Day 16: Lake Kongissee

Finally the rain has lifted! We woke up to bright sunshine and we were so excited to finally get out and explore Berchtesgaten. The most famous attraction to visit here is the Eagles Nest, which is a cabin on top of the mountain that used to be Hitler’s summer house. However, this was closed as the road to get there had been blocked by the snow on the mountains, which hadn’t cleared yet for summer due to the weather being too cool. We instead decided to go to Lake Kongissee, where there were boat rides and walks. And we were so, so glad we did. This had to be one of our favourite days so far, and one of the most beautiful places we had ever been!

Kongissee is Germany’s cleanest lake, which is at a high altitude and surrounded by mountains. It’s height up the mountains meant that even though it was a boiling day, you would also get gusts of really cold wind as the snow capped peaks of the mountains were actually really close. We took a boat tour across the lake, to the even smaller lake – Lake Obersee, on the other side. Obersee is only accessible by boat and there is nowhere to stay once you get there, so we were repeatedly warned that if we miss the last boat, we were stuck on our own! The boat ride was about an hour long and the whole way we were surrounded by amazing views. About half way we got to the echo wall, where the boat stops, everyone goes silent and the driver pulls out his bugle. He played a bunch of different tunes, and each time the whole sequence echoed perfectly back. 


When we got across to Obersee there was a couple of kilometres to walk to get to the lake, and when we got there it was absolute perfection! A small lake, surrounded by mountains that were reflected in the water below.

Walking to Lake Obersee
Lake Obersee

We got back onto the boat after a long time of just sitting and staring at the lake, and carried onto another stop on the lake, St Bartholema. This was an island with a church and a few smal restaurants on it. We walked round the whole of the island, along the water, and then we went for some authentic Baverian food before catching the boat back. Matt had pork with a huge bread dumpling, and I had mushroom soup, which also came with a massive dumpling in the middle. I’m not sure German cuisine is for me but Matt loved his! 

Typical German food (basically meat and stodge!)

Then we headed to Salzburg, where we were staying for the night, with the plan to go for a walk around the city that evening. Things didn’t go quite as planned, as our 30 minute journey turned into 2 hours after we got lost in the city centre trying to find a car park! When we finally made it up to our hostel, we weren’t exactly in the best spirits, but we were definitely cheered up by the amazing location and the view from our bedroom. We were literally staying within one of the cities forts on top of a hill that faced the castle. It was really surreal when we walked up to the turret and realised that was where we were staying for the night! We decided to have a little wander around the hill, and had a picnic for dinner, staring out over the mountains. 

View from our bedroom window
Our hostel is in the final turret of this fort… crazy!

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