Thursday, June 30, 2016

Europe 2016: Day 10...Lake Konigssee...

On Sunday I woke up and went for a run.  Running on vacation is so much fun to me, mainly because I can check out the city or village where we are staying and it feels like I am alone.  There is something very peaceful and magical about that time running in a new place.  I ran around old town Salzburg and got to experience it without the hoards of Asian tourists and their Nikons.  It was fantastic!

Good morning Salzburg!

I ran by Mozart's place of birth.  

Salzburg Cathedral

The streets of Salzburg

I had fun running around the windy streets and getting lost and not knowing what was around the corner.

The clouds had lifted off of the fortress when I was heading back to our hotel.

After my run, we got ready for the day and made our way to the train station to catch the bus to Berchtesgaden Germany.  I was very excited about the day because I really wanted to see Berchtesgaden and going hiking.  We took the #840 bus from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden and arrived in about 40 minutes.  We changed buses and arrived at Lake Konigssee.  

I will be brutally honest, the place was pretty busy with people, BUT no many people were going to go hiking.  Most people ride the electric powered boat to St. Bartholomew and wander around there and then take the boat home, so we were not worried about the hike being crowded.  

We bought our tickets and began the boat ride on Lake Konigssee.  About halfway during the boat ride, the boat stops and the conductor plays a bugle that echos several times around the mountains.  It was pretty cool to hear.  

Bugle playing on Lake Konigssee

Our plan for the day was to take the boat to Salet, the last stop on the lake.  From there, we would hike to the upper lake, Lake Obersee, and from there we would hike around the lake to the waterfall.  I will go ahead and say it right now, Lake Konigssee is absolutely stunning!  We felt as though we were wandering around Jurassic Park.  It was beautiful.

The boat dock at Salet, the last stop on Lake Konigssee

The clouds, still water, and fjord like mountains made the hike unbelievable

I am sure it is beautiful on a clear day, but the clouds added a little bit of mystery.

We stopped at the a little restaurant that is in the middle of the picture.  They did not speak any English and there was confusion about us taking a pretzel and sausages to go, but we managed!

Ken was pretty excited about the day!  See the waterfall behind him?  That is where we were hiking to!

Beautiful scenery on Lake Konigssee

Lake Obersee, the upper lake.  The water was so calm and crystal clear.  You can see the reflection of the waterfall.  It was unbelievably beautiful!

Once we left the lake to hike on, it started raining.  We were not worried, we had umbrellas and rain jackets, so we continued on.  We also knew that there as a hut halfway to the waterfall where we could stop for drinks and snacks.  

The darling farm/hut that we hiked to.

We made it to the hut and they were selling beer, snacks, and fresh milk.  We bought a few beers and some of the milk that was fresh from the cow's teet.

Ken and the freshest milk that he has ever had!

I heart Radlers.

It was the perfect place to stop and enjoy the scenery!

We enjoyed our drinks and rest and continued on to the waterfall.  As soon as we crossed over a hill towards the waterfall, we were hiking with the cows!

Unreal scenery

Looking back at Lake Obersee and the hut on the right

I could not get over the clouds hovering around

Hiking with the cows

I think this is a picture definition of alpine

That moment when the cow turns and starts walking toward you and you are not sure if she is a friend or foe.

Ken and his signature pose

Enjoying our day in Berchtesgaden!

It was really cool because the clouds kept moving and completely changing the look of the waterfall.

We had so much fun on the hike!

My favorite picture of Ken.  Everything about this picture is so Ken.

And as much as the picture above is Ken, this one is equally a great representation of me.

We went into picture overload, but it is hard not to with this guide of scenery.

Just a Sunday hiking with the cows in Berchtesgaden Germany!

I was so grateful to experience such a beautiful place with this guy!

A video of what it sounds like with the waterfall and the cows

After we made it to the waterfall, we hiked back to the hut for another round of drinks and some bacon and bread.  

Buying our treats!

The perfect snack with the perfect view!

Enjoying fresh milk that was delicous and I do not even like milk!

Making our way back to Obersee

The water was even more green on the hike back.  The building in the center is where we were enjoying our drinks.


Lake Obersee

Taking it all in

The boat coming to Salet to take us back to the mainland

St. Bartholomew, where most people get off and explore

After our hike, we took the bus back to into the city center of Berchtesgaden.  Looking at the mountains that were all around, we know that we would love to come back and spend a ton of time hiking around.  We walked into old town and found a restaurant for an early dinner.  Our food was delicious!  Unfortunately while we were eating, I noticed that we had missed the last bus back to Salzburg.  We walked back to the train station and decided we would just take the train when two  girls approached Ken to see if we were going to Salzburg.  Long story short, we shared a cab with the two of them and made it back to Salzburg in about 25 minutes versus the hour train ride.  Our cab driver was super nice and Ken talked to him the entire way.  He was a fire fighter in Bertesgaden and gave us some great tips for future trips.  

We ended our day back at the Augustiner Biergarten.  It was our favorite place in Salzburg, so it seemed appropriate for us to spend our last night there.  

Wandering around the monastery

Enjoying a final Radler at Augustiner Brau!

I think it is safe to say that Ken enjoyed his time in Salzburg!

We had a wonderful time exploring Lake Konigssee!

We had a great time exploring Salzburg and beyond, but next up, we head to Hallstatt Austria!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Europe 2016: Day 9...St. Gilgen...

We woke up on Saturday and made our way to the train station to catch the bus to St. Gilgen.  One of the funniest parts about this trip was that no one could understand my English. I asked for two tickets to St. Gilgen and the bus driver said, "WHAT?"  Apparently I am difficult to understand!

Anyways, we were on our way to visit beautiful St. Gilgen for the day.  I believe it was about a 40 minute bus ride, that went by rather quickly.  We arrived in St. Gilgen and were treated to a charming village on the lake.

When we arrived to the village, we saw there was some sort of a wedding or celebration going on.  Everyone was dressed up and it was fun to get a taste of a Saturday in St. Gilgen.

We knew that we wanted to go for a hike, so we went to the visitors' center to buy a hiking map.  We had thought about hiking around the like to St. Wolfgang, but we decided to hike up the mountain instead. I guess I should mention that it was Ken that wanted to hike up the mountain.  For once, I was not the one dragging him up hill for a few hours.   

In order to get to the trail, we had to walk around the lake for a bit.  We saw a cute restaurant with outdoor seating, so we stopped for some food.  

I will never get tired of how pretty lattes are served in Europe.

The view from the restaurant

We continued on our way and came upon a TV station filming an interview.  As we were walking up, I told Ken that the guy that was conducting the interview looked like Bradley Cooper.  It was not as as soon as we got closer, I realized he did not look at all like Bradley Cooper up close.  They paused and let us go by.  I took a picture from far away, and unfortunately it shows the guy looking nothing like Bradley Cooper.  

Austrian television interview

We continued on and soon realized that it was time to start climbing up and away from the lake.  The lake water was so beautiful, by the way.

The Wolfgangsee

So many choices as to where to go!  We were heading to Winkl and taking a trail from there.

We continued on and unfortunately for us, the trail was not very well marked.  We got to Winkl and had a difficult time finding where we should go.  At every turn we saw signs for Furberg, but that was far from where we were headed.  By the end of the hike we had determined that all trails lead to Furberg apparently.  

We found our trail and sadly, did not make it very far.  The trail was not marked and we could not figure out where to go. There was a gravel round that we could take, but we were a little concerned to take something that was not marked.  We also saw storm clouds, so we made the difficult decision to turn around and go back.  We decided that maybe we were meant to see Furberg afterall!

The area around St. Gilgen was beautiful!  There were lots of rolling hills and this area was filmed in the Sound of Music.  On our way to Furberg I stopped to frolic in the wild flowers.

In case you are wondering, I was singing "The hills are alive with the sound of music."  This did happen.

Furberg, after all, all trails apparently lead to there!

We were disappointed that we did not make it to the top of the mountain, but we did hike about six miles.  Hiking six miles is reason enough to stop for drinks in our book!  

Ken enjoying a beer at Furberg

We had a beautiful view of the lake!

We enjoyed our drinks and watched the swans.  There is always that one saw that has an attitude and has to mess with the other swans.  

The lake water was so pretty and clear.  See those storm clouds coming?

Many people were enjoying the day at Furberg!

And just like that, it started raining.  Our plan to hike the rest of the way to St. Wolfgang was not going to happen, so we decided to board the ferry to St. Wolfgang instead.

Furberg from the water

Sailing away to St. Wolfgang in the rain

The White Horse Inn in St. Wolfgang.  Our friend Jane stayed here when she visited, so we took a picture to show her that we were thinking about her!

Walking around St. Wolfgang

We wandered around St. Wolfgang and stumbled upon a group of Austrian men that were drinking and playing instruments. They seemed like they were having an amazing time, despite the weather!

I especially like all the beer bottles at their feet, because you know, priorities.  

Our friend Jane also told us that we needed to get our picture with Mozart for good luck.  Mozart was born in Salzburg and lived in St. Wolfgang for a while before moving to Vienna.

This happened.  I hope I never fully grow up or lose my sense of humor.  Got Mozart balls?

We stopped at a restaurant that had outdoor seating with heaters and blankets.  We warmed up with goulash and wine before making our way back to the ferry to St. Gilgen.

Cruising back to St. Gilgen.  I love how the clouds are just sitting over the lake.

St. Gilgen from the lake

Ken enjoyed his time in St. Gilgen!

We rode the bus back to Salzburg and then went to dinner.  We ended up eating at an Italian place in old town, followed by some gelato where we met a sweet couple from the UK.  We enjoyed talking to them and they told us all about places we should hike in the UK.  We closed down the gelato window with them!  :)

We found the real Mozart statue, so Ken posed for a picture.  FYI, Mozart balls are candy and we did try them and they were delicious!

We also stumbled upon this sign and I could not resist taking a picture to send to Michelle.

On the walk back to the hotel, Ken stopped at a street vendor to buy a Stiegl beer.  I am not so sure that he wanted it, but really wanted to walk along the river with a beer just because it was legal!

Happy Ken with his Stiegl and the Salzburg Fortress

Beautiful Salzburg at night.  

We had a wonderful day in St. Gilgen!

Up Next, we day trip to Berchtesgaden Germany, which was one of my favorite things we did!