Berchtesgaden – Cžeskí Krumlov

Before leaving Berchtesgaden this morning, we headed up into the old town area.

Finding first the Information Centre and a short walking tour map. The Old Berchtesgaden cemetery is next door, having been there since 1685.

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Next is the Franciscan church (which I only got a partial photo of), a gothic church built in 1480, it was first a convent and then from 1695 til present day as a Franciscan monastery.

Many of the guest houses and buildings through here have been built anywhere from the mid 1700's to late 1800's.

Moving through to the Schlossplatz and the Royal Castle with Museum that we couldn't wait for it to open, as we had to keep moving. The brochure says 'houses a collection unparalleled in southern Bavaria.'

Across from the palace is the 'Arcades' featuring fresco's from Josef Hengge 1929 and 1952 as a reminder of the fallen soldiers of both world wars.

Back up through the main Marktplatz, it's Saturday morning and people are setting up stalls for the day. The streets are all cobblestone through here with beautiful buildings, colour and fresco's aplenty.

Onto Tittmoning, seit 1134 (I guess without looking, that means established?) through an archway into a quaint little cobblestone town square, surrounded with buildings in the square and one way out the other end.

Now it's move on to Cžeská Republika and the town of Cžesky Krumlov. Changes of scenery now (sort of) as we crossed the border.

Na Zdraví!

Kat xo

Kehlsteinhaus – Eagles Nest

After breakfast this morning we caught the bus up to Dokumentation Obersalberg then transferred to another bus that would take us up the rest of the way to Kehlsteinhaus. In other words, Eagles Nest or 'Hitler's lair'

Talk about take a run up the hill! A winding one lane road that the bus driver virtually took a running start at flinging us up the mountain.

 

The weather is spectacular today with clear blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures. Jack said the last time he came here with his Dad it was misty and couldn't see much of a view at all so he is very pleased today.

The views from the bus to the mountains is just spectacular and think we have been blessed with the great weather.

 

Once here you have to check in a return trip time and we booked an English speaking tour (35minutes with Stephen) which was well and truly worth it. So my next lot of ramblings on here are furious fingers typing during the tour. Well, with some touch ups after the fact.

 

Kehlsteinhaus along with its 124m access tunnel and then a vertical 124m vertical lift shaft was built in just 13 months with some 3000 men (on tour we were told 8 men perished during the construction, other sites say up to 12) and about $150M. A pretty impressive effort for its completion in 1938.

Obersalzberg meaning 'Above the salt mountain' was in 1923 where Hitler spent most of his time. A small hut later he called his 'struggle house' was where he wrote 'Mein Kampf' in 1925. In 1928 he rented Wachenfeld House and when he purchased it in 1933 it was transformed, 50 rooms added converting it into the Berghof. This would later be instrumental in its use for diplomatic functions and where many of his decisions were made.

Buildings were later erected for SS guards.

At Kehlsteinhaus, the great hall had a huge picturesque window made up of 90 panels of glass with a marble desk across the full window. The window was also hydraulically lowered into the basement (and raised) for uninterrupted views to the mountains. Half of the mountain range is in Germany and the other half in Austria.

Hitler himself was in fact an Austrian who later became Chancellor in charge of of Germany.

The Obersalzberg area was bombed by the British but Kehlsteinhaus was the only one not affected and therefore remains today. Whether that was strategic or not is a question for others from that time period.

The project was to be a political meeting point and tea house.

The building is 80% concrete finished in granite and sandstone with the 'palace' entrance consisting of 2 sets of brass doors. These brass doors, if you look carefully, have inscriptions of the past in them. Soldiers, allied forces and others names and dates, before it was made a historical site can be found – in the right light – scratched into the brass.

It's around 30C/86F and humid outside today but as you move into the tunnel it drops dramatically to a cool 7C as it cuts back into the centre of the mountain. The lift entrance is in a domed room called the waiting room.

In a separate tunnel that runs parallel to this one is the 8hp submarine diesel engine, still original as it was put in in 1940 with her original tools and spare parts, she is maintained to meet German guidelines every year and still operates the lift and everything else.

The full brass lift is original to the building. It used to be two levels with a lower deck carrying workers, tools and supplies as needed. The lift goes around 40ft per second so was no time at all to go the 124m to the top.

 

Coming through the dining hall the cedar panelling is still original. It was more a banquet hall back then with the great hall having cosier round table and seating.

The marble fire place, like the brass doors, now has its own battle scars. Some troops inscribed their names in the table and fireplace while others used their bayonets to chip pieces off the fireplace to take home as a souvenir.

 

In the tea room it also had windows that lowered down to give uninterrupted views known today as the Eva Brauhn tea room it also had in floor heating, very high tech for 1938.

 

There were only 14 official visits made by Hitler and Eva Brauhn to the house, most of the dealings were done at the property in Obersalzberg.

After the 3rd infantry of US moved into Berchestgarden in May 1945. The house became US controlled until 1952. You could pay 50c and come up by army jeep to have a visit.

The first photo of the Kehlsteinhaus by an Allied, was shown in the movie Band of Brothers.

Once the tour was finished we went onto the sun porch and further information boards, then making way through the outdoor restaurant and trekked up to the cross at the top of the summit. The views are truly spectacular!

 

As we sat on the deck for lunch we watched as cloud rolled in and left again, truly in awe of this scenic site. It was literally covered in tourists from all nations.

 

We caught the bus back down to Obersalzberg, then alighted and found the museum. A small price to pay to see a lot of photographs and information (albeit in German, with only brochures in English) but the true highlight was the bunker!

 

Now I don't condone what went on during that period of history but he was a very clever and forward thinking man and I'll leave it at that.

This was a great day. I'm glad Jack got to go again and see where his Dad had been in the war as an allied airman. His visit to the Dokumentation Obersalzberg was successful too when he got to speak with a curator about pieces his Dad had in his possession from Hitlers office when there on an R and R break in May, 1945.

Thanks Berchestgarden for having us, tomorrow we move on to Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic.

Kat xo

 

Arrived Munich-Berchestgaden

Jack and I arrived in Munich yesterday pretty much without a hitch.

When we finally got to get the rental car (yes taking an hour and a half when we were disembarked, luggage collected, through immigration and customs in just 3/4hr) we hit the road towards Berchtesgaden.

With a very slight detour into Austria along the autobahn we were back into Germany and arrived at our Hotel Schwabenwirt.

Beer garden, restaurant, shops close by, bus station across the roundabout, a fabulous stream with the purest, most clear water I have seen! What more could you possibly want?!

The afternoon was somewhat overcast but temps were still around 31C with humidity.

A few beers and dinner, a short walk to tourist information centre, a viewing of the river, kept us awake long enough to get a decent night sleep.

And it's still the same colour this morning!! Yippee!

Day In Cheyenne

Last night we had a fabulous dinner with Wild Horse John, Saginaw Sue, Trigger Happy Ted and Misty Rider. A good catch up to start off our short stay in Cheyenne.

This morning was a leisurely start over coffee and then off to the country club for lunch on the deck overlooking the golf course.

 

A visit to the museum made for an interesting afternoon. Passing some of Cheyennes spectacular 1800's buildings, the Nelson Museum Of The West awaits.

 

With everything from taxidermy, firearms, Hollywood posters, Indian, cavalry, vaquero outfits, Spurs etc it is a fantastic exhibit over two floors, the third floor below – Lawmen and Outlaws display.

 

Gambling, guns and whiskey were the essentials for outlaws of the time or more likely is what caused the most grief in small railway and cowtown's of the west.

 

This a neat little museum and worth a visit if you are short on time, you can do it in a couple of hours.

We did get an extra personalised tour into the war bonnet room and the new exhibit acquisition room where they are organising new displays.

 

Then across the street into the military uniform display, what a collection! Mostly uniforms from actual military members and displayed with their name plate and photo! Such amazing collections!

 

A little saunter later down the road we arrived at The Plains Hotel for a rest and a beer. Yep, a Saddle Bronc for me, always got to try a local brew, well it comes out of Sheridan which is still Wyoming.

 

That takes care of today, won't be much to report tomorrow until we are at the airport!

Cheers

Kat xo

 

Nebraska – Wyoming

Today we moved on and visited Gothenburg again briefly. Enough time for Jack to get another Pony Express badge, seeing as he lost it somewhere on the range a month or so ago and to send a postcard.

 

Next we continued on the Lincoln Highway to North Platte. We had also previously been here to Buffalo Bill Cody's house and ranch but this time we stopped in at the Golden Spike Tower.

With views overlooking the world's largest classification rail yard – Bailey Yard (have you been here before Paddlewheel???)

 

Here you can go up into the observation deck and watch Union Pacific Railroad workers 'sort and connect over 10,000 cars a day on two classification hump yards, with nearly 120 bowl rows and 315 tracks.'

 

It is 8 miles long, 301 sets of rails covering 2,850 acres.

North Platte was originally “Hell On Wheels Town” in 1866.

Inside the gift shop are historical displays and a short movie. Information boards line the walls of the internal observation deck and in the foyer to the outside observation deck the boards talk of the canteen.

 

This was a great stop and you could actually see the cars being pushed up the humps to be transferred down the other side into the bowl and let run down a track ready to be attached for their final destination.

 

It's lunch time and that means getting our skates on! Next stop Ole's for lunch and view some 200 mounted trophies displayed in this Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge.

 

The brochure says 'Rosser O. Herstedt (“Ole” to anyone that knew him) was one of a kind.' Born and bred in Paxton he seized on a unique business opportunity in 1933. (This part makes me grin) 'On August 8, 1933, prohibition in Nebraska came to an end. At 12.01am on August 9, Ole opened his tavern on Paxton's main street.' Lol!

He was a hunter and soon the lounge became a showcase for his hunting trips and safaris. It is still owned today by another Paxton native, Tim Holzfaster.

 

An Ole's club sandwich and a side of fries did both of us!!

On to our last stop before reaching Cheyenne, WY, we made a quick stop in Sidney, NE at the Pony Express National Monument which of course is right next to Cabela's….which of course we just had to go into!

 

Hope you've had a great day or having a great day!

Kat xo

 

Kansas – Nebraska Day Trip

Travelling along, no car projects this trip, so snooze! Yeah that sounds pretty good.

We were heading north through Kansas and came across Waconda Lake between Beloit and Cawker City, a massive expanse of waterway. Not much out this way except lots of farming and Beloit is clearly a very large agricultural hub.

 

Continuing North we took a quick side trip for a mile off the Hwy8 which took us to the Dr Higley cabin. (Lovingly taken care of, restored and remaining on its original site thanks to Mr and Mrs Pete Rust)

 

Birthplace of 'Home On The Range' the Kansas state song was written in 1871 by Dr Brewster M. Higley as a poem of his property in Kansas alongside Beaver Creek. In 1872 he gave it to a guy by the name of Dan Kelley who set it to music. A refrain was added (the chorus, home, home on the range….) and his poem 'my western home' became 'home on the range. The poem and song were published in 1872 and '73.

It became popular amongst Cowboys riding long distances with cattle drives and later Franklin D. Roosevelt declared it as his favourite song. In 1947 a bill was passed in the Kansas Legislature establishing the song as the official state song.

Continuing on, we crossed into Nebraska, heading towards Minden.

Minden established 1877 – the Christmas city – has a nice selection of old homes and the Harold Warp Pioneer Village. Anything and everything you could think of from mans progression since 1830. 26 buildings, 3 city blocks – not enough time to do in a short afternoon.

 

Next to Kearney (pronounce Car-nee). We crossed the Platte River taking us through even more farmland. Soon we hit the I80 into Kearney through the The Great Platte River Arch Monument. We went into the Arch Monument and their historical exhibit, wow! Oh….my….goodness!

 

The murals were just sensational! So much detail! Standing there looking at them while listening to the commentary you saw so much more. This is a place I could come back to multiple times and still see more. You were given a device at the beginning of the tour that had multiple points during the tour where you got the information along the way. More than that, the displays, the video's, the models, murals, everything was sensational!

 

Then it was find a motel to stay in and tomorrow we will see the some other museums, maybe a railway one and Chimney Rock before moving on through to Cheyenne, WY.

Sleep well!

Kat xo

P.S. The I80 was Einsenhower's way of employing those back from the war by building the greatest Trans continent road between SanFrancisco, California to New York. A multi lane highway stretching from one side of the country to the other! Made transport easier and gave all veterans an employment opportunity.