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Monday, October 3, 2011

The hills are alive with the sound of… Hitler?

Next stop on our trip was Salzburg and Berchtesgaden aka Obersalzburg.  The train ride into town from Vienna was amazing.  Living in the desert with unnatural greenery all around you everyday makes you long for the real stuff… and we got it on our trip.  Salzburg is home to salt mines (hence the name) and is the home of the VonTrapp family in the Sound of Music.  The scenery is more amazing than the movie, but we didn’t stay in Salzburg.  We stayed about 10 miles away in Berchtesgaden… home to Hitler’s “vacation home”.  Our hotel was at the base of the mountain on which Hitler’s home was built and although it was most likely one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in… looking up the mountain kind of gave us the heebee geebees. 
Since Jon loves history, we spent most of the day getting lost, I mean hiking through the hills visiting different underground Nazi tunnels and Documentation museums… and then we took a bus up to the top of the mountain to visit Eagle’s Nest, aka Hitler’s house.  If you've ever seen those movies on the History Channel of Hitler at a mountain retreat.....that's the one.  Most of what remained from the Third Reich after WWII was destroyed, but there are still some remaining landmarks, Eagle’s Nest being one of them.  It was interesting to stand on that mountain perched so high in the sky… it's like you are looking down on the world (someone had a God Complex… you think?!?).  Anyways, when we were leaving we headed back into Salzburg and enjoyed some schnitzel, potatoes and beer before heading to Munich. 
People spoke German to us the whole time (I guess we looked the part) and we would just smile and say, “we only speak English.” Most people would just look at us, smile and say something else in German and walk away.  On the train to Munich, however, Jon had the same interaction but this time the guy spoke English.  This was the conversation;
German Man: What city are you coming from?
Jon: We just went to Berchtesgaden.
German Man: A man lived there once (with a little smile)
Jon: Yes, we went to Eagle’s Nest.
German Man: A very famous man
Or as Jon and I like to say… the man whose name we do not say.

From the Front of our Hotel…

And the back.

Leighton loving the grass again!

I looked over at one point and found the munchkin twirling the grass with her fingers… too cute!

We stumbled upon a mini museum at the Hotel Turken.

There were underground bunkers below the hotel.  This is a picture of a hole U.S. Forces blew in the wall when they raided the tunnels.

At the base of Eagle’s Nest.

Jon at the top… the cloud is blocking the most beautiful mountain peak.

Overlooking the house.

The little one just checking out Austria from Germany.

Then it was back to the hotel to clean up...

And Relax!

And then off to the bar....
That is a “menu” for the hotel's scotch collection… Jon was in his happy place!

Not a shabby scene to wake up to.

 The company wasn’t too shabby either.

One last photo op before we left.

Then lunch in Salzburg…

And off to Munich for Leighton to meet her Uncle Mike and future Aunt Charlotte!

Until later…

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