Drive one hour away from Munich and you arrive at beautiful lakes with a magnificent backdrop of far-away snow-capped mountains. Drive 2 hours away and you are rewarded with the mountains themselves. A few days at Berchtesgaden at the foothills of the alps brought with it such an impressive and dramatic change of scenery and countless walking trails, that I feel as relaxed as if I had been there for a week.
For once, days off work collided with glorious weather, so that nature seemed at its very best and the 3 days could be maximised to their most. The nearby and spectacular Königssee was within walking distance of our cosy and traditional alpine hotel.
A short but steep walk to one of the smaller and well reachable peaks (Kneifelspitze) was rewarded with a slightly cloudy panorama over the nearby laying Salzburg and the tastiest Germködel I’ve ever eaten.
An afternoon boat ride across the Königssee led us to the picturesque town of St. Bartholomä and a walk to the snow-field at the foot of the Watzmann (Germany’s 3rd highest peak). The roar of mini-avalanches and the intermittent downpour of snowfall along the cliff edges reminded us of the might and unpredictability of nature.
Our aching muscles more than needed the couple of blissful hours in the sauna and wellness area before dinner. Which by the way (if you can get used to the nakedness) is something the Germans just do better than the Brits.
And as ever, the South Germans can be counted upon to find the perfect spot for a beer garden. Meaning that the walks could always be combined with sips of Apfelschorle or Weißbier sitting under the not infrequent rays of sunshine.
As we packed our bags and inhaled the fresh mountain air for the last time, we marvelled at how close ‚all this‘ is to our own doorstep and vowed to make as much use of it as possible. Never before was such a pure holiday-feeling available, so very close to home.