German Trip Day 6 Part 2: 28 April 2010

We returned to Schönau am Königssee, had some crepes for lunch, and I bought some postcards and our token souveneir magnet. Then it was time for a hike.

We hiked to the top of the Grünstein, which overlooks the area we had been in earlier in the day. As you can see on the sign, it climbs 600m (about 2000 feet) in less than 3km (about a mile and a half). It was very very steep, and K and J zipped up the hill much faster than I did.

There were various interesting flowers along the way. The first is wood spurge, the second is probably Purple Oxytropis:

We also saw a lizard near the top, possibly a sand lizard:

In Germany you might be thousands of feet up a mountain, but that doesn't mean there won't be a biergarten or cafe there waiting for you:

We made it to the top! Here's a panorama overlooking Berchtesgaden. (sorry about the weird missing hand, that's what happens when people move while you are taking the pictures!). As you can tell from the crucifix, Bavaria is a Catholic region.

Here's J investigating the cliff. To her right, the blue you see is the Königssee where we were earlier in the morning. While we were up there, at least two people appeared over the edge of the cliff, presumably they rock climbed their way up.

After resting a long time, we then walked back to our car. We took a slightly different way, this time with more steps. Again K and J left me in the dust.

Here's a GPS map of where we were. The small loop in the upper left is us hiking the Grünstein. The yellow dotted line is the Austrian border.

After this, despite being tired, we went to Österreich (Austria) to see Salzburg. No, we did not do any Sound of Music touring; the locals actually somewhat resent the movie.

We parked in a parking garage tunnelled deep beneath the rocky ridge that runs through the city:

There are many pretty churches all close to each other. Here's the Salzburger Dom (Cathedral):

Here's what the inside of the Dom looks like:

This is the elaborate inside of St. Peters Abbey:

This is the inside of the Franziskanerkirche (Franciscan Church). I liked the arches.

As with many cities in Europe, there's a fortress looming over the city. I'm not sure what the deal is with the giant sphere sculpture with the man on top. Unlike all other times, this is one case where we saw a building on a high hill and did not climb up to it:

Mozart was born in Salzburg; here's his "geburtshaus" (birth house). I had to push my way through throngs of asian tourists to get this picture:

A local candy is the Mozartkugel (Mozart Ball) which has a hazelnut and pistachio filling:

We went to the Mirabell Palace Gardens, which K really liked:

Here's a cool building with paintings of horses, in front of the cliff that our car is parked inside of.

In Austria they speak German (with some differences, such as sometimes saying "Servus" for Hello), and it obviously looks very similar. One odd difference you notice is that, at least in Salzburg, the bathrooms were free, wheras in pretty much all of Germany they cost 0.50 Euro. Things like this you only notice when you are a harried tourist.

We drove back to Berchtesgaden and got some food at a small Gasthaus. I got Wiener Schnitzel, and K and J got Cheese Spätzel. When we left the Alps were glowing in the twilight (they are being reflected on the roof of Jen's car):

On to Day 7
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