The German Side of the Alps
11/03/2012 - 11/04/2012
So this past weekend we took a school scheduled trip to the city of Berchtesgaden which is in the south eastern point of Germany close to Austria.
The first day was spent touring a 500 year old salt mine dug right into the side of a mountain. We were allowed to take any photos, but it was incredible inside. We took a little electric train inside the mountain and toured the mine a little bit. After a neat laser show, showing the formation of salt crystals and the brine levels, we took a ride down a huge 3 story wooden slide. After a bit more touring within the mine, we took another ride down an equal sized slide, it was all a lot of fun. We even got a mini bottle of salt take right from the mine we toured. To this day it is still mined daily by workers.
After the salt mine tour, we took a tour of the city of Berchtesgaden. It was beautiful since it is set right in the middle of a valley of the Alps. On the top of one of the mountains was Hitler's 50th birthday present, The Eagle's Nest. Huge house basically set right on top of a mountain, and the most ironic thing about it was that Hitler did not like heights and was claustrophobic so he only visited The Eagle's Nest 14 times in his life after it was given to him.
The next day was spent taking a boat tour on the Konigsee (King's Sea), which is one of the most pure lakes in all of Germany with water clean and fresh enough to drink. We arrived in St. Bartholoma which was a settlement at the far end of the lake that had a nice church on it along with some small homes and cottages. We were allowed to tour the island for a bit, walk the trails, and take some of the most beautiful pictures I have taken to date. Check them out in my photo gallery.
Afterwards, we took the boat back to the main land and walked around to find some lunch. We decided it would be a great idea with the time we had left to ride a small lift car up to the middle of one of the mountains. It was amazing. We spent the next 2 hours hiking trails in the Alps, taking some great pictures. We even met a dog named after one of the mountains, Wattsman, he was a chocolate lab hiking with us for a bit, it was pretty cool. Hiking along those paths had some of the most breath taking views I have seen in my life. Sadly, the tram that would take us to the tip top of the mountain was broken so we never made it all the way up, but hiking along the mountain 1200 meters high was pretty amazing.
All in all, it was a successful 2 day trip with the international students. We all had a really good time. I hope I have time this term to make it back there again.