Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Road to Konigsee, Hintersee and back

Aware that Dad preferred the natural to the man-made in terms of sightseeing options, we did our research before we left and decided to spend the day heading down towards the Berchtesgarten national park, in the south-eastest corner of Germany, without quite reaching Salzburg. There were supposed to be some scenic views and walking trails in the area that Google images indicated might be rather beautiful.

Leaving the Cloister on a foggy day, we did wonder how much of these vistas would actually be visible.

None the less, we decided to head in that direction anyway, hoping that the fog would clear, we’d see something scenic regardless, we’d see something else that would make the trip worthwhile or a combination of the above.

Dad was driving, in the wrong side of the car, on the wrong side of the road, with the road winding away from him into the mist and fog. Thankfully with 1 GPS and 1 navigator it was alot easier and I was able to take photos from the front seat in addition to scenery-shoot (as opposed to trouble-shoot) so Dad could find the nearest parking spot and enjoy the vistas along the way.

In fact, though I’d expected to do most of the scenery shooting around Konigsee and Hintersee, it was in fact the journey itself that was most rewarding.

We passed through forests of conifers and deciduous trees silhouetted by the fog,

Under sheer mountain faces,

Rolling hills with a backdrop of pine trees peeping put from under the low lying clouds,

Lakes of mist settled in the valleys between the snowcapped Alps

Sunlight streaming through the trees and radiating beams in the mist

Eerily silent lakes and rivers, the vegetation mirrored in the rippling water.

All scenes that are typically European(as opposed to the Australian countryside/outback) but at the same time picturesque and unusual and nothing like what you would expect to find in Australia. The fact that much of the mist and fog was a result of the (very) low temperature may have had something to do with it, but on this occasion, because we spend most of the day  in the warmth of the car, or at least breaking up our excursions into the cold with lengthy drives in the car, it made it bearable.

At Konigsee we parked, having got our bearing and a map of the national park further up the road at Wimbackklamm. There was supposed to be a walking trail or two to do that snaked their way up the surrounds hills and no doubt provided breathtaking views of Konigsee lake, or fascinating wildlife.
Unfortunately, the wildlife was hibernating (sensibly), and the views were shrouded in fog, so thick that it was difficult to see more than a few dozen meters in front of you.

So instead we wandered around the near part of the lake where during warmer seasons there was obviously a resort type atmosphere. On this particular day, only the  ducks were making use of the lake.
Later we were told that this lake is famous for it's echo. It's just a pity that someone informed one of the ducks, for though there was 30-40, only one was audible wherever you ventured around the lake.

After photographing that misty lake and the island monument within, we  headed west to Hintersee, another lake I'd discovered had reputable vistas.

Wandering around this lake before heading back to civilisation we stumbled upon a quaint little church and cemetery in I believe the town of Ramsauer Ache. Dedicated to St Sebastian, the church was light and airy and simple. 

The memorial garden, however, was absolutely delightful. It comprised of no more than 80 plots, each one no longer than one metre and no wider than 50 centimetres and yet each one was meticulous in its presentation with bright flowering plants, lanterned tea lights and not a single weed or unkempt branch in sight. 
I've heard that the maintenance of these plots is an expected weekly ritual within a village community and the love and care that goes into it is obvious. 

Throughout our ramble Dad kept saying that this is the type of place Granddad would probably like as his memorial as it looks far happier than the barren unkempt cemeteries that are prevalent in Perth.

 The drive back was as picturesque, dipping in and out of the clouds as we would our way back along country roads.

It made for a very visually rewarding day.

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