This begins a three-post long flow of photos from the busiest day of our most recent worldly wanderings. The whole point of our long weekend was to get to the Eagle's Nest (a mountaintop retreat, gifted to Hitler for his 50th birthday… how nice) and to Salzburg and due to our incredible lack of planning and before-hand information-gathering led SB and I do cram both of these things into one day (with a surprise… just wait for it… it was awesome)(No, we didn't get engaged).
In a perfect world, we would have gotten up early on the morning of our first day, headed over to Konigsee, taken the boat tour and then headed to the Eagle's Nest to see the museum and to go up to the top. But we didn't do that. After our boat tour, we arrived to the Eagle's Nest but missed the last bus up to the top and got stuck in the museum (pretty cool… free for military, but the whole thing was in German, so I'd recommend the audio guide. The bunker system was nice and cool (literally and figuratively) but not as big as some of the other bunker systems we've explored closer to home or at Verdun).
And so, we ended up cramming many things into one day. We stayed in a wonderful hotel that did a fabulous job of serving us a gigantic breakfast while chatting, asking us questions about America, and telling us more about Bavaria. Because of this, we got a bit of a late start, but still made it to the Eagle's Nest in time to catch a bus (Ok, so they really have 7 buses that run on a super tight schedule). The buses are custom made to handle the curvy trip up the mountain while filling passengers in on the great views we were taking in. Once at the top of the mountain, we had to check in with the office to select the time we'd like to depart back down the mountain.
From there, it was a long walk down a nice cool, drippy tunnel to the brass elevator that was specially designed to help Hitler overcome his claustrophobia. It's tricky to get photos of the inside of the elevator because they seriously pack you in there. I got a couple of mediocre photos that I didn't want to post here, but if you'd like to see them, leave me a comment and I'll shoot you a link! The elevator really didn't feel at all like it was moving, but alas, the doors opened and we were suddenly at the top of a mountain.
While the Kehlstein Haus was used as a retreat in Hitler's day, today, it has been converted into a restaurant with some pretty insane views of the surrounding Alps, Konigsee, and even into a bit of Salzburg. We walked around (errrr… I hobbled around), climbed up about as high as we could with my flat-bottomed shoes and knee brace (the rocks are super slippery, so if you decide to visit here, seriously, wear hiking boots or shoes with grippy bottoms), and then shared a beer and a schnitzel before zooming back down to the bus and heading into Salzburg. All in all, I think we spent about 3 hours at the Eagle's Nest, including waiting for buses, waiting for the elevator, and waiting for food and I feel like it was just enough time.