Alpine Village – So Beautiful!

We have a lot of catching up to do!

We were without Internet service last night so I will have to combine two days in one post. Here goes . . .

MONDAY, June 25, 2012

We packed up and left Vienna on Monday. It was raining and poor Max got all dirty. At least we know the wipers work.  We headed west, back toward Salzburg, and enjoyed the scenic farmland once again.  Just past Salzburg, at the Austria / Germany border, there is a wonderful little place called Berchtesgaden tucked away in the German Bavarian Alps. It is absolutely beautiful. The air was cool and crisp. No smog. No pollution. No litter. There is a river (I assume from melted snow) that runs through the town. Listen to the birds in the background of this video. 

We walked into the town square from our hotel for dinner and noticed several locals walking around with walking sticks (they look like ski poles) which aid in the ascent of the steep hills. There was a lot of activity in the square. I don’t know if it was a festival or what the occasion was, but a group of local musicians were giving a concert outside our restaurant.

Walking to the town square.
Church near town square.
Church steeple.
Lovely flowers.

On the way into town, I noticed a gate next to the church and I went to see what was there. It was the church cemetery. I know cemeteries are usually sad and scary, but this one was so sweet. I imagine the people who are buried here were long time residents of this town and attended this church their whole lives. I loved how peaceful it seemed and obviously the family members attend to the graves of their loved ones as evidenced by all the beautiful flowers and plants. I told Stan I would like to be buried in a place like this.

Church cemetery.
Church cemetery.
This person lived 117 years.
Born 1705 – Died 1822.

Berchtesgaden National Park is to the south of the town and Mount Watzmann, the third-highest mountain in Germany, is Berchtesgaden’s focal point.  It is very popular in the rock climbing community.  We got several pictures of it.

Mount Watzmann.
Flat Stanley in front of Mount Watzmann.

We only spent one night there so we didn’t have much time to learn the history of Berchtesgaden. However, I did learn that during World War II it served as an outpost for The Third Reich and I believe Hitler’s mountain retreat was located here. It is a sad and very unfortunate stain on the fabric of Germany’s history.

TUESDAY,  June 26, 2012

Today we continued to travel south/west to Innsbruck, Austria.  Instead of taking the autobahn, Stan decided to take the back roads which took us through The Alps. The drive was spectacular.  We saw little towns along the way and the scenery was  . . . yes, I’ll say it again . . . beautiful! We tried to capture some of it on video and photos but we can hardly do it justice.

Maximilian enjoying the view.
Shooting the view.
The view.
The other view.

We finally arrived at a very special place – The Swarovski Factory! Oh. My. Goodness. Stan knows how very much I love Swarovski so he arranged for us to spend the afternoon there. They have a beautiful store and a restaurant where we had lunch.  And yes, I did walk out with a little blue bag in my hand. Woo! Hoo!

After my shopping spree, we arrived at our final destination for the evening, Innsbruck. First stop: laundromat.  Next stop: hotel.

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