Bavaria 2011

 

For the first week of our two-week holiday we stayed in a B&B called Gastehaus Kropfleiten: an excellent guesthouse with breathtaking views of the mountains.

 

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The view from our balcony: from left to right there is Kehlstein (with The Eagles Nest atop), Jenner, Schonfeldspitze and Watzmann.

 

For our first day, we decided to “take it easy”. We ended up doing a 12-mile walk, not by accident, just the way it ended-up!

It was an excellent walk, on a terrific weather day. However, it did start to rain near the end, as we refreshed ourselves with a beer.

 


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The highest point of the day, Gatterl, about 1500m amsl. And enjoying a beer near the end of the walk.

 

Our second day started with drizzly rain, but was forecast to improve by the afternoon.

We spent the morning visiting the Salt Mine www.salzzeitreise.de and were very impressed with the facility. The mine is still active, but at much lower levels than the public get to see. The visit begins by suiting-up in overalls and being driven astride a miniature railway train for 600m into the hillside. You then descend further into the Earth using slides, ramps and stairs; all of which are the same routes and methods used by the miners much earlier in the day. A series of chambers, with informative displays, shows you how salt is extracted. The trip concludes by returning on the miniature train, but not before an underground boat trip through a vast solution chamber! Unfortunately, other than the suiting-up, you’re not allowed to use cameras on the visit. The visit is very worthwhile!

 

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After our visit to the Salt Mine we spent a sunny afternoon wandering around Berchtesgaden.

 

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The afternoon was very warm and sunny, and we were able to explore Berchtesgaden at our leisure – and try some local product.

 

 

On day-3 we climbed the mountain Jenner

 


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Nearing the summit of Jenner, we passed the paraglider launch site.

 

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And saw some interesting creatures on the summit

 

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The famous viewing platform, just below the summit of Jenner, affords beautiful views of Konigssee (The Kings Lake), more like a Norwegian Fiord than an Alpine lake

 

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And, of course, this is the Alps; therefore obtaining refreshments is not a problem. And no, he didn’t get my beer

 

On day-4 we had an easy stroll through the stunning village of Ramsau, and on to a very picturesque lake called Hintersee.

 

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One of the most photographed scenes in the Berchtestgaden area, has appeared on a great many calendars, Ramsau Church is exquisitely set in its landscape

 

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The path meanders along the river Ramsauer Ache

 

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We eventually reach Hintersee

 

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The sirens-call of the beer, from across the lake, was too much to stand. So we took the cute little ferry

 

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Apple-Strudel and beer. Well we are on holiday

 

Day-5, already: we were running out of time to do one of the most famous walks in the Berchtesgaden area: The Eagles Nest.

 

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We used a chairlift to take us up the first part of the climb; we also used the bus service back down the hill. That said, this was still quite a hard walk!

 

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As luck would have it, the day was cloudy, and we were well in the clouds when we exited the chairlift. Therefore, no photos of the walk itself!

 

The Eagles Nest, on the summit called Kehlstein, was also known as Hitler’s Tearoom. There is a steep footpath from the bus concourse to the building (we used it to walk down), but for a couple of Euro taking the elevator is worth every cent! You enter an austere tunnel that takes you 124m to a room with a massive brass/bronze elevator door. We were very lucky to have just missed a coach party going up; we had the tunnel and elevator all to ourselves. No photos were allowed in the tunnel or elevator, unfortunately, but the whole experience was rather eerie. Anyway, after a few seconds the door slides open, and you step into a polished bronze lift, where the operator takes your ticket, and you’re lifted 124m to the building above.

 

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The view from Kehlstein is stated, on a good day, to be truly spectacular. We only had hint of the view, but the buildings location is quite amazing.

 

 

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The marble fireplace was a contribution from Mussolini to the construction of the “Teahouse”, which was a 50th birthday gift to Hitler from Martin Bormann.

 

Day-6; our last day in Berchtesgaden. After the cloudy, cool, day before, today was hot and sunny. We had an easy day, taking the pleasure boat along lake Konigssee.

 

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Purportedly the cleanest lake in Germany; no discharge into the lake is allowed, and (we are told) has a sewer pipe constructed underneath it!

 

The lake is truly magnificent: more reminiscent of a fiord than a mountain lake; it’s very deep, and very blue, surrounded by very steep mountain walls.

 

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The clarity of the water is stunning, as is its temperature!

 

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Quite the most beautiful mountain and lake scene – on a par with Lake O’Hara in Canada.

 

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Very beautiful, and very hot: we had some difficulty keeping our beer cool!

 

The following day (day-7 of our holiday) we drove to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where we were to stay for 7-nights at Gastehaus Maria.

 

We did a variety of walks around Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The area has lots of limestone formations, and amongst the most spectacular of these are the ravines, or “klamms” in German. Extremely narrow, ferocious, watercourses, they have had tunnels and footpaths cut into them. We did two klamms: Partnachklamm and Hollentalklamm. Of the two, the latter has the edge on spectacle, and was the start of an exhilarating walk.

 

Hollentalklamm: Hell Valley Gorge.

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At the ticket office they advise wearing waterproofs

 

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Via a series of tunnels and manmade shelves, you progress along the gorge

 

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The klamm ends at a breathtaking mountain scene: Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain.

 

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Our trail continues through a great mountain landscape

 

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We climbed to the col of Hupfleitenjoch, and another incredible scene looking back to Zugspitze

 

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Before taking the cable car decent, there’s an opportunity to admire the view from the cantilevered gantry

 

On another day we climbed Schottelkarspitze. I had done this route nearly 30-years ago, I had fond memories of it and had wanted to visit it again

018b) View from Schottelkarspitze

View looking east from Schottelkarspitze

 

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The weather was forecast to change later in the day. The ascent was sunny and a comfortable temperature

 

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Near the summit, going becomes interesting

 

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The view looking east from the summit

 

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The mountains never change, at least on a human time frame

 

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Descending into the stunning landscape for a well-earned beer!

 

After such a hard climb, the following day we strolled around Eibsee. The day was a bit cloudy, but it didn’t detract from the beauty of the lake.

 

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Eibsee

 

For our final day we drove to Mittenwald and climbed Grunkopf

 

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We took the cute little chairlift out of Mittenwald

 

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Walking through beautiful pastures, we could see Schottelkarspitze; right of centre

 

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This area provides lovely, gentle, walking – very popular, for good reason

 

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Our final, at the summit, beer of the holiday. And Julie now accepts that the lower Alps can be just as spiky as the high Alps!

 

 

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