Today we started to travel to the Eagles Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany. Oh yeah, we hopped into Germany for the day. On the way there we saw a sign for a waterfall and of course can't go without investigating. It turned out to be a real nice one with many levels and a challenging, but doable, hike.
From the hike we went to see Hitler's second seat of government. From a historical perspective, it is pretty significant. Standing on his balcony and looking out for hundreds of miles, you can't help but feel the tug of history. However, it wasn't a pleasant tug for me. It was creepy to stand there looking at all the beauty and serenety, and think about how often he stood in the exact same spot and devised ways to destroy countless lives and countries. In the end, I was happy to go, happier to leave.
This first picture is an overview of the structure. His famous balcony is now covered in umbrellas for the restaurant the government runs there. There is absolutely no reference to anything Nazi. The government forbids it, and put in the restaurant to ensure contemporary Nazis wouldn't use the site for their purposes. The rest of the pictures are of the view he had.
The cross was erected by the Americans in 1951 when they finally left the site.
The inside, what we could see at least, was done up in"high-end Bavarian style". Lots of beautiful wood. One cool piece was a ten foot fireplace made with the finest marble. It was a gift from his pal, Mussolini.
Tonight we are staying in Halzbatt, Austria. It has two distinctions. One is that it was voted the prettiest town in the world. And it truly is. We are staying two nights here, so I'll load more pictures of the area tomorrow.
The second is that it has the oldest salt mine in existence, and it is still producing today. It has been exporting salt around the world, continuously, for over 3,000 years. Over 600 years ago, a local family was so wealthy from salt sales, that they were given a license to make and sell beer by the pope himself. It is believed to be the first beer license because up to that point only monks made beer.
They also have one of the coolest things I have seen in a while for kids. There is an island about thirty feet from the mainland that is connected to a park. The water between the two is kept at only 1 foot deep for at least 400 feet along the shore. They have slides, a fort, bridges and all kinds of fun things - all in the main lake. It's all been developed for little kids. Well, them and Sue.
We are hoping that tomorrow we can get rid of the jeans and wear shorts. We've been blessed with dry weather (it seems to only rain at night), but it's never been warmer than about 70 degrees. Actually, the other told us that the mountain next to the home is so big, it blocked the sun for two months in winter! They literally live in darkness for nine weeks every year. Anyway, the home we are in has a private pool that they keep at 75 degrees. We want to try it, but the air temperature is dicey. Here's our back yard.
See y'all tomorrow!