Lounging by the lake

From Malterdingen we headed to the south east corner of Germany, right on the border with Austria, to a Lake called Konigssee in the Bavarian Alps. From one crazy hilly region to a seriously mountainous one, think we have a thing for hills. The terrain here is too steep for driving up and over so no more long car trips, here we drive up and down valleys to visit lovely old towns, lakes and gorges, while being surrounded by spectacular natural scenery.


We are staying on the shores of Lake Konigssee, a long fjord-like lake surrounded by alpine mountains within the Berchtesgaden National Park. We’ve ended up here as Craig was zooming around on google maps before we left and he found this beautiful lake with a Baroque chapel on its shores. Further investigation revealed you could only get to the chapel by boat. Looked like the perfect quiet secluded place we would like to spend a week, with “breathtaking natural beauty.”


Well our breath was certainly taken away on arrival…by the volume of fellow tourists. We hadn’t considered that, to us it had appeared to be a tucked away place in the middle of nowhere. This was a reminder that nowhere is very far from anywhere around here.


The tour buses roll in mid morning and out again late in the afternoon. There was so many people here that cars had flowed from the paved carpark, onto the grass meadow next door. The solution for us was to be up early before the masses arrived for our day out on the boat, and the rest of the week we headed out of town.


The chapel of St Bartholoma on the lake is the destination of a traditional pilgrimage that starts in Austria. Electric motor boats have been used to reach the chapel since 1909 to preserve the pristine air quality on the lake. Surrounding the lake are cattle pastures for summer grazing and the cows are transported across the lake on barges. The cow meadows with traditional farm cottages gives the area a real ‘Sound of Music’ feel and we have been singing “Edelweiss” everywhere we go this week, just feels kind of right.


The national park is well populated with plant species, including the Edelweiss, but seems a bit light on with animals (although the presence of 4 noisy little kids everywhere I go might not be helping my perspective). One of the few animals here is the Marmot. You would think with so few animal species they would be revered but these poor little things seem most famous for their fat, which is harvested to use in a ‘cure for all things’ cream.


The water in the lakes and gorges in this area has an eerie clarity. The bedrock has a chalky white colour and the water produces a rainbow like change in colour as the water deepens.


Hilter’s Eagle’s Nest sits on a mountain overlooking the lake and can only be reached by a lift that goes up through the inside of the mountain. I figure he had a reason to not be easily reached. It’s hard to reconcile such evil decisions being made whilst looking over such a beautiful and serene landscape.

1. Waterdriven mill in Meersburg

2. Halftimbered houses in Meersburg

3. Claire and Will in muddy puddles, Hintersee, Berhtesgaden National Park

4. View across Hintersee, Berhtesgaden National Park

5. Claire, Hintersee, Berhtesgaden National Park

6. Sarah and Cate, Königssee

7. Kids playing in Königssee beside Saint Bartholomä

8. Saint Bartholomä on Königssee

9. Berchtesgaden Cemetery

10. Hurty knee, Berchtesgaden (Cate would only allow the bandaid to go on the unhurty knee)

11. Sarah strikes a pose in Schloßplatz (Palace square) in Berchtesgaden

12. Schloßplatz (Palace square) in Berchtesgaden

13. Will at Almbachklamm (Almbach Gorge) between Berchtesgaden and the Austrian border

14. Almbachklamm