Although we were pretty much directly south of Salzburg, we were back in Germany to see Königssee. It is a fjord-like lake that sits in a glacial valley in the Alps with the outlet facing the lowlands of Germany. The mountains surrounding it tower up to 2km above the lake, pretty much cutting it off from the nearby Austria, so instead it’s a small enclave of Germany. The area is infamous as on one of the mountaintops was Hitler’s bunker, the Eagle’s Nest. But we were there because it is also one of the prettiest parts of Germany.
The lake has been environmentally protected for over a century. There is only one licenced fisherman (who sells the fish at a stall) and the boats that shuttle people around are all electric to eliminate the chances of diesel pollution. Technically, the water is so clean it is safe to drink.
We took one of the electric cruise boats on the half hour trip up the lake to the landing called St Bartholomew’s Church. On the trip there is a section of rock face that is famous for its echos, up to seven apparently! One of the crew played a trumpet so we could hear the echoes coming back. Then passed around a hat for tips. That’s one way to get a bit more money out of the tourists!
As well as the very small church, there was a nature centre and handful of houses, but that was about it. We went for a walk around one of the shorter marked trails to soak in the views.
On the return cruise back, my phone started buzzing. Most of it was catch-up from all the missed notifications as I’d not had a signal for hours. However, some of the bleeps were to warn me of nearby rain. We could see the occasional giant drops on the boat’s windows and some of the mountain tops were disappearing in cloud, but it didn’t look that bad. When we landed, we could hear some thunder rumbling. I headed back to The Van, but Joolz decided it’d be fine and stayed out to do some tourist shopping. I made it back and stayed dry, she got soaked… didn’t stop her buying a magnet and several other random bits though!
We got to bed fairly early as we has a long drive north the next day…