Saturday 8th October
Two weeks in a trot we have broken golden rule number 1, don’t move at the weekend because everyone else will be out and about for the weekend.
We’ve given up completely on seeing the Eagles Nest this voyage because of the weather and have decided to move on today. The stellplatz at Bad Reichenhall is very popular, it has been full up nearly the whole time that we have been here and we saw so many motorhomes have to look for somewhere else to go. It didn’t stop one likely lad this morning trying to find a space – at 3.40am and then making a real meal out of it trying to reverse out.
The salt mines at Berchtesgaden have been recommended to us so that was today’s destination, it’s indoors so we can’t get wet.
Look at what we get to wear, proper miners clothes, at one point we thought that we might have to do some work. This is the only photo you get because due to security measures photos are not allowed in the mine (I don’t know what they think terrorists are going to do with a mine but them the rules.
The whole experience was quite an adventure. First you all get on a small train which takes you 600m into the mountain, you then get on a huge wooden slide which takes you down another 100m into one of the salt cathedrals.
The mines have been working for 500 years and are now on the fourth level down. In prehistoric times the whole area was underneath an ocean. As the alps rose they left salt lakes which dried, got covered over by more alps and left a huge area underground containing salt. Nowadays the miners drill down through the salt and put in water which dissolves the salt. The salty brine is pumped 30 km to the salt works at Bad Reichenhall where the water is removed and salt crystals are grown.
After the theory we passed the different mining equipment and looked at monitors showing the workers 300m below us doing miney things. Next up was a boat trip across a late followed by another slide and then a funicular railway which took us back to our train.
It was a very good hour long trip followed by retail opportunities.
Here is our bag of genuine salt, we thought we needed some but I found a large bag at the back of one of Frankies cupboards.
Outside it was still raining so after lunch we headed off for Austria.
On the way we stopped in Aldi and bought enough food for seven main meals. €38.50, I couldn’t believe it because that included 4 bottles of wine and 3 bottles of soft drinks. Frank has so much storage space that we don’t really know what we’ve got and it needs a good clear out one day. However, all that storage space means that we have most of the ingredients for our meals and only need to add the main ingredient.
We have seen a lot of these very small chapels, Lucy likes them so you’ve got a picture.
Whizzing into Austria, Stella is sulking, she has drawn the line on the map but won’t give us any instructions, is it because we have left Germany – who can tell?
Camper contact is giving me two stellplatz within reach of where we want to get to. Go left at Saalfelden and try the €12 stellplatz which has only 5 spaces or go right to the €9.50 stellplatz with 25 spaces. It’s Saturday and we are mid afternoon so I take the sensible choice and go right. We find the parking area by the ski lifts, there are even two tents pitched in the car park but there is no sign whatsoever that motorhomes are allowed overnight. There should be water, electric and showers here but not a sign so we guess it is closed and go back to Saalfelden and try the small place which is bound to be full up.
And there is only one other motorhome there, with a sigh of relief I pull in and look for somewhere to park. The landowner comes over and says “don’t park here – park there, the view is much better”. We can nearly see the top of a mountain with snow on the top, there is a bigger mountain behind that one. The one you can see is just over 4,000 feet high, we are going over the pass tomorrow which is at 7,600 feet.
We liked all the sledges and carts arranged by the barns. This is a working dairy farm in the middle of nowhere, it is pitch black outside and quiet as anything. The chapel in the previous photo doesn’t have a bell in it.
From the other direction. So far Austria has been very similar to Germany, the mountains are bigger but everywhere is so clean and all the buildings look like they have been carefully maintained. The only difference I’ve seen so far is a lack of Aldi and Lidl, but then we’ve only been through the one large town (a couple of times).