Cody Amanda and I were able to slow down and start off our week and vacation on a relaxing note with a little help from the people and scenary of Berchtesgarden. This small sporting and resort community sits just outside Salzburg, Austria on the German side of the border in the wonderful Berchtesgaden National Park. After sleeping in to catch up on some much needed rest from our traveling marathon, we headed out to get a better view of the mountains surrounding us.
Monday, August 31 - Kehlsteinhaus (Hitler's Eagle's Nest)
Cody After just missing a city bus, Amanda and I grabbed a taxi and headed for Obersalzberg to begin our journey up to Kehlsteinhaus. If I had a couple accelerometers on hand, a recording device, and a multi-million dollar buget, I believe I could create the next great ride at Six Flags. As our driver zigged and zagged up the winding mountain rode in his little four-banger diesel engine, I wished the gang from work was with me so I could display proof that I'm not the world's worst driver! At least they don't have to pay for my amusement rides.
Not only does the Kehlsteinhaus hold historical significance, but it is also an amazing engineering feat considering the time in which the different stages were completed. The rode from Obersalzberg up to the top of the mountain gave me time to reflect on the terrain on which we fought the World Wars and what it took to overtake such posts.
With Amanda being in her second trimester, we decided to take the elevator up to the top. The egineering in the tunnel and elevator shaft is incredible considering the majority of the work was pulled off in a year. I wished I had rubbed a little deorderant above my upper lip after crowding onto an elevator with 40 other smelly travelers. At least no one was talking on their cell phone considering we were in the middle of a mountain.
At the top, we hiked the trail up to a viewing area and took in an indescribable panaroma of the Bavarian Alps. I was hoping for some fresh air but it seems just about every other person in Germany can't live without their cigarrettes.
The actual Kehlsteinhaus is now operated as a restaurant and we took the opportunity to try some new German dishes. I ordered Sulze, hausgemacht mit Essig, Ok, Zweibelringen und Bratkartoffeln. It was good, but a weird texture. Just imagine jello filled with meat, mushrooms, and vegetables soaked in vinegar.
After lunch we toured the other rooms of the house and headed back down to see what the night life had to offer.
Downtown Beer Gardens, Berchtesgaden, Germany
Cody While Amanda took a short nap, I headed downtown to see what was stirring. I found several bands playing and a crowd beginning together, so I went back to stir Amanda. Monday night really cooled off as we headed down to the center of the market area. We found a great place to grab some dinner and then headed for the gelato. This started a trend that will continue the rest of the trip. Braum's has met its match.
The highlight of the night was a great American cover band playing tunes spanning several decades. When they started "Proud Mary", Amanda and I started swing dancing (alone nonetheless) and before long several others had joined us in creating a makeshift dancefloor in front of the stage.
For those following our trip, we have had a harder time finding Internet connections than expected and will be catching up the rest of our entries very soon. Stay tuned.