It’s day two of our road trip that started in Venice. We have crossed the Dolomites, Innsbruck and are now heading to Berchtesgaden in southern Bavaria. There we will visit the Eagles Nest of Hitler and Lake Koninkgsee, which means “The Kings Sea”. The distance is 155 km and will take about two hours of riding.
The first historical reference to Berchtesgaden dates back to 1102 and it is presented as an area with rich salt deposits. It was built in a very beautiful region of the Alps in southern Bavaria and was even chosen by the Nazis as the location where they created holiday resorts for senior officers. The village boasts traditional buildings and cobbled walkways and it is beautiful place to explore on foot or to enjoy a coffee or a meal.
- Eagle’s Nest
The route up to Eagle’s Nest is incredible! You have to ride up to a point from where a bus will take you up to the top of the mountain. If you have enough time and are feeling up for it, you can hike to the top for free. The reason there are buses is because the road is very narrow, making it difficult for cars to go up and down at the same time without getting stuck. The scenery is spectacular. In the distance, you can see Koningsee lake, where I will go later. After the bus dropped us off we entered a tunnel that went deep into the rock. From here we will take an elevator that will take us to the top of Mount Kehlstein, which peaks at an altitude of 1,835 meters. The view from up here is breathtaking. From the northeast side, you can see Salzburg at a distance. The Kehlsteinhaus chalet, which is the common name for Hitler’s Eagles Nest, was built in only 13 months. This was because of the deadline for it to be completed by April 20th, 1939, as it would be a gift for Hitler on his 50th birthday. The project was a struggle against time, snow and hard terrain. More than 3,000 people worked day and night, winter and summer, to complete it on time. Now, I don’t know if it is true, but I read somewhere that construction cost about 150 million euros in today’s money! However, Hitler visited it only a few times for some official meetings. This is why it wasn’t destroyed by allied forces in WWII, as it was not really associated with him. Today eagle’s nest belongs to a charity organization and operates as a restaurant.
- Koningsee Lake
The distance from Bechtersgkanten is less than 6 km and it will take me about 10 minutes to reach it. The place is very beautiful but very crowded. We have to wait about one and a half hours before we can take the boat ride on the lake. And honestly, seeing everyone crammed into boat like sardines, I didn’t feel like doing that at all, despite the fact that a friend of mine had told me it’s worth it. However, we did walk along the path on the east side of the lake which was really nice. The lake is 7,7km long and the landscape of tall mountains surrounding it makes you feel like you are in a Norwegian fjord. It is considered to be the cleanest lake in Germany and in order to keep it this way the tour boats are electric. If you can find one, you can hire a paddle boat at a very affordable price. The cost for a round trip is € 14,80 per person. The scenery from the drone was very beautiful. Königssee lake is considered to be one of the top 100 attractions in Germany and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.