Thursday, 23 August 2012

Berchtesgadener Land – a “triangle” in the south east

I believe you’d be happy to hear that we’re leaving Rothenburg. However, just Rothenburg. We’re still staying in Bavaria. Just its south-eastern part. The mountains. The Alps. Berchtesgadener Land – that was our goal. A triangular space surrounded from three sides by Austria and from the fourth part by Germany. A high alpine countryside. Mountains rising to more than 2,500 metres.

Berchtesgaden is the main town in the area. Often associated with Mount Watzmann (2,713 metres), which is the third highest mountain in Germany (after Zugspitze and Hochwanner). It’s also associated quite often with another mountain – Kehlstein (1,835 metres). Why? Remember a guy named Adolf Hitler? Yes, you’re not mistaken. It’s got something to do with him. There’s a building, up there on Kehlstein Mountain, called Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest). A house built as a gift for Hitler who used to say that he loved Berchtesgaden Alps. However, it is still being disputed whether he ever managed to come to Eagle’s Nest due to his fear of heights… Some say he did come once, some say he never appeared there. I have no idea where the truth is. I only observed the place from a distance, we didn’t get to Eagle’s Nest. People say that there are spectacular views of the neighbourhood from up there. No doubt about that…

There’s one things that we surely visited in Berchtesgaden – A salt mine (Salzbergwerk Berchtesgaden). Even though the trip started really nice, with uniforms for everyone, electronic guide with Polish speaker (which we didn’t expect at all) and a photo shoot at the start of the trip, I left the mine… disappointed. Not with everything, though! I loved the slides (literally took my breath away) and the salt lake. We I did miss was… salt! When I decided to come to the salt mine, I wanted to see what salt crystals look like. And guess what? All salt crystals there were either illuminated (with lasers mainly) or paper/plastic made “sculptures”. Oh, yes, there were also a few computers giving information on the importance of salt in our lives that also showed what salt crystals look like. I have “the code” now to access that via the Internet from my comfy chair at home. But that’s not why I went to the mine in the first place! That really disappointed me. Or else. We left the mine feeling that something was missing, that we weren’t fully satisfied with the trip. We didn’t realize, at first, what was missing. After a while we came to the same conclusions. Salt mine without salt. And Artur got scared. Even though they say there are no age restrictions, they do turn off lights completely when on the lake. He simply got scared. Now, though, he is asking us to take him a pepper mine (apparently it’s good to set challenges in life).

And the “salt reflections” on the lake were also laser-created. Not cool. I know we have a salt mine in Poland, Wieliczka, where I haven’t been yet (shame on me, I know) and it’s said to be way better. For a start, you get to see SALT there. Real salt. I have to get there one day!

You’re not allowed to take your cameras with you into the mine! I don’t know if there’s a safe place to leave them. We decided to leave our in the car. They say it’s for safety reasons. I doubt that… 

These are pictures of pictures, as I still don't have my scanner up and running. A treat for you - us in those funny uniforms
One more thing I have to mention in one of the posts, and this one seems like a good one. Food! And it’s not so much about the quality of food (which was delicious!), but about the size of each portion. The ones in Bavaria seemed huge to me. And they were just like these:

These are the views from the restaurant:
 Yay, I'm actually in the picture with my husband. Hasn't happened for a while...

 Cows, right next to the tables.

But what we got at one of the campsites in Wurtemberg (or was it Rheinland? Can’t remember exactly) totally blew us off. I ordered schnitzel for me and kinderschnitzel for Artur. When the waiter brought one of these, I thought to myself – ok, that one I won’t be able to finish. Much to my surprise, he said that it was that kinder one! Mine was even bigger! I really regret that I don’t have pictures of these. But I didn’t expect to find anything that… inspiring… in the middle of nowhere, where we were spending that night.

And here’s something I ate in Berchtesgadener Land. Yup, it looks scary and disgusting. It was delicious!


  1. I love the idea of a pepper mine :D

  2. Who said only parent are allowed to set challenges for their children? The other way round is also fun :)