Wed - Sep 11
At 6:30 there were clouds and blue sky and some tinges of sun but by 8 the sky was covered, about what was forecast, mostly cloudy, 64.
We left for Berchtesgaden, really Obersalzberg, and the site of the Documentation Center on Hitler's Third Reich and his Eagle's Nest chalet.
The drive was easy and only 45 minutes and though mostly cloudy enough sun peeked through that we were sure we'd have no rain and little cloud cover to prevent us from seeing the view from his aerie.
The Documentation Center is thorough to say the least and certainly a must for WW II history buffs. We spent 2 hours there following the rise and fall of Hitler and his henchmen. There was also a short film with interviews by various farmers who had their land taken away from them so that Hitler could build his compound and those that resisted went to Dachau. An excellent audio guide was included as well as written leaflets. The Allies bombed the compound at the end of the war but the underground bunkers were intact. The Documentation Center museum was built in 1996 on top of the bunkers. There are 4 miles of bunkers but we only walked a short ways since they all looked the same.
No cars are allowed on the Eagles Nest site, which is now a restaurant. You buy a bus ticket and busses take you on the four mile drive up to the mountain top (6000 ft high), which takes about 15 minutes. The entire time the busses, big tour size, are on a one lane road, hugging the edge of the road, with stupendous views. They are timed such that at the halfway point, when the previous busses are returning from the top, the upward or downward busses pull into a small area to allow the other busses to pass. At the top you reserve your return time so that they can ensure you will have a seat.
At the top you take an elevator the final 400 feet or so up in an elevator that holds 25 or 30 people.
Then you are almost at with even more stupendous views. There is still a few hundred more feet of rugged climbing and walking to get even higher.
The views were great and then we stopped for coffee and cake. We allowed 90 minutes until we'd get our bus down and it was plenty. Best of all the weather played nice, the sun shone through the clouds, the temperature stayed cool and not cold, and even though there were some clouds and mist descending we managed to avoid it before our trip back down.
When we got down we took a short drive through Berchtesgaden to Konigssee, a beautiful tranquil lake surrounded by mountains and from which we saw at the top of the Eagles Nest, on which electric powered boats ply the waters from one end to the other.
We went to the halfway point, to a stop called St. Bartholome where there is an old church and buildings as well as trails that go around a peninsula with Great Lake views.
After the boat ride back to Konigsee, we stopped for dinner, trout again for Mike and a Turkey Breast for Karen.
The drive back was easy, though it had gotten much darker and rained slightly, but Helga got us back easily. We stopped in the hotel bar for some coffee and cake before returning to our room.
All in all a really great day.