Friday, September 30, 2016


Hiking in Bavaria

It was a crisp and clear Bavarian morning as we cruised down the Konigsee  (King's Lake) in an electric-powered ferry.  The beautiful Konigsee is located between the German town of Berchtesgaden and the Austrian city of Salzburg and is flanked on all sides by the Bavarian Alps, including the 8,900 ft. Watzmann, the highest mountain located solely in Germany. 
We by-passed the first two ferry stops and exited at Salet, the last docking at the far end of Konigsee.  The only way to reach Salet is by water and the only structures there are a ferry terminal and a cafeteria style restaurant that serves the best smoked trout imaginable.  Cows roamed the mountainside, small streams flowed through rocky creeks toward the lake, and wooded trails lead away from Salet, very pastoral.  

A fifteen-minute walk to the west brings you to the Obersee (Upper Lake).  Your first view of Obersee is awe inspiring. While Konigssee is beautiful, Obersee is breathtaking for the reflective properties of the still - mirror like - water and the claustrophobic encroachment of the towering craggy mountains the surround the lake. 
Continue along a narrow trail to the north of the lake and it will eventually lead you to Fischunkelalm, an outpost that sells beer, milk and limited snacks, and from there on to the Rothbach waterfalls.

The mountains hug the lake forcing the trail at places to climb the rock escarpment.  There is one prominent climb, but they have placed erosion steps and guide cables into the rock face to aid the hiker.  Throughout the entire hike you are afforded a magnificent view of Obersee.
Wading in the lake


In late September, the waterfalls were not producing so we stayed at Fischunkelalm, had a snack at waters edge and enjoyed the view, before starting the half-hour walk back around the lake.  I was surprised at the number of people who took the walk from Salet to Fischunkelalm, though not crowded, the trail was constantly in use.

View of Obersee from Fischukelalm

Upon our return to Salet, we took time to enjoy a meal at Gaststatte Saletalm, the cafeteria style restaurant mentioned earlier.  The smoked trout was fabulous and the beer was icy cold; all this and a view of the falls on Konigesee.  Definitely a day to remember.


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