Berchtesgaden Day 2

As I said yesterday, the weather in a mountain region is unpredictable. Today it’s more cloudy, with a chance of rain. But maybe as the day continues, it will pass. The peaks of the mountains as viewed from the dining room are obscured by the white clouds that hang over them. It almost looks as though the clouds are erupting from the mountain.
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Some possibilities for today include going back up to the old town to tour the palace or other parts we did not go through, as well as driving into Salzburg; Salzburg is only about 20 minutes away. The region up on the mountain is known as the Obersalzburg  (literally Ober= Over Salzburg), as it looks over Salzburg. When we visited in 2012, we went through the Salzburgwerks salt mine where Salt has been mined for over 7,000 years.

Batteries are charged (maybe I’ll take my spares this time), and were ready to go.

On the way up, we are passed by the mailman, on a bicycle. He’s young, has good legs I imagine and won’t die from a heart attack from going up and down the mountain on a bicycle.
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We found a walking tour map amongst all of the brochures the hotel gave us when we arrived, so we’ll actually know a bit more about what we are walking past.
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Yesterday when we were at the Konigsee, we noticed, and I was reminded by a billboard again today, the the 2016 World Cup Bobsled races are being held at the Konigsee, in an area well off (but visible) to the side of the lake, in an enclosed track.

We’re walking thru the Edelweiss hotel (not where we are staying), which is a very large luxury hotel in the center of old town. Surrounded by the pedestrian streets with small shops like Holzschnitzeri Huber- woodcarving shop (Holz= wood, schnitz= cut/carve) with all manner of elaborately made carvings.

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We visited the Pfarrkirche, the parish church. Without research, I cannot tell you when the church was first built, but there is a carved plaque in the wall dated 1500 and a wooden alter piece with a carved date of 1627. Further down our walk, we see buildings dated 1560.

We went thru the St Peterskirche next to the Royal Palace (limited tours ,we didn’t want to wait). The doors into this and other churches we’ve been into are very thick, at least 4 inches, this one with a metal cladding and well worn door handles. This doorway actually takes you into a vestibule before actually entering the church through yet another set of very thick wooden doors.
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A place for royalty to sit, so they don’t have to sit with the commoners.
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The choir has elaborately carved seats.
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A lovely baptismal font
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Carving dated 1549, but choir portion of the building erected 1300, with the tower built 1864.
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Vestibule inside
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Doors to outside. Most people are right handed!
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Now for a little break at a cafe
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We left Berchtesgaden to drive out to Ramsau, a small village with a beautiful church, about 30 minutes away, in the direction of Konigsee. We passed through Shonau, just a few kilometers from Berchtesgaden, but full of Zimmerfrei, Fremdenzinmer, all places with a room to rent for vacationers. Getting closer to Ramsau, we’re driving alongside a river (the Ramsauer Ache), deep in a valley. The road is cut into the mountainside and the gigantic boulders jut out towards us; at one point, we go thru an archway (not long enough to call a tunnel) cut into the mountain.

Finally in Ramsau, it’s not hard to find the church, it’s the biggest thing in town.

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Outside the church is the small cemetery, which is being tended by a few visitors, and a number of the grave sites have candles lit.

The church dominates this side of the road. Across the road is the (same) river we’ve been following. The river is an icy bluish green, from snow melt, and there are a number of sluices bringing the snow melt down to the river where it rushes by.
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One can only imagine the amount of water this was built to handle.
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After completing our visit here, we drive back towards and through Berchtesgaden, in the direction of Salzburg, simply to admire the beauty of the valley, the river and the towering mountains above us on each side.

We returned here knowing how beautiful Berchtesgaden was, and discovered much more about the area, but leave knowing there are other things and places yet to discover and return, to enjoy again.

Tomorrow, we must leave for Luzern. We will drive back to Sàlzburg, but can return the car near the train station (that rental office was not open on Sunday when we arrived, hence booking the pickup at the airport).


More photos on Flickr

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