While me and my family were in Austria, we took a trip across the border into Germany for the day to visit Berchtesgaden. My goodness it was a simply beautiful place. Not only is it a gorgeous little mountain town but it is rich in natural resources and has an interesting history.
First we went to see the Eagles Nest which for those who don’t know was were Hitler and his top men often went to plan policies and strategies for the Nazi party. It was built in the early 30s but Hitler only visited it twice during the war. In fact the whole of the Berchtesgaden area became a second headquarters for the Nazis.
I was in two minds of going up at first because I am a bit of a history nerd especially that of WWII, but I didn’t care nor did I particularly want to see Hitler’s little mountain retreat. I didn’t want to endorse anything like that, but after doing some research of what it is today, it actually has no Nazi memorabilia at all. It is literally just a shell of what it once was with a mountain top restaurant. So I did decide to go in the end and the surroundings at the top overlooking Berchtesgaden and the mountains all around were simply quite stunning. Also what was really surprising was that the actual building of the Eagles Nest looks as if it was built 10 years ago not 80! The ingenuity was fascinating.
After that we went on to explore the village of Berchtesgaden which was something else all together. It was the perfect picturesque fairy tale village! Colourful and beautiful buildings almost an artwork of their own, loads of cafés and adorable stores, pretty little gardens and all in stunning surroundings. This is actually a very small town so you would only need a day if even to see everything.
Finally we finished the day by going to the Salt Mines not far off. This was certainly a fascinating visit… getting dressed up in a jumpsuit to then get on a little train and head inside the mountain was an incredible experience. They told the story and history of the mines through clever laser light shows and you could travel from level to level by going down steep slides which they originally used to transport the workers. We even took a boat ride across a lake inside the mine. Unfortunately you weren’t allowed to take cameras inside so you’ll have to go see and experience it for yourself which I definitely recommend if you ever find yourself out there! 😉