In Berchtesgaden, Germany!

I am now staying at Camping Mühlleiten in Schönau am Königssee near Berchtesgaden in the far south of Germany.  Berchtesgaden is home to the third highest mountain in Germany, the Watzmann - which is also the highest mountain uniquely in Germany as the other two are on the Austrian border!  

Berchtesgaden has been a tourist destination since the nineteenth century and part of the charm of this era is found at Königssee, an Alpine lake within walking distance of the campsite which was 'discovered' by the then king of Bavaria in the latter half of the nineteenth century.  However its best known visitor is also its most infamous, one Adolf Hitler who started coming here in 1923 and was a frequent visitor until the Nazi seizure of power in 1933.  After becoming dictator, he bought the house he had formerly rented and within three years a settlement above Berchtesgaden, Obersalzberg, had become the de facto second capital of Germany with a major settlement of Nazi hangers on and the accompanying security living on the mountain side.  Today very little remains of this period except for the Eagle's Nest, a house perched on top of the Kehlstein mountain which is a tea house open only in summer when weather conditions permit a bus to get up there.  One can visit an excellent museum which describes not only how the Nazis managed to acquire the land on Obersalzberg but also the entire story of how they laid waste to Europe.

To return to happier times for Berchtesgaden, one can visit the Royal Castle which was frequented by the kings of Bavaria or the deep salt mine from whence salt has been extracted since 1517!

The town stands at the edge of the Berchtesgaden National Park, the ibex is its symbol.  In the town one can visit the fascinating Haus der Berge which shows what flora and fauna can be found in the park - with translations into English!  Afterwards, one can take the bus to Königssee and then walk trails in the mountains and perhaps catch a glimpse of an ibex or two.

More infomation will be published later about this very interesting destination!


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