Very Sunny Sunday 29th September
We stayed in Bad Reichenhall three years ago and spent five days there waiting for the weather to improve, it didn’t so we had to move on and not visit one of the places I really wanted to go to. The forecast was good for today so I was very relieved to wake up this morning to glorious sunshine. We’re going to the Eagles Nest – whoop, whoop.
Plug in the co-ordinates into Stella, it’s only 18 miles, we’ll be there in a jiffy. Halfway there we find a diversion sign for Bertchesgarden, the nearest town to the Eagles Nest. Unfortunately the diversion was one of the steepest, narrowest roads we have ever been on, chuck in a couple of hairpins and it’s all looking wrong. Due to the slope of the road the fuel warning light has come on, we could have stopped in Salzburg where it was €1.21, we didn’t; we could have stopped yesterday in Germany where it was €1.25, we didn’t; we weren’t going to stop today because it was €1.35, we think the price goes up on a Sunday, something we’ll have to keep an eye on.
Eventually, after three miles of going up and with Stella shouting at me to turn round, we did and made our way back to the route she wanted only to find the road really was blocked and we did have to use the diversion.
Back up the steep road for mile after mile and all the while the diesel light is on and Stella is shouting. It turned out that there was a short tunnel and the height was 2.4m at the side and 4m in the middle. All of a sudden Stella is happy again and the fuel light has gone off because we are on the level again.
And then we followed the signs to the Eagles Nest. This road was even stepper, narrower and twistier, luckily we only met a couple cars because we know that coaches use this road as well. No doubt we will meet them tomorrow. What seemed like a very long drive eventually bought us to a free car park, it’s the overflow for the proper parking but it was full of motorhomes.
Short walk back to the main bus depot. Lots of queues to get on buses and buy the tickets to get on buses. You have a choice, you can walk up to the Eagles Nest for free but it will take you over 4 hours, longer if you’re trying to push Lucy up hill as well. Alternatively you can pay €16.60 each to get in a specially adapted bus which will take you near to the top in just 20 minutes and then you can catch the lift to the top as well.
The buses travel up a dedicated road in groups, sixes and sevens today, numbers can go up and down. They leave at set times and the first bus we could get onto was due to leave in 75 minutes. What to do while we wait?
Comfort break of course.
The scenery was stunning all the way up, this photo is meant to convey how steep the roads are, sorry for the reflections. Half way up the mountain the down going buses have to wait in a lay-by to allow the going up buses past.
Near the top is a bus turning circle, and after decided which time bus you want to get back on you proceed into the lift tunnel. From what I can make out this is almost everything left of the prewar buildings. The tunnel and “Tea House” were completed in 1938.
In the distance is Salzburg, funnily there were no blockages on the Salzburg to Bertchesgarden road.
Near the top is a restaurant with terrace and you can walk up another 100 yards or so to the summit of this mountian.
Lake Konigsee centre left.
Looking back from near the top Bertchesgarden is down in the valley and the restaurant is on the right. We did look out for Frankie but couldn’t see him, I thought I could still hear him wheezing though.
Right at the top, some of the mountains in the distance are over 2500m high, we’re just at 1800m. The sun is so hot and what little breeze there was lovely and warm. I had regretted not bring a jumper when we got off the bus, but the bus park was in shade and slightly cooler.
Being the nice fellow that I am and having plenty of time to catch the bus we stopped for lunch. Weiner Schnitzel (with meat) on potato salad and for me roast pork with sauerkraut. Obviously beer was involved. Whilst eating we noticed a dozen or more very large black birds, very smart just like a Blackbird and with a yellow beak. They didn’t really look like they were after titbits off the tables, they seemed far more interested in soaring and gliding. We decided that it was the big Blackbirds hang gliding Sunday club for men only. Turns out that they were Alpine Choughs.
Having plenty of time we walked down to the buses, about 25 minutes in all.I really was expecting to see some remnants of the old buildings.
More death defying driving going down. Since we were on the downhill leg we had to stop in the layby to wait for the next lot of buses. Here we go, I thought, 10 minute wait, but with impeccable German efficiency it was less that a minute of waiting time.
That’s all for today. When we arrived there were 20 motorhomes in the car park and we know some people have stayed overnight. As I’ve been writing this they’ve all gone leaving us all alone. Hopefully it will be a very quiet night.