenhall to Berchtesgaden, Bavaria
Visited : The Eagle’s Nest €32 including bus ride, entry and lift. Jennerbahn cable car €44. Lake Konigssee cruise €14.50
Stayed : Dedicated motorhome parking at Konigssee, €5 per 24 hours but no services. N47.59223 E12.98727
Budget : 83 days @ €76 per day.
It’s probably not on your bucket list but Berchtesgaden was on mine, you may have never heard of it, but you will after reading this blog.
We say goodbye to Bad Reichenhall after stopping at a very upmarket supermarket, then the stellplatz to service the Hymer. Filling our water tank was €1 seems reasonable after two free nights. Driving into the Berchtesgaden National Park the road narrows and the mountains close in even further. Continuing through Berchtesgaden, we go onto Konigssee a further 4 kilometres on to check out the motorhome parking.
There are a couple of motorhome options in the area and Konigssee would be the most convenient and cheapest at €5. It looks good as a base for a few days, as there are a dozen or more motorhomes already in place. So its back to Berchtesgaden. From Berchtesgaden we cross the river and start up the mountain. The Salzburgstrase would be the steepest road we have taken the Hymer. There are several sections sign posted between 24% and 26% incline.
The Hymer pulls second gear comfortably until we catch up with a tourist bus. It’s driver appears to miss a gear change more than once, stop and restart. Loosing momentum we need 1st gear ourselves for a couple of sections.
Driving into Berchtesgaden, the cloud forming on the lee side of the higher peaks was an interesting phenomenon.
Reaching the Kehlstein carpark, we purchase our tickets and transfer to the mandatory coach for the final leg of our journey to the Eagle’s Nest. The construction of the Kahlseinstrasse (the road) was considered one of the great engineering feats of the 1930s. The fact that Martin Bormann used 3,000 people (mostly forced labor) to achieve the feat is for history to judge.
Out of the bus, we walk through a long tunnel dug into the mountainside. From there we wait our turn to catch an ornate brass elevator up to the Eagle’s Nest.
Built for Hitler to celebrate his 50th birthday, the Eagle’s Nest. Constructed as a conference centre and personal retreat it stands at 1834 metres. It provides breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
A sample of the views from the Eagle”s Nest. Lake Konigssee and Austria beyond.
The view out the back is just as spectacular.
So we decide what better than having schnitzel and beers on Hitler’s back verandah.
Safely back in the carpark at Konigssee after an afternoon at Hilter’s place. Our neighbour departs shortly after we arrive but gives us his parking ticket before he leaves, so the first night is free. Pam’s in a good mood tonight.
Konigssee is a bit of a tourist trap. Lots of shops full of the usual tourist junk, a couple of camping supply places and ice cream cafes. But Pam enjoys walking a line of shops wherever they are.
The next morning we are up early (around 10am when the mist lifted) and only the gondola heading to the top of the Mount Jenner. We go up around a 1000 metres with some excellent views.
From the top of Mount Jenner we get a much better view of Lake Konigssee. Little did we know that maze of paths below would be our afternoon exercise program.
Another view from the top, this time looking back along the valley to Berchtesgaden and the hills to the north.
Away from the lift and viewing platform there is a final 150 metre climb to the summit. Its not really a climb, just a very steep path and then a bit of a scurry for the last 10 metres. Pam love a good scurry.
We make our way past several Koreans stuck half way up the scurry clutching boulders but still managing some selfies and back to the gondola. We then travel back down to middle station and get off again. The girl at the Toursit Office recommended the walk down from middle station via Kongsbachalm. So off we go, its posted as a four hour walk, but its was much closer to 3 hours.
We meet some interesting new friends on our walk.
Its an interesting walk with some great views of the mountains and Lake Konigssee. But after finding Konigsbachalm, a little tavern in the middle of nowhere, we turn down towards the lake and start for home.
With sore knees from the long downhill walk we arrive back at the Hymer ready for a rest. A short time later we hear a voice calling and come out to chat with Cheryl and Nigel from NZ. They have hired a motorhome as part of an extended European adventure. So drinks are on and it was another great night chatting about why Australia is such a great place except for Rugby.
We finish up our visit to Berchtesgaden with a cruise on Lake Konigssee.
The boats that tour Lake Konigssee are electrically powered. Very antique looking but as there are more than a dozen of them that all look identical, its about the style.
We get an early start, the mist has just lifted when we start up the lake. At a point known as the Kassel the boat stops and the guide produces a trumpet. As he plays the echoes bounce back and forward off the cliff. Very special !
The boat stops briefly at St.Bartholoma about mid-way on its 7 kilometre journey to the far end of the lake. The lake is 600 metres deep and the surrounding mountains range from 1800 to 2700 metres.
At the far end of the lake we disembark and take the 20 minute walk to Lake Obersee, a second smaller lake at the top of the valley.
Lake Obersee in the background. We take a photo for some other walkers and they oblige by doing the same for us. It’s such a serene and picturesque place to sit down and just take in. We then make our back to Lake Konigssee and catch the next boat back to Konigssee village and the Hymer.