Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tag drei - Dias, Salz und die landschaft (Day 3 - Slides, Salt & Scenery)

Rise and shine at the hotel in Munich. After finding our required gas station and grabbing a quick breakfast we hit the road again. This time the destination was the Salzburg and Berchtesgaden areas. A few of us got a little cat nap in on the journey and everyone was ready to roll when we arrived to tour the Salzbergwerk Salt Mine. We donned our coveralls and prepared to journey underground to see just how salt is mined.

I was a little unsure how entertained the little guys would be, but the tour didn't disappoint. We began with a train ride down into the mine. Of course, Sam and Jack loved the train. They did mention the chill, as the temperature hovers around 54 degrees. Almost immediately after getting off the train, we were treated to a trip down a wooden slide. We piled together and took an exciting ride. It was great.

Later we were treated to a boat ride across Mirror Lake with an entertaining light and music show. Sam even wanted to go for a swim. Thankfully, Josh was able to prevent that from taking place. After our fun and chilly tour, we enjoyed lunch at an outdoor restaurant riverside. Jack was thrilled they had chicken nuggets and Sam tried the schnitzel. It was a combination of wraps and burgers between the rest of us.

Next, we loaded up and headed for Berchtesgaden to view Kehlsteinhaus or Eagle's Nest, one of Hitler's private residences. Kehlsteinhaus is a chalet-style structure erected on a subpeak of the Hoher Göll known as the Kehlstein. It was intended as a 50th birthday present for Adolf Hitler to serve as a retreat, and a place for him to entertain visiting dignitaries. Word is he visited there fewer than a dozen times and never for longer than an hour. It's been determined because of this somewhat loose association, the building was saved from demolition unlike the remainder of Hitler's residences.

After a winding bus ride with spectacular views and a number of tunnels, we reached our stop. The last 407 feet up to the Kehlsteinhaus are reached by an elevator bored straight down through the mountain and linked via a tunnel through the granite below that is also 407 feet long. The inside of the large elevator car is surfaced with polished brass, Venetian mirrors and green leather. Once up top, the views were quite incredible.

We finished our day with dinner in Salzburg at the Guesthaus and more German cuisine. Soon enough it was time to begin our journey back to the hotel in Munich.

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