M&M in Bavaria
This is a rather detailed overview of Malcolm and Michele's trip to Bavaria. See the postcards for the short version. This page is much like the after dinner slide show that goes too long. But we hope you'll enjoy all the neat pictures.
We were surprised by the food (great). We learned how to navigate the Autobahn (stay right), saw lots of the alps (spectacular), and really enjoyed our time off. We spent a week in Munich, mostly working, and then the rest of our time in the Bavarian Alps around Berchtesgaden.
We got to spend a week in Munich. Most of our time was spent at a conference, but we did manage to escape for an afternoon at the Deutches Museum. It's pretty spectacular. I'm especially fond of the old steam engine displays. We also found some wonderful restaurants. Especially noteable were the Spatenhous's large Bavarian platter, the fish at the Kafers am Odeonsplatz, all the Weisse Beer, and a wonderful greek restaurant with no menu (you went into the kitchen and pointed at the dishes you wanted).
- Munich's Glockenspiel--Quaint, but a must-see.
- The Theatinerkirche, a baroque church near the Residenz.
- The Bayericsche Staatskanzlei, local state chambers. We liked the combination of old and new.
- A wonderful view in the Englisher's Garden, an oasis in a large city.
We spent our vacation time in Berchtesgaden. It was a wonderful break from the running around we've been doing lately. It would have been nice to see less rain, but it did keep the crowds down. They are set up to handle a lot of people there. We are sure we wouldn't enjoy it as much during the peak season.
- Malcolm relaxing on the way up Mt. Watzmann. This was about as high as we got before running out of daylight.
- The Alps! - From the Rossfeldstrasse
- The view from our hotel, the Hotel Geiger. A wonderful place
- A view of Berchtesgaden from the approach to the Rossfeldstrasse
It rained. The first four days of our visit were spent trying to find hikes below the clouds and staying dry. A wonderful side effect was that the spring flowers were out. It was a nice change from home where all the spring flowers had long since wilted.
We gave up. Tired of rain, we took a day to explore Salzberg. It's a wonderful little city. We spent the entire day wandering around and spent the evening at a concert in the castle.
- Our first view of the old city
- The main cathedral with the Hohensalzburg Fortress in the background.
- A view, looking east, of the old part of Salzburg.
- The view west of the city from the fortress, looking towards Berchtesgaden.
- The gardens at ???, the fortress in the background.
- The gardens at ???
- The Hohensalzburg Fortress from just below.
- The old city, with the Fortress guarding all.
- Mozart Plaza (he's everywhere in Salzberg)
- A memorial to Charles Richter, inventer of the Richter scale, and very famous to all of us living near the San Andreas fault. This was found on a hill near the Fortress (which is in the background).
There are two amazing gorges in the Berchtesgaden area: Wimbachklamm and Almbachklamm. We explored Wimbachklamm first, on a wet and foggy day. But it was too early in the season, the trail through the gorge wasn't open yet. Instead we hiked up the valley to see how far we could get. We could handle the rain, but the clouds set in a couple of miles above the first mountain inn, Wimbachschloss, and ended the hike. Later when the weather cleared we went back to see just the gorge. It was pretty spectacular.
The river was pretty neat. Mostly running over a large gravel bed. Higher up we were surprised to see the river completely disappear. Another hiker we ran into explained that it was a large gravel pit and the water was running underground here. That was one big spring.
The trail we were on eventually cleared a pass and dropped down to Konigsee. The map showed a snowfield, so we weren't very hopefully of seeing the pass this early in the season (even if the clouds had let us.)
- The Gorge! There are a few hundred yards of narrow valley, a lot of water at the bottom, and a trail hung from the valley wall. It was very peaceful and energizing at the same time.
- All the rain was good. All these waterfalls appeared after the rain.
- A pretty picture of the water and the rocks in Wimbachklamm
- Michele at the base of the "spring." Upstream of the dam there was only a gravel river.
- Our first avalanche, from a safe distance. We couldn't figure out what all the sound was, and then we figured it must be a waterfall. Eventually we decided it really was an avalanche. The first one that Michele and I had seen in person. This run tumbled down the cliff for a minute or two.
- Malcolm at the base of an avalanche zone near Wimblachschloss. There was another pass up through this valley, but we couldn't figure out where the trail went.
- The trail up the valley.
The Almbachklamm gorge was equally beautiful, but in a different, more rugged way. We hiked up the gorge, to Therpsienklause and then around through Hintergern and back to the base of the gorge. The rain was starting to taper off so we really enjoyed the hike.
The rocks and the scenery were pretty spectacular, but I'll always remember it for the Kugelmuhle, or marble factory, at the bottom of the valley. Its main feature was a sluice with a bunch of round-horizontal grind stones, each turned by a small waterwheel. Chunks of marble were put in and after being rolled between two heavy rocks came out perfectly round marbles. Now I feel old, I don't even know anybody who still plays marbles. Certainly not our nephews.
- The most intense part of the gorge. They hung the trail anywhere they could. Michele was just trying to stay dry.
- The trail just above the gorge, up the valley.
- A waterfall coming down from Ettenberg.
- The top of the valley, or at least as high as the trail went. I got to explore a bit. The map shows a inn at the top of the mountain behind me (Michele thinks the most amazing thing about the alps is the
fact that there is an inn every two hours, regular as clockwork, along
every mountain trail.)
Ahh, Konigsee. Most of the tourists see to come for the shops in Berchtesgaden and this lake. It is pretty spectacular. An old chapel, St. Bartholomew, from the 17th century is quite striking. We were more interested in the lakes and moutains beyond. A classy old fleet of boats takes tourists up and down the very long and narrow lake.
- The classic view of St. Bartholomew.
- Our goal, Obersee past the end of Konigsee and the waterfall and mountains beyond. This was taken from the trail to Holzstube.
- The view down the lake with St. Bartholomew far in the distance.
- St. Bartholomew from the other direction, on the trail to Holztube.
- Konigsee on a cloudy day.
Obersee was wonderful. A mostly quiet little lake, about a mile or so past the end of the tourist line. Only problem was that an entire class of Belgium students got off our boat so the trail was a bit crowded. We raced ahead and got as far as the end of the valley. We could see a bit of the trail heading up the cliff, but we didn't have the time (or conditions to explore.)
- The trail to Obersee
- Michele on the banks of the Obersee
- Another view of Obersee
- The waterfall at the end of the valley. As near as we can tell, all the streams dropped into this little valley and disappeared. I suspect they went underground and came out at Obersee. We saw two Gemsen, a type of antelope, here.
- Looking down on Obersee from above, on our way back to the boat.
All photographs on this page copyright (c) 1997 by
Malcolm Slaney, all rights reserved. Last updated on May 20, 1997.
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