Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bavarian Alps

My parents made their first-ever international trip a few weeks ago and we spent a few days in Vienna to take in all the sights. After my last exam, we left for a day in the Bavarian Alps. We had a quick stop in Salzburg and after a difficult time finding a bus, we headed out to Berchtesgaden. This is a nice little German town...but it is best known for its association with Hitler and the Nazis. It was basically their home away from Berlin. Just a few minutes outside of town is Hitler's Eagle's Nest. The only way up to the top of the mountain is a difficult bus ride and then an elevator ride...but the house was already closed for the winter. You can still see it overlooking everything in the area though:

So we couldn't go in there, but we did visit Obersalzberg, the Nazi Documentation Center. This was a pretty intense museum that showed how Hitler gained control of Germany, and then what happened after he had control. The purpose of this place is clearly to show the horrors of the Nazis and not glorify them. Based on the pictures inside, the museum definitely succeeded. Underneath the Documentation Center are the bunkers that the Nazis built for their last stand. This was all fairly impressive to see:

After seeing that, we decided to visit nearby Lake Konigsee. To get to the lake, you take a bus from Berchtesgaden and then walk through a typical (or at least what I would think of as typical) small Bavarian town. It's a beautiful lake with views of the Bavarian Alps all around. We got there too late to actually go out on the lake, but it was still impressive to see.

Great views of the mountains all around as well.

Overall, it was a nice trip to Bavaria. It'd definitely be nice to spend a few more days here and also visit in the summer when the lake's warmer and the Eagle's Nest is open.

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