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Town of Ramsau

About half hour driving from Salzburg, crossing the border to Germany, there is a big national park called Berchtesgaden. It is a popular place to visit for people based in Salzburg. The best thing about staying in Salzburg for 4 nights is that we can have a pretty flexible schedule. When we got to Salzburg, we found out the nice weather we have been enjoying was going to last for one more day in the coming week, so we went to the national park first. It was absolutely the right decision, we couldn’t ask for a better day to visit Berchtesgaden; it’s too bad we didn’t get that nice weather for the rest of our trip.

Before the trip, I got whole bunch of books from public library, and I brought a few with me for the trip. One of them is about road trips in Germany, and it suggests a driving route in this Berchtesgaden area. The book is pretty good, except for the beginning part of the route, where it took us off the highway and leading us to some local traffic for some small town. So even though we started pretty early (shortly after 9am), we probably lost about an hour, trying to get back to the main route. By the time we got to our first stop, a lake called Hintersee, it was 11am.

Hintersee gave us a good introduction of what this area is like; a decent size lake with high mountains surrounding it. There is a couple of hotels or inns right by the lake, but in general it is not tourisy. It feels more like cottage country, with a quiet and calming feel to it. There are some hiking trails around the lake that leads to a town nearby, but of course we were only driving by this area.

The town nearby is called Ramsau. Apparently Vincent was quite looking forward to visit this town. He said he saw some nice pictures before the trip, and he knew what picture-taking spot to look for. I myself usually look at only a few pictures while preparing for a trip; maybe I want to save my first experience unspoiled. So my first experience of Ramsau: there is white mountains, clear water running with a bridge over it, a nice small church, bright blue sky, and green grass with some leaves turning colors. It looks better than my words can describe.

One of the Berchtesgaden’s biggest attraction is the lake Konigssee, literally it means King’s Lake (but they say it is not entirely correct.) There are two things most people do in Konigssee: one is to hike 20 minutes to a spot called Malerwinkel, literally Painters Corner; the other is to take a boat ride to a church called St. Bartholoma, which is on the shore, halfway down of this long lake. The view of the lake from the Painters Corner is great, even better with the leaves turning. The St. Bartholoma church is quite unique; I’ve never seen any church like that.

By the time we finished with Konigssee, it was well past 3pm. There was really enough time for one more stop, and it should’ve been Eagle’s Nest (another popular attraction in the area), but I thought we could squeeze in a quick detour, driving on a scenic route on Rossfeld road. But in the end, we missed the last bus going up to Eagle’s Nest. In fact, we thought we just made it, but we got on the wrong bus; we managed to get off the bus before it took us further down on the hill. Even though we didn’t get to see the Eagle’s Nest, I think we all felt it was a very good day of sightseeing.

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