Those slides were scary

I was bummed that the boat trip on the salt lake was not running at this time. It would have been fun being on an underground boat

Exploring the Berchtesgadener Land

Time to do a little mining


The next morning, it rained. But who cares, we were going underground to a Salt Mine! Salzburg literally means "Salt Mountain" and Bertchesgadener land has been a center of salt mining for a very long time. We had to wait in line for a bit in the rain to get tickets, but once inside it got interesting. The men and women where directed to opposite rooms where we donned "authentic" miner's outfits, complete with shirt, plants, and leather belt with butt-pad. Then we all boarded a small train (like the one at Green Bay's Bay Beach) and rode into the mine.

Deep in the mines. We were not allowed to take pictures there...

The tour guide only spoke German, but at each stop in the mine there were about six different speakers that each broadcast the fun-facts in a different language. The speaker for us was labeled "GB" (Great Britain). I think there were also a few people by the "I" and "Fr" speakers.

The Slide of Doom!

One of the weirdest parts of the tour was going down this wooden slide. I guess that's what the leather butt-pad was for. 2-4 people hooked legs and rode down this somewhat steep slide. Lin-Wei and I waited our turn and then got on prepared to go, but then this older lady and (probably) her mother decided to go with us, and hooked legs with me. And we were sent down the slide! It was fun, and quick, but some people found it much much much scarier than others! While down there I was able to snap an illegal picture while the guide was busy with the people at the slide.

The rest of the tour involved us going from room to room, looking at old equipment and salt deposits, trying to find our "GB" speaker in each room, and just having a relaxing time.

At the end of the tour we were directed to the gift shop where we saw pictures of ourselves going down the slide. Normally I don't buy those pictures, but once I saw the photo I almost died laughing. Lin-Wei had a look of pure terror on her face! The two German ladies were also laughing once they saw the picture as well. Lin-Wei tried to get me to not buy it, but that was €6 well spent!


The dreary Konigsee

We had some time before lunch, so we took a tour of the Konigssee, the mountain lake that was just a few km from our hotel. It was still raining, so the ride was kinda dreary and cold, but it was still scenic. The one highlight is when the stop the boat by a large rock face, and the boat guy plays a trumpet, which you can hear echo back and forth many times. That actually was kinda neat... We then had lunch at a Greek restaurant where we used a few of our ten phrases from our last trip!

Tour of Hitler's Bunker

For the afternoon we planned on a more somber tour of the Eagle's nest, Hitler's mountain retreat. Bertchesgaden had pretty much been Hitler's secondary headquarters, and he had once had a house here as well. We drove Leon up to the place where the bus left for Eagles's nest (you could only get there by bus), but signs informed us that it was closed due to dangerous road conditions. But, the bunker that Hitler used as his secondary headquarters (Berlin being the primary) was open for touring, and we spend about two hours there. Lin-Wei is a huge WWII buff, and though she knew almost all of what was present there, it was still very interesting, and sobering.

I think we looked at the river some more that night before bed. It really was neat. Trust me.

Copyright (c) The Sticklers 2006