Day 4—Berchtesgaden

What a charming little town nestled in the Alps not far from the Austrian border.  We drove in from Salzburg in the morning and found a fun little shop with the friendliest, kindest cashier that we encountered on our trip.  We had croissants (interesting note: bees run rampant in Germany.  They are all over the bakeries and no one cares one bit), chocolate covered dried apple slices and fresh bananas.  It’s amazing how good a simple piece of fruit tastes after eating out so many meals.  I wish we had time to linger and explore this cute town but we were headed straight for the Königsee.

We took an electric boat across this lake, which is the deepest and cleanest in Germany.  At one point during the boat ride the captain stops and plays a beautiful melody on a trumpet.  The notes bounce back off the steep mountain cliffs and produce a haunting echo.  It was so amazing. 
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We got off at St. Bartholoma and began our hike to Eiskapelle (the ice chapel).  It was a cloudy day which just added to the beauty of the mountains.  The end of the hike brings you near a glacier river and it gave new meaning to the term “crystal clear.” It was absolutely silver.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  I have to admit, the ice cave wasn’t quite as cool as I imagined it, but that might be because the day was so misty and foggy that we couldn’t really see inside the cave.  The cave is created by the river running under the glacier and carving out a cave. 
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This was Rusty’s favorite part of the hike.  I think if he died right then he’d have died supremely happy:
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We ate lunch at this lovely beer garden at the edge of the lake.  It was marvelous.  I love eating outside!  German service is very different than American.  There is typically one server for about a million tables and you really have to flag him down to get him to come to your table.  And they NEVER bring your bill. It would be considered very rude.  You must ask for the bill.  And you don’t tip.  At least not well.  Most the time you just round your bill to the nearest dollar.

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After our boat ride back we were off to Garmish-Partenkirchen.  We fought nasty traffic the whole way and didn’t get there till very late in the evening.  And again, no Air Conditioning.  We thought this would not be a problem because the mountain air was so cool and we had a door leading out to a back patio that we could leave wide open.  Well, wouldn’t you know it, the air that night was perfectly still.  Nary a rustle.  And we roasted. 
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But before the roasting, a feast.  I deem this our best meal in Germany. It was called Alpis Antep Kebap and it was heaven.  Turkish kebap that was grilled to perfection over hot coals in a cute little kitchen.  It was almost 10pm when we stumbled on this place, and it rained while we were eating outside but we didn’t care.  It was that good.  We had lamb, chicken and beef along with the best rice I’ve ever tasted and homemade Naan. Oh so good.  It almost made up for the fact that we got into town too late to see or do anything and we were leaving early the next morning.   (pic from their facebook page)

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