This is the view from our bedroom window at Berchtesgaden!
From Innsbruck we had driven further east through the alps to Berchtesgarden in the Bavarian region south of Salzburg in Germany. It's a beautiful city, the buildings intricately decorated inside and out, religious icons and shrines everywhere, cobbled streets, lots of cafes and restaurants - and the mountains all around.
The bells were ringing as we walked though the streets on Saturday evening and we watched as a silent procession of priests and alter boys (dressed in white) and about 100 people of all ages moved through the street to the church.
And the farm houses and buildings are under one roof, the house up one end and the animals the other. It would have been interesting to do a guided tour of a farm.
In the morning Glenn took us to Dokumentation Obersalzberg, a purpose-built building on the site of Hitler's country retreat that became the second base for the regime's leaders. It consists mostly of panels with information, photos, maps, and graphics explaining the Nazi period with special emphasis on the area's role in the Nazi leaders’ lives. Under the building is the huge bunker complex consisting of kilometres of tunnels and rooms and a small section has been opened to the public. Usually it is possible to also see 'Eagle's Nest', the house commissioned for Hitler's 50th birthday, but the access road was closed for roadworks the day we were there. All of the documentation is in German but we had used an English audio guide. It was an emotionally exhausting museum but well worth a visit.
Then in the afternoon we went on a guided tour of an underground rock salt mine that has been in operation since 1515. We were dressed in protective overalls, taken underground on a wooden train, treated to a sound and light show as we boated across an underground lake and (most of us, not me) slid down several long wooden slides. It was all very interesting and would be a great spot for families as well.
To complete the day we went to Königssee, a beautiful glacial lake, the third largest in Germany, and walked to a viewpoint. To maintain its clean image only rowboats, pedal boats and boats with electric motors are allowed on the lake so even though we saw boats it was very quiet, except in the street leading to the lake which is full of noisy tourist shops and tourists.