We got up this morning to cloudy skies in Garmisch. They were hanging pretty low over the mountains around the town. We might have the threat of rain for our drive deeper in the German Alps and Bavaria as we head to Berchtesgaden.
We went down to the Fruhestrucher Raum for breakfast. I love the traditional breakfast items along with all the fresh fruits and specialties. Rich got the scrambled eggs with herbs. I was satisfied with the scrambled eggs on the buffet and the delicious sausages. I had peaches, pineapples and dates to go with them. The goal is to eat enough to hold you over until we could get lunch. Sometimes, that is the hard part.
We packed up and took our bags down to the car in the garage. When I tried to go back upstairs to check out, the door was locked. There is a sling that prevents the door from shutting all of the way and the strap was keeping the lock from turning. We opened the big door and I walked up the ramp. I made sure the door was not shut when I went back into the garage from the hallway.
We punched in the address for our hotel in Berchtesgaden and hit the road. The navi was taking us up to Munich and then over to Salzburg. This got us back onto the autobahn for a ways. At this point, the autobahn was a lot smaller than I was used to. It was only 2 lanes on our side and full of traffic. We got behind one car from Hungary driving way, way under the speed limit in the left lane. I didn’t mean to pass, but there was an opening and I took it.
As we got closer to Berchtesgaden, Rich gave up on the navi and gave me directions to get onto one of the back roads into town. It appears the navi was sticking to the major highways and taking us out of way and then circling back. The sites on this road were beautiful with the mountains.
We arrived in Berchtesgaden before lunch. There was a little more traffic than I expected. We went through the roundabout and the navi was telling me to turn left. I did and found myself in a parking lot. We could see the hotel just in front of us, but didn’t know how to get there. I got out of the parking lot as someone nice let me in front of them.
At the light, we had to make a strange sort of left turn to go up into this tiny, tiny street where people were walking. We drove beside the hotel and turned at the top of the hill into their parking lot. It was small as the hotel sits on a piece of land that juts out of the mountain. Welcome to Hotel Bavaria!
The owners were working out front. From the looks of things, they have been working very hard to update and get the hotel into nice shape. It feels nice. The only problem was the sound of traffic since it is on the main road through town.
We checked in and got our room. A person actually takes your key and walks you to your room here. They don’t give you the key and tell you how to find it. We have a nice room with a balcony. The view is OK and the noise is pretty high during the day. There was rain coming into the area, so we didn’t expect to sit outside tonight.
First thing we needed to do was find lunch. The road where the hotel sits is very steep and we found that it lead up to the town proper. With our calves stretched to the max, we walked up the hill and found a path that lead to the market square. At the top of the path, we were at the back of the church. We had to walk through the church yard to reach the square.
Out on the street, we found the first necessary item. It was time to hit the ATM and get more cash. With that done, we walked down the street toward the market square. In the square, we saw a welcomed site. My Uncle Max said we had to eat at the Golden Bear. There it was in front of us. We took a table right along the walkway.
The server came by and we asked for menus, which had English printed right the German items. The whole thing looked so good. We decided on ox goulash for Rich and Hunter’s meatloaf for me. Both dishes came with these wonderful buttered noodles. With a couple of beers, we were set for a while. We ate and watched people shopping through the square. It was very pleasant.
We finished and paid our bill. Time to walk through the square ourselves. The town is set up with a walking trail around the top of hill. We started toward the Schloss (castle). It was more of a country house than a castle with its own square. Pink seems to be a popular color for schlosses from the 17th century. We decided not to pay the price of admission and to continue walking around town.
We went into St. Peter’s Church in the Schlossplatz. It was a beautiful example of a church with paintings and sculptures from the 1500s and 1600s. There was lot of gilded work around the altars and stations. The floor was very worn around the doors as many centuries of people passed through. The quiet was beautiful as well.
We continued on our walk going by a bar with the traditional pretzel hanging above the door. The next church was St Andres, but it was being renovated. We had a decision to make at this point. Walk up a steep hill or take a lower road. I opted for the steep hill hoping to get a great view of the valley. I was not disappointed. The valley spread out below us with some low clouds on the mountains. A house at the top of the hill had beautiful flowers in the boxes.
We continued around the top of the hill. However, it was going to be very easy to get lost out here. We could see the farmland spreading out around us on the right with town still visible on the left. We walked past the hospital before Rich realized that we need to go back and find the trail that took us through the woods. This meant walking up someone’s driveway.
I felt strange about walking by someone’s front door, but it was obvious that this is what we had to do. We walked through the back to find the trail that we could see running up into the treeline. There was a memorial with a dedication for a priest who appeared to have died in WW II. These memorials are little huts with a cross of Christ and things to remember the person.
We walked by a bunker from WW II after that as well. Up through the trees, we walked to the Lichtenstein road that ran to a house up on a small hilltop overlooking town. We took the other direction toward a barn with very nice wood carvings. This sleepy lane was leading us back down to the center of Berchtesgaden. We walked by the Alte Hospital and tried to find the trail we needed to walk around the outside of town. We missed it altogether and ended up just above the market square. It turns out the trail went between a couple of houses to get you to the back of their property and onto the trail.
We wandered on down and found an alley that took down to the square. We came out by a restaurant called Anna’s Nightwatchman. It appeared to be one of those places that gave you the essence of what it used to be like in the village. Down the steps from here, we were back in the square. So we continued to wind our way through the village.
It was about this time that it started to rain. We put on our raincoats and continued to walk. When we reached the church and its graveyard, Rich checked out a restaurant with outdoor seating that we thought would be good for dinner. We were planning on the sausage platter with a cheese platter since we didn’t expect to be that hungry.
We made our way back to the Hotel Bavaria to rest. That meant writing blogs and get pictures together. I updated Facebook with the latest for my boss. She was the one asking for pictures here. Some of my co-workers were expecting them as well. Somehow, this lets them know that I’m alive and doing well. I think they are just counting the days to my return. In the meantime, I carry on with vacation.
After six o’clock, we donned our raincoats and made our way back up the hill again. The rain was a lot less for the walk. We went back through the churchyard to the Gasthof Watzmann. With the rain and chill, we decided to sit inside. It was very quiet with few people. The red lounge on the right appeared to only have a single couple. We went in a found a table.
The server came out and asked for our drink order. We let her know we needed English menus. Their menu had some English, but enough for us to see what we might want. I like reading the German because it is more descriptive of what you are getting. I just don’t read German well. I got say, I read it better than I speak it, which is not well at all.
We didn’t see the sausage platter, but did order the cheese platter. Rich ordered one of the sausage meals and we split it. The beer wasn’t as good as that at the Golden Bear at lunch. It would do for now though. We talked and ate. This gave us time for the rain to slow down some. It had been pouring while we ordered.
We finally got the bill and suited up for the weather. The girls at the front door said, “Auf Weidersehn” as we left. Back on the street, we headed through the churchyard and down the hill to our hotel. It was a quiet evening. I finished up blogs and pictures. Rich was hanging out reading and playing Sudoku. After finishing what I thought I had to do, it was time to go to sleep.
I did wake up in the middle of night as the rain was trying to come in through the window over the bed. Rich closed it and I got comfy again. The comforters are soft and warm. I might just have to try doing the single comforters on my bed at home. That means I have to have the soft and fluffy pillows as well. I like Germany for its attention to small details and its view of comfort. I should say that I love how clean the country is and its love of flowers and greenery.