Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Part 32: Berchtesgaden

June 21, 1991
"Left at 8:00 a.m. in the morning to make our way to Berchtesgaden. Made a quick appearance at a McDonald's where we refueled with pomme frites mit mayo und curry ketchup. Arrived at the Berchtesgaden Hof Hotel five hours later, had a nice buffet meal, then went walking to stretch our legs.  

Waded in the freezing Konigsee River while New Mexico Man practiced his spear fishing skills (which were superb). Brushed up on our miniature golfing then headed back to our nice cool room and turned in for the night."

Berchtesgaden is a serene village in Southern Germany near Salzburg, Austria;  a perfect place for some rest and relaxation. First referenced in 1102, it became a favored hunting domain of Salzburg's local aristocrats.  
We stayed at The Berchtesgadener Hof Hotel, formerly named Grand-Hotel Kaiserin Auguste-Viktoria, which dates back to 1898.  Once frequented by European nobility, the hotel was later visited by historical, political, and Nazi military figures such as British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Earl David Lloyd George, Eva Braun, Erwin Rommel (Desert Fox), Heinrich Himmlerand others.  

 The Berchtesgadner Hof was depicted in "Band of Brothers" episode 10.  Alas, the reduction of US Armed Forces in Germany ultimately contributed to the closure of the hotel.  After being restored to the German Government, and in part because of it's Nazi past, the hotel was left abandoned, looted, vandalized, and allowed to fall into disrepair.  It  was torn down in 2006.  A museum, called Haus der Berge, is being built on the spot - anticipated opening 2013.
Watzmann Peaks

The hotel manager made sure his staff had set aside one of the upper most rooms for our pleasure as he had heard this was our preference.  Each morning we were awakened by the yodeling of small birds sitting upon our balcony railing.  

After cooling off for a bit in our air conditioned room we went out to mingle with the locals. We strolled downtown, through the marketplatz, and along the Konigsee River. 

Everywhere we went bare legged Berchtesgadeners would quip “Grüß Gott”.  By the time we got to the alpine supplied Konigsee river we had stirred up quite a gathering; and while the water was ice cold we found the experience exhilarating!  We later impressed many folk with our our miniature golfing abilities and even autographed some colorful golf balls.

Most people are afraid of small yodeling birds.  Admit it, I am Fearless.


Anonymous said...

I love this post. How beautiful everything looks. You must have had a fantastic time. Glad you are writing to save alll the memories!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.