Woke to a beautiful morning and readied Pinot before travelling North. Crossing the border and eyeing off Germany as a prospective Country to visit. But along the way, we crossed a few mountain passes and decided to stop in Bavaria and some more high altitude sightseeing in the beautiful Bavarian Alps.
Everywhere is beautiful shades of green and we travelled through the lush valleys toward the town of Berchtesgaden …A town enveloped by tall majestic and totally amazing natural beauty and full of history….some good and some tainted. It is also infamous as the largest town within close proximity of The Eagles Nest. Best known as Hitlers weekend retreat in Obersalzberg above the Town, and given to him by the Nazi Party in 1937 as a gift. This area has spent the last 60 odd years trying to shake off its association with the evils of Nazi Germany.
Before the term “Holidays” was coined, apparently Bavarian Kings, Noblemen and myriad other toffs preferred this town to chill in along with it’s surrounding six mountains to escape to. Our choice of campsite is about 10k’s out of town called Winkl however the site gives you a free bus pass to use in the area….a very considerate gesture we thought…EXCEPT due to road works , it will only operate tomorrow and is closed for the remaining few days…….skates on, off we went into Town, and a very pretty town it is too. This site is FULL with Dutchies, No Brits lurking around supping beers here. And we haven’t noticed any British registered motorhomes in the past while. It’s very Bavarian and little English spoken, even by the young folk. Shops are chockers with traditional attire, although I reckon it’s probably quite trendy as a lot of the younger guys are sporting some yuppie lederhosen. Prices for a pair are about 200 Euro and up so not a cheap pair of shorts ! Plus when you add in the special show….oh yes, special shoes must be worn….and special socks too. NO nike runners thank you very much. I’m quite looking forward to a night at a beer Keller with all those ladies dressed up in the fancy dresses serving beer with their knockers on parade ……;-) Amanda will delete this for sure !
A Grand square for quite a smallish Town really, and a beautiful Royal Palace/castle. It was the Summer residence of the Bavarian Royal Family in 1810.
A number of frescoes adorn several of the buildings in the square depictinting traditional Bavarian scenes. Some near the Palace are memorials to Bavarian soldiers lost during both World Wars.
Amanda snapped some examples of traditional costumes…lots for sale and clearly appreciated by the locals.
There was a little walk up to a memorial dedicated to the crucifixion. Very dramatic and grand in size indeed as below shows. We took the high trail around Town…..Amanda loves going up steps !
REAL TIME , Hang on a minute…..as I am quietly sat here enjoying the peace and solitude whilst writing this, Amanda just asked would it be ok for me to put my jacket in the boot ??????? OK so here’s the thing Amanda. We have ONE small hanging wardrobe in Pinot, I have ONE coat hanger with a jacket on it……..Amanda has 17 coat hangers in the wardrobe and she doesn’t have enough room. Am I being mean by replying NO !!!!!!!
OK back to blog…………Really , ONE bloody jacket and she wants it in the boot (maybe it’s time to go home ) sorry no more rants !
and so for something completely different we want for a ride on the pushies. We’d wanted to visit Lake Konigsee which is supposedly beautiful (aren’t they all here)? However because the bloody road was out of action due to road repairs we couldn’t. So instead we headed in the other direction toward Bad Reichenhall. The cycling paths here are brilliant and tend to follow railway lines or rivers. Which of course give you great views of the surrounding mountains and farmland. Everyone is out on tractors, getting ready to bale the hay. The roads are quiet and so is Amanda….whilst riding …..oh happy days !!!!! Until we hit a decent hill and the air turns blue….same colour as her face ….more deleting expected here. Clearly there is money in Pine as we have been through thousands and thousands of acres over the past month or so.
The 20k or so was great and the town itself is home to the Old Salt Works museum….a nod to the Salt works here and the building is a pretty monument to Bavarias industrial past. There is still a water wheel which still draws up brine from below. Lunch on the go with a decent backdrop too boot. Rain jacket in anticipation of declining weather conditions (that jacket is rolled up and kept in my backpack in the boot , in case you are wondering).Seemingly its also a bit of a special spa town….don’t know cause we didn’t visit the spa.
Wow I’d love to get my shears out and give those trees a trim……they didn’t call me Allen scissor hands for nothing back in the day !!
Another day well spent and time to move on to pastures green. More lovely spots to stop for coffee along the way.
Another cracking drive to our next destination which is a delightful Bavarian village nestled below the mountains, with the charming name Reit im Winkl (gotta love that ). We are parked in a Stellplatz on the river about 1 klm walk from town..Drinks and nibbles by the van, it’s light until around 10.00pm these days so lots of time to enjoy the great outdoors. The village plays host to skiing, climbing,rafting and the like and a nice spot to rest our heads in the evening with the sound of the river lulling us off to sleep..and there’s a Maypole in every village here in BavariaThey are erected for the 1st May every year and each one is uniquely decorated with flowers and ribbons etc with signs denoting local crafts men’s guilds. All the locals attend with men in their lederhosen and the women in their Dirndl dresses.
.Lots of flower baskets adorning these villas. A lot of small hotels and pensions in town as this is a very popular skiing area, with ski jump schools etc. ……Amanda can do some amazing things with the selfie stick, as the photo below attests………..and I think as per the pic below I can safely say ” I’m the only gay in the village”……a great line from Little Britain. We’ve noticed some great hikes not too far from the village so decided to give one a go in the morning. The board below gave us a fair understanding of where we were going.It’s called Steinplatte and is about 6,000 ft, and promises to be a lovely hike. So next morning we set off with plenty of water and a packed lunch to hopefully eat at the top. The hike starts from the village of Winkl Moos (love these names) which is the tiny village at the bottom of the valley to shed loads of ski fields, so chair lifts abound everywhere. So a quick coffee stop before the ascent.
We chose the most arduous way up which was signposted to take 3 1/2 hours up. It pretty much followed the side of the chairlift for the first hour or so and we were the only ones on the way up this way.and the cows with those huge alpine bells around their necks were a noisy distraction, in a good wayand the scenery got more spectacular the higher we went..We were so lucky with the weather. As we got closer to the summit, there was a cable car coming up from the other side of the mountains and disgorged loads of people of all ages and sizes…..BIG people I might add, and to be fair we felt a wee bit cheated having slogged all the way up here and ere met with these lot wearing flip flops haha... spectacularly clear day...
There was a cantilevered viewing platform which extended out about 20 meters from the rock face with a telescope which when you moved it a heads up display of the mountains name and altitude were displayed……..I am so easily impressed lol.A little bit of arty farty picture taking A seriously great hike which took us about five hours return and some lads taking some selectively chosen trees on the way back down.A fantastic day well spent with fantastic scenery, clean mountain air and enough calories burnt to allow for a couple of liters of beer on our next night out.We scadadled out of dodge and headed North leaving the spectacular Bavarian Alps in our rear view mirror and ambled on through less dramatic countryside through beautiful rolling lowland farming areas which are home to huge wheat and corn growing communities. Around 5.00pm we turned up a narrow laneway and noticed a little signpost for motorhomes outside what looked like a little farm. The call of a nice crisp glass of vino was calling so we pulled in. Amanda went and found a Lady (no English) and managed to convey with hand gestures that we wanted to park for the night. A lovely quiet spot, apart from the crooks in the early morning but it was a little like Steptoe and sons junk yard…..but for 9 Euros with power and water, it ended up a great spot for the nightNext morning we headed for the Mariakirchen Brewery, which coincidentally offered parking for only 19 Euros and we could amble back home within minutes……a deal too good to pass up me thinks. Added bonus……there was a mini Munich Octoberfest happening that very evening in the next doors paddock…..too good to be true thought I. So we pottered over and sampled a couple of the very lovely beers on offer….yum, before heading over to the Beer fest...A fun night with ooompah music, some lederhosen slapping dancing (makes the Irish dancers look less silly lol) and a couple of big ass beers to keep us very happy. We slept very very well of course. Only one night here and the weather has taken a step backwards (some rain and a serious drop in temperature. We cant complain as we’ve had a brilliant run for the past couple of Months. Heading on the next morning with only slight headaches a consensus was taken and we stopped for lunch at McDONALDS…in Irschenberg…..shame on us. BUT it was the best run, cleanest, fastest,best dressed waitresses burger joint. Toilet seats automatically rotate and disinfect (like Japan) fresh flowers…no plastic here and damned good coffee too.
All in all another fantastic week and although it’s hard to go, we still have lots to see and do.
Love to all xxx