Thursday, August 14, 2014

Alps - Salzburg and Berchtesgaden - July 14, 2014

                                    Alps - Salzburg and Berchtesgaden - July 14, 2014

Today was one of my favorites.  We walked all over the old city of Salzburg and then travelled to Berchtesgaden where we had dinner in a salt mine.  

 Narrow streets and alleyways ... it's easy to get lost ... but there's always a town square (platz) to help with the orientation.  

This is the town square (Kapitelplatz).  The golden sphere has no historical significance but it's now a landmark and a great viewing place for the Hohensalzburg (Salzburg Castle).

Hohensalzburg Castle  (literally "High Salzburg Fortress") sits atop the Festungsberg, a small hill in the Austrian city of Salzburg. Erected at the behest of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg it is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe.

The yellow building is Mozart's birthplace and probably one of the most photographed buildings in Bavaria.

A charming little flower shop along one of the narrow streets

These are some of the vendor shops set up in the plaza around Mozart's birthplace

I took this picture of a shop that specializes in the Mozartkugel - the yummiest chocolate candies ever!!!

Just outside the Old Town is this remarkably beautiful old cemetary. 

Opera House

Another Fortress/Castle view

Another view in the plaza

A local pretzel shop


Our afternoon drive up to the Kehsteinhaus (Eagles Nest) through the gorgeous little town of Berchtesgaden with dinner in the salt mine.  

We begin by entering this tunnel up to Eagles Nest

View of Eagles Nest - it is fairly small and Hitler never lived or even slept there.   It was built as an extension of the Obersalzberg complex erected in the mountains above Berchtesgaden. The Kehlsteinhaus was intended as a 50th birthday present for Adolf Hitler to serve as a retreat, and a place for him to entertain visiting dignitaries.

The views of Berchtesgaden from Eagles Nest are eye-popping.  Absolutely gorgeous!!

Berchtesgaden is a municipality in the German Bavarian Alps. It is located in the south district of Berchtesgadener Land in Bavaria, near the border with Austria, some 30 km south of Salzburg and 180 km southeast of Munich. To the south of the city the Berchtesgaden National Park stretches along three parallel valleys.  


The Salt Mines - what a neat adventure!

Here we are in our "saltminer's suits"

Assorted views inside the mine

Here's the slide - of course, there are stairs but all of us chose to do the slide :-).  Really fun!!!

There were actually two slides before we reached the bottom and then had a raft ride over a salt lake.  All this deep under the mountain... wow.

We had a great buffet dinner - and so much fun - It's so cool to have dinner deep down in a mountain.  Literally 'cool'... the mine is kept at a constant 54 degrees.

L-R  Orin, me, John & Carol, Tara & Greg.  Definitely a fun-packed highlight day!!!

Be sure to come back tomorrow when we tour St. Gilgen and visit a local farm

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