We left home and travelled to the hotel in Cheimsee, unpacked and got settled in.
Didn’t do anything today. Relaxed, explored the hotel and village. Got infomration and planned what we would be doing.
LINKS: King Ludwig II of Bavaria
Our hotel is on the lake, and we took a boat to Herren Island where King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s third and final castle, Herrenchiemsee, modelled after France’s Versailles is located. When the boat docked, we walked across the island to the Schloß and toured the inside. After looking inside and around the gardens, we walked back to the boat and took it to nearby Fraueninsel. This is a gorgeous little island that we walked around for a couple of hours and wandered through the monastary’s grounds. Before going back to the boat which we would take back to the hotel, we stopped at a cafe for a drink. Back at the hotel we checked out what kind of sports/rec facilities the hotel had, ate super and walked around the grounds of the hotel. In the evening, we met (we were in different rooms) to finalize plans for the next day, which we did every night.
In the hotel, we found a pamphlet for a “do-it-yourself” tour around Chiemsee. This is what we did today, and I’ll type it out here. In some places you have to use your own sense of direction because the directions get s little fuzy, but we never got lost! bold are my notes.
Enjoy a scenic drive around Lake Chiemsee and through picturesque ladeside villages to Schloß Seeon, a castle and monastary all in one. The castle was built in the year 1200 abd a distinct section has been converted into a resturant. The castle is situated on a small penisula of land that extends into the Seeon Lake. Explore the church. Drive around the lake and look across to the castle where the view has been put on canvas many times.
DIRECTIONS: Enter the Autobahn in the direction of Munich (this is from Chiemsee resort) and take Prien exit. We stopped in Prien for about ½ an hour to look around. In Prien, turn left at the four-way traffic light in the middle of the village (the church and Maypole are across the intersection) and follow the signs to Rimsting, Breitbrunn, and Gstadt. Before entering Gstadt you will go over a hill and have a breathtaking view of Fraun Island – Chiemsee’s jewel. At the very top of the hill, take a road to the right where a small parking lot is located. Here you can leisurely photograph the fishing village of Gstadt and the island (which we did). Continue on to Gollenhausen and Seebruck. In Seebruck, follow signs to Seeon and, before the turn to Seeon, follow signs to Kloster Seeon. We parked in the village and walked down the road through the village to the Kloster (monastary) where we walked around the buildings and grounds before heading back to the car and back on our way. This place often has various musical performances including jazz and classical music.
FOR THE RETURN TRIP: you have many choices. Two favorites are the following:
- Return to Seebruck and continue around the lake to Chieming, Grabenstätt, and then to the Autobahn. Enter the Autobahn direction Munich and take exit “Felden”.
- This is what we did. For the more adventurous, from Seeon follow the signs to Obing, Aiglsham, and Amerang. In Amerang, following signs to Schloß Amerang, which is only open During the summer. We had to wait for the Schloß to open, so we walked around the grounds for a bit. Inside, it is very interesting. They also have musical performances in the small courtyard. It is very mediterrainian in style. Another interesting stop is the Bauernhaus Museum Amerang (museum of the Bavarian farmhouses) which is open from Easter (depending on snow) until October and the Car Museum (open year round). We decided to go to the Car Museum, which was very intersting, with of course many European cars like BMW’s and Mercedes. From there, follow any signs to “Prien”.
ESTIMATED DRIVING TIME: 1½ – 2 hours not including stops.
GASOLINE: There is an ESSO station in Prien.
It was a very interesting, full day. In the evening, we went to a nearby village to see a German Brass band perform in a wonderful park that we strolled through before they started. After the performance we went to a nearby Italian resturaunt for dinner before heading back to the hotel.
We took a tour offered by the hotel to our hotel to Munich and Dachau. First to Munich. We had a bus tour through most of the city and got off and walk to the square near the Alt- and Neu-ratthouse (Old and New Town Halls). We stayed here for a while to wait for the clocks to chimes, which are very musical and intersting. Next, we walked to the most famous beer hall in the world: The Hofbrauhaus. It was here that the Nazi’s had their first political meet. The ceilings have Bavarian Flags which have been adapted from the original swastikas. So this hall is interesting from a Beer drinking view (the glasses hold the equivalent of three regular beer bottles!) and a military history standpoint. Much fun during Oktoberfest, in fact, this is Oktoberfest city! In a way, I’m glad we weren’t there for that! We went on to St. Micheal’s Kirche, very beautiful inside and has King Ludwig II’s tomb in the caverns, and the intersting Frauenkirche. We headed back to the bus and departed for Dachau Concentration Camp where we looked through the exhibit, grounds and memorials. Right outside the main exhibit building is the beautiful, international memorial. There are larger Memorials, many of which are altars for prayer: the “Catholic Church of Mortal Agony of Christ”, “Catholic Carmelite Convent”, “Protestant Church of Reconciliation”, “Jewish Memorial Building”, as well as a Russian monument. We saw the gate through which the prisoners were marched. It reads “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work brings freedom). We also looked a reconstructed bunkers (they were all destroyed) and crematorium. The website above has much more great information and pictures. After looking all around here, it was time to go back to the bus and hotel.
We took the day off today. My brother and I went paddleboating on the lake and walking around the village. In the evening, we traveled to Ruhpolding for some tradition German food, music and dancing.
LINKS: Austria; Salzburg; The Sound of Music; Trapp Family Lodge; Mozart; Mozart’s Birthplace; Mirabell Palace
NOTES: To drive on the Austrian Autobahn you must have a sticker for your car which you can buy at the German gas stations on the Autobahn just before the border. In the winter, I think it may be mandatory to have chains on your tires. I’m not sure about that, but you should check it out before you go.
We drove to a park and ride just outside Salzburg, Austria. In Austria, we made our way to the main square – the Mozartplatz – where we first got a walking tour to familiarize ourselves with the city, including the cathedral, and the rezidensplatz, the Colliegete Church (where the wedding scene for “The Sound of Music” was filmed. We would then go back to the places we were interested in later. It lasted about two hours. After it was over, we sat for a drink before getting going again. Salzburg is of course most famous probably, for the movie/musical “The Sound of Music” and the von Trapp family, and Mozart, who was born and lived here. Much of the von Trapps story takes place in and around the city and much of the movie was shot here. Our first main stop, although we saw many sites before it, was the Birthplace of Mozart. We went in and toured around the small house. Then we made our way to Nonberg Abbey (Maria’s abbey). We walked around there, had some drinks and viewed the scene of the city below before continuing to the more informative Mozart Residence museum. Finally, before last minute shopping and heading back to car to return to the hotel, we went to Mirabell Palace where we walked through the wonderful gardens.
We took the train to Garmisch and Oberammagau to take another look at those nice villages (we had seen Oberammagau the month before on our last trip, and I had been to Garmisch to go skiing).
We took the train here and walked around the city. It turned out that we came on the day they were celebrating their 750th anniversary! There were people and parties everywhere. We walked through the nice alt-stadt and wound our way through people and streets to the main square, where, hundreds of years ago there was a jewish ghetto which was completley burned down – with the jewish people in their houses. The cathedrals and other buildings are quite interesting. At the Emperor’s Fortress there were many medieval demonstrations, ehibits and games to play. In another squre was an extremely interesting fountain entitled “marriage” which depicts the good, the bad, the ugly, and the…slavery? aspects of marriage.
NOTES: Unless you have a VERY good car, I suggest you rent one for the next three days. The cost of renting will be better than buying or fixing your car after going up very steep mountains!
Hitler may be a bad, bad, bad man, but he did have fine taste in architecture and scenery. But I do not in any way like him, I would just like to make that clear!! The Eagle’s Nest, built as a present for his 50th birthday is perched high on a mountain, with wonderful scenery and mountain hiking. This was Hitler’s favorite spot, and mine as well. I wish I could have stayed there all day. On a good day, you can see clear to Salzburg. To get here, you must park about ½ way up the mountain and take a bus to the entrace, where you then get on an elevator to get to the top. I don’t have the words to describe the area! You also have a wonderful view of Königsee below. After we were done here, when went back to the hotel.
Today was another free day. We all played mini-golf together in the morning and went for a walk. In the afternoon, my brother and I canoed to Herren Island and back.
LINKS: German Alpine Road; Ramsau; Königsee
NOTES: Remember that rented car we talked about??
In the hotel, we found a pamphlet for a “do-it-yourself” tour along the Alpine Road. This is what we did today, and I’ll type it out here. In some places you have to use your own sense of direction because the directions get a little fuzy, but we never got lost! bold are my notes.
THE ALPENSTRASSE (ALPINE ROAD): This is one of Germany’s most beautiful roads, rising and falling and winding around and through the Bavarian Alps. It’s panoramic view of the mountains and marvelour contruction have caused it to be dubbed a “symphony in concrete”. Numerous parking sports make it ideal for photographers and admirers of the beauty of nature. It is also the original route used by the Allied troops to capture Bertchesgaden. However, the bridge shortly after Weissbach was destroyed by the Germans, so the divisions were forced to return to the Autobahn to the Bad Reichenhall exit, from there, via Landstrasse, to Bertchesgaden.
The Alpine Road is always open except under extreme weather conditions or when there is avalanche danger. It is beautiful in all four seasons.
THE WIMBACH GORGE: The Wimbach Valley used to be a lake formed by the Ice Ages but was buried by the ruptured “Ramsaudolomite”. The Wimbach mountain stream forced its way through the gorge. The Wimbach Gorge has remarkable natural rock formations shaped by the rushing waters. This extraordinary ravine with breathtaking waterfalls and scenery is open from May to October. Entry fees are about DM2 DM1.50. Not recommended for people who do not like to walk or who have medical problems. If there is no one at the gate, simply walk through. Stopped here. I don’t recall paying any entry fees, or seeing a gate, but perhaps we didn’t walk far enough. Considering what we saw, the amount still left to do in the day and other hiking opportunities, I would say that what we did would be fine for everyone! We parked in the parking strip. On one side was a rock face with a path for walking up above the road. We walked through the woods for a bit and then back to the car. On that side, there was a path that went down (very steep) and opened up to a beautiful waterfall and ravine. A must for everyone who is able to get down the hill – and back up!
DIRECTIONS: Take the Autobahn in the direction of Salzburg (this is from Chiemsee) to the fifth exit from Chiemsee. Exit will read “Traunstein, Siegsdorf, Ruhpolding, Inzell”. Follow “Inzell” and blue and while sign with “Deutsche Alpenstraße”. After Inzell just follow blue and white sign; you are on the Alpine Road after passing through Inzell. POINTS OF INTEREST ALONG THE ROUTE: Outside the Inzell city limits on the left side is the outdoor skating rink where many national and international ice skating championships are held. About 2½ to 3 km past, there is a Glacier Garden on the left which you can explore on foot or simply photograph from the parking lot. Stopped here. We parked in the parking strip. On one side was a rock face with a path for walking up above the road. We walked through the woods for a bit and then back to the car. Watch for small brown and white sign.
Want to see a pool with 39 varieties or water lillies? Take Highway 21 in the direction of Bad Reichenhall and Thumsee, then backtrack. We did this. First we found the pool, which you can walk complete around on the path. It was full of water lillies! Close by is a larger lake/pond, with a path running close to it. It is very beautiful! Back on B305, stop at Hindenburg-Linde, a 1000 year old tree named after Germany’s last president before Hitler. (We couldn’t find this, but it doesn’t mean you can’t!) Ramsau is well worth a visit. From the mountain stream, take a picture of the Ramsau church, one of the most photographed churches in world. That is mainly because of the scenery behind it. Of course, we couldn’t see that, because it was very overcast. I got that picture from the Ramsau website. If you take the picture from the strea, it is the nicer church across and further down the down. (There are two churches, one will be behind you). Take a short walk around the village, which is very nice.
If your time permits, continue on to Hintersee walk through the “Enchanted Forest”. We tried to find this, but couldn’t
To reach Wimbach Gorge, proceed back thru Ramsau and take B305 in the direction of Bertchesgaden. Take a right shortly after sign “Wimbachbruecke”. Park in the parking lot and take a short hike up the hill to gorge entrance. Afterwards, follow signs to Berchtesgaden or Bad Reichenhall as you wish.
We skipped this last part (the gorge) and headed to Koenigsee. We parked in the village parking lot and walked to the lake where we caught a boat. We took this boat down the lake to St. Bartholomä church. The lake is surrounded by sheer cliffs with waterfalls and is very beautiful. Half way there, a man played a horn which echoed off the walls. This is by request only! After looking around the area of the church, we got back on the boat. There were two other stops that could have been made, but it was getting late, so we had a drink and shopped our way back to the car and drove back to the hotel.
NOTES: Remember that rented car we talked about??
We decided to go to Italy today! To get there, we drove through Austria, so you’ll need that sticker from Salzburg (they last a week). We drove through the Bremmer Pass, which was used by the allies in the war, and has wonderfull views. This is a toll road. In Italy, we headed to the city of Bolzano. Just outside the city, we saw a road marked with a much of brown sign that looked interesting, so we drove down that road. I don’t remember the direction we went, but you may be able to figure it out from my decription. Most of the drive (which was almost a complete circle) was up and down steep mountains, through wonderful villages, and wonderful scenery through the dolomite mountains (which are, in themselves, very interesting formations). We did make a few stops, though. The first one was at Largo di Carezza (Carezza Lake) which is famous for it’s beauty. Near the parking lot are vedors selling souvenirs and food. Don’t expect to find anything too Italian here. Except for the place names, you’d think you were still in Germany or Austria. The scenery here is wonderful and there is a path that goes complete around the lake. (it’s only a very small lake!). A perfect photo opp is at the beginning of the path (if you go that way, the end if you go the other way!) which is where that photo was taken. Continuing on, from the road, we passed Canaza before stopping at Passo Pordoi (Pordoi Pass). The highest peak on the journey (2250 meters, 2950 if you take the cable car). Take the cable car to the top of the peak, or just walk around and admire the scenery. We did the latter and did shopping and had drinks before getting back in the car. Next, we stopped in Cortina, hoping to find some shops, but everything was closed, so we conitued on. We passed Arabba and some interesting ruins before getting back on the main roack back to Germany.
LINKS: German trains
We took the train in to spend the whole day in the city. We used the trams to get around the city. Our first stop was Schloß Nymenberg, the gardens of which we looked around, but we didn’t go inside. Our next stop was the Olympic Park. In the parking lot, you can see the rounded towers of BMW’s world headquarters. We saw the main stadium, which signified the hills and lakes of the region, tennis courts, and athletes village. We had a drink and souvenir shopping before continuing on to the arch in the main tourist area. After looking around that are, we got on back on the train to return to the hotel where we pack up all our things.
Travelled back home after breakfast.