Friday, 24 August 2012

A fjord-like lake in southern Germany

After visiting Dresden and Rothenburg, we were, sort of, satisfied with city-views and were looking for nature-views. Sure, we got some of that in Bastei, but that wasn’t enough. Just raised our appetites for more.

We were finally in the Alps. It was already Thursday, sixth day of our trip. My mother-in-law was the only person who’s been to that area before. And she was so impressed with it that she wanted to show that place to us as well. Can’t blame her for that. In fact, I’m really thankful for that!

The first thing that we did in the area, apart from having a walk in the neighbourhood, was a cruise on Königssee. King’s Lake? That’s what the name suggests, doesn’t it? That’s probably not it, though. Why? Simply, there were no Bavarian kings since Louis the German up to Maximilian I Joseph (and he assumed the royal title in 1806). It’s way more probable that the name comes from the first names of the local nobles who donated the Berchtesgadener Provostry waaaay back in time (something like 12th c.). Their name was Kuno and the lake was previously known as Kunigsee.

The lake itself was formed by glaciers during the ice age, which gave him a fjord-like shape. It’s over 7 km long and about 1.7 km wide (in its widest point). It’s surrounded by steep mountains, including Watzmann as well.

It’s also one of the cleanest lakes in Germany. That’s why only electric driven passenger ships, rowing and pedal boats are allowed to the lake.

What’s absolutely amazing is the echo on the lake. A-MA-ZING! Soooo clear! There were two guys operating the boat with us. At some point the boat stopped, one of the guys came to the middle of the boat (right where we were sitting, duh) and started playing the trumpet. It felt like there were two guys playing, just that one in the distance and a bit later. As if answering the first one. We could hear clearly every tone, every bit of the playing. Twice! Once played and once echoed. Fantastic!

There are two routes that you can choose from on the lake. We chose the shorter one, to St. Bartholomä. First, because it was shorter (about an hour long, and how long can you keep a lively three-year-old sitting still?). Second, because my other in law has already been to the other place. We bought a combined ticket for the ship and the Jennerbahn (which we were planning to go to later on anyhow), which let us save a few euros each.

St. Bartholomä is… just a Catholic pilgrimage church. With wonderful views, a great place to get into the lake (hard to call that place a beach, but you could for sure relax there), a beer garden and a restaurant. Some hiking paths start there as well. A beautiful place. So worth to visit. 

 The church, the lake and the mountains

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