Yes, it does look like a post card but this is the view of Berchtesgaden
from the top of the hill near the hotel we spent our 1st two nights.
While in Berchtesgaden, we saw some amazing places including
Hilter's Eagle's Nest. You can see how high it sits as well as the views. Here's a shot of Mason and Mom hiking down from the Eagle's Nest to the entrance where the buses picked us up.
At the base of the Eagle's Nest was an incredible bunker system Hitler had constructed by digging into the side of this granite mountain. We walked through some of the 10% or so of the tunnels they have restored.
One of our highlights here was a trip across Lake Konigesse to see St Bartholoma's chapel.
This is an alpine lake and short of crossing the mountains in the background, crossing the lake is the only way to reach this chapel. All the boats are electric, they don't allow motor boats on the lake.
Here is a shot of our hotel in Berchtesgaden.
This is the view from the path we would walk into town every night for dinner. We are 2 hours or so from Italy here and we dined the first night on traditional German fair and the 2nd on Italian. Both were very good.
All suited up for our tour of the salt mines. Yes, there really are salt mines and the interior was pretty amazing including a great wood slide we all took from one level down to the next. Deep inside the mines, about 50-100 feet underground, we crossed a small lake inside one of the salt caverns. Travis even scored some small salt shakers.
We left Berchtesgaden for Garmish but along the way we got sidetracked in the little village of Ramsau and found this church that was worth saving for posterity.
Our next destination was the town of Garmish which is both a military resort and a great small German town. Mason and Michelle hiked up the Hollental Klamm Gorge the next morning while Dad and Travis hit the pool
Notice the water has a greenish tint? That's not the lighting, that is all the minerals in the water from the glacier melting. Quite the hike and Michelle enjoyed her new hiking shoes.
Here's the crew having dinner in Garmish. Oh was this good. Weinerschnitzle and apple struddell. The food was amazing.
This is the whole crew less Kurtis who's on photo duty after dinner. Boy did we need the walk
Our adventures continue to Neuschwanstein, better known as Crazy Ludwig's Castle and the inspiration for Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom. Here's a shot of Mason and Michelle. The bridge they are standing on goes over a ravine that is a good 400 feet deep. No, Dad would NOT go out there.
We took a horse drawn carriage up to the castle but you still have a pretty good hike uphill to the entrance for the tour. LOTS of hiking on this trip. Sorry, no cameras allowed inside but the tour was impressive.
What do you do with a luge run in the off season? You put a go-kart sized car on it with nothing but a brake and you charge folks 1 Euro (about a $1.30) for 30-45 second rides down. Here's Travis and I trying to best Michelle's top time of the day. And no, it's not connected to the track, if you go too fast around a turn, you look like the "agony of defeat".
On the way back to Stuttgart we stopped on the Lech River to see the falls. Again, notice the green tint to the water.
The Germans can teach us a few things about healthy living. One of the attractions for kids (really kids of all ages) is an indoor play place (Sensapolis) where climbing is the order of the day. Of course your reward for the climb is getting to enjoy the dozens of different slides inside. The building was broken into 4 areas, space travel and Science, a forest, a castle and a pirate ship. This is the forest:
Here's my favorite pirate manning the cannons:
Next up was the Mercedes Museum, here is Dad and Travis out front: Best deal of the trip, only 8 euros. You take an elevator 8 stories up then the gallery is a giant corkscrew you walk down without having to go floor to floor.
Travis, Kameron and Kurtis in front of the world's first pickup truck
Really awesome old 500K
Travis striking a pose
Our journey now takes us to the town of Heidelberg along the Naker River.
View from castle
Backside of the castle which hasn't been fully restored yet
Next on the agenda is a visit into the Black Forest and the town of Triberg. Best known for the largest waterfall in Germany. We were there while Germany played Argentina in the world cup, it was fun celebrating with the locals after the game.
Not only are the falls the tallest in Germany but it is a town renowned for it's coo-coo clocks. Michelle loves coo-coo clocks so Christmas came early for her while Travis scored a namesake (a cute but too expensive stuffed dog we call TreeBerg since we couldn't figure out that Triberg is pronounced how it was spelled)
The boys did their share of expanding international relations though sadly, Travis' offer of marriage was turned down.
Next up were another pair of castles and Travis' biggest reminder from the trip.
Hohenzollern might have been the most impressive of our visit and the tour took us through all the history dating back to the 1500's. And yes, it is a haunted castle and Travis found some secret passageways.
Then we were onto Lichtenstein Castle which was the smallest of the castle's we toured but in some ways the most intersting.
It's a bit hard to see from this shot but the castle is build on top of a cliff face and there is only one way to approach it which is to the left of the picture. Notice the drawbridge. To the right is sheer drop off about 600-800 feet down.
This might be Travis' highlight of the trip. He landed himself a very nice Rainbow Trout and yes, we did grill him up.
OTOH, his low light of the trip was upon our return from our day of castles. Travis fell off the monkey bars and broke his upper left arm while dislocating his elbow. A night and then most of the next day was spent in German hositals (yes, 2 of them) having the arm splinted then surgery to have it set with pins.
Here he is in front of the Stuttgart Palace showing off his arm in a sling.
And this was a fun pic of Mom and I at the base of the Stuttgart TV tower which is about 150 stories tall.
Trust me, we have hundreds more pictures but wanted to give everyone a quick taste of our trip. We both have face book accounts with more photos to share but we thought you would enjoy just a sampling of our latest adventure.
|This is Travis' Kindergarden teacher Ms Jennnings and his "Super StoryTeller" award at year end. Yes, he is wearing a suit, he really likes putting his suit on and coming to Dad's office to have "meetings".|