As always, our friend and travel agent Gerd had been invaluable in providing us with information on what to do in Bavaria following our time at Oberammergau. He told us about the Deutsche Alpenstraße, which is a panoramic road from Lake Constance to Königssee. Having missed the portion of the route west of Fussen, we had covered the segment through Garmisch-Partenkirchen on our way to Oberammergau and the section east of Fussen during our day of abbeys, castles and churches, en route to Bad Bayersoien. https://mitchell.news/2022/06/04/abbeys-castles-churches/. We were now to embark on the next leg of the journey as far as Nussdorf Am Inn, near Oberaudorf before heading to Bad Reichenhall.
Sadly, the day we left Bad Bayersoien for our drive through Bad Tolz and Rottach-Egern was wet, misty and outright miserable. So much for the panoramic view of the alps that we were meant to enjoy as we tracked the border between Germany and Austria! As a little bit of compensation, we did stop off at a café attached to the Barbara Krönner chocolate factory in Murnau am Staffelsee for thick hot chocolate and a slice of cake. This was our breakfast, so we didn’t feel too bad. Unfortunately the factory was not operating that day, so we couldn’t take advantage of the free tour and tasting that our local tourist card had offered. Not a big deal given it was pouring with rain and we were happy to get on our way again.
Bad Tolz, known for its Lüftl art adorning the baroque facades, stunning scenery and “the Isar river meandering like a turquoise iridescent band through town” was more like a grey mass. We did take a quick drive across the river (grey) and around the outskirts of what did look to be a pretty town, but didn’t bother stopping and paying for parking as we didn’t feel up to walking around in the rain.
Instead, we continued our journey, circumnavigating the large Tegernsee Lake. Albeit the misty day continued, we appreciated the beauty of the large expanse of water and Glenda did manage a couple of photos as we stopped at a railway crossing, waiting for a train to cross the road. It felt s little like Germany’s version of Lake Como – a place for the well-heeled to enjoy their vacations, with plenty of things to do and good restaurants.
We had been in contact with our Airbnb hosts at our next destination, Nussdorf am Inn, and they had graciously agreed to an early arrival. We stopped off at the bakerei in the little town – Glenda had found it when doing a bit of research – to check our their pastries and buy some yummy bread. We still had some cheese and fruit over from our previous leg, so we were all set to have lunch in. Whilst we couldn’t take advantage of the stunning views from the verandah outside the unit as it was still raining, it was nice to relax in our comfortable, dry, warm accommodation.
By the afternoon, the weather had lifted and we were able to take a drive across the border into Austria to and explored a few of the other little villages across the nearby Inn River.
What a beautiful day!!
We were extremely grateful to wake up to cloudless blue skies the following morning. With a number of hikes starting directly outside our accommodation, we headed off early to explore the mountains and picturesque green pastures covered with cows. Unfortunately we didn’t quite make it to the summit we were aiming for – we ended up off the path and figured we shouldn’t keep walking along the edge of a mountain that we didn’t know – but managed to cover a distance of almost 15km and conquer an elevation gain of a little over 700m. All in all, a good day out.
A loop of the Alpenstraße
It was a good thing to have made the most of the sunny day as the following couple of days were gloomy again. On our final full day in Nussdorf, we did take a drive to get some coffee and baked goods for breakfast and to explore a loop of the Alpine Road, albeit in the mist (and sometimes heavy rain). Soon after exiting the little town, we were pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous art on the buildings in the neighbouring village of Neubeuern. We would never tire of the pretty buildings with their coloured flours on the balconies and art covering the exterior walls – quintessential Bavarian beauty.
We managed to get to our stop in Aschau im Chiemgau just before the rain so had a short walk across the river and down the main street. We marvelled at the tall mast in the main street – not realising that this was likely the least attractive of those that we would see in every village in the area through the rest of the day. Today we had a sneaky coffee and cake – this time in addition to our breakfast.
The rain was back
Our final leg of the Deutsche Alpenstraße to Bad Reichenhall the following day started off pretty wet. This didn’t stop us from making a final visit to the bakerei in Nussdorf to enjoy the pastries and quirky décor.
As we made our way further inland and from the mountains, the rain stopped and we appreciated a relaxing drive around the Chiemsee Lake. Just as big as the Tegernsee but totally different – flat, undeveloped and generally a lot more rugged. As soon as we ventured back to the main drag and further south towards our final destination, the proximity to the mountains brought with it more inclement weather and heavy mist. It provided its own beauty and there were the odd breaks in the weather affording us with stunning views of the countryside.
By the time we arrived at the Konigsee, near Berchtesgaden – renowned for its proximity to Hitlers Tea House – we were able to get out of the car and enjoy the aqua water of the lake and check out the local ice arena.
Exploring Gerd’s old stomping ground of Bad Reichenhall
Although the weather had cleared a little, we were still happy to have organised an early check-in at the family-run Hotel Sonnenbihl in Bad Reichenhall. This turned out to be another good recommendation of Gerd’s – he had spent a lot of time there as a child and spoke very highly of it. The room was a lot bigger than expected and had a gorgeous view of the Predigtstuhl mountain, the hotel had lots of nooks and crannies and the breakfast was just as good as we’d been told.
Bad Reichenhall itself had a nice little main street, lined with shops and cafes. Soon after arriving, we took a walk down said street and ended up in the pretty, large Rathauplatz (town hall square). Looking over the square was a hotel & beergarden, Brauereigasthof/Hotel Bürgerbräu. Being a German wheat beer lover, Walter was drawn to the tall glasses of cold liquid. It was after 3pm and we hadn’t eaten since our pastries at breakfast. So we succumbed to the temptation and treated ourselves to pork ribs and wine / beer as we watched the world go by.
Other than our challenging hike up the Predigtstuhl mountain– why take a cable car if you can walk for 7 hours (https://mitchell.news/2022/06/11/a-short-walk-in-bad-reichenhall/) – and our day in Salzburg (https://mitchell.news/2022/06/12/the-hills-are-alive/), the rest of our time in Bad Reichenhall was largely relaxing. We took a stroll along the river, checked out a local Aldi, wondered around town, sat at the Mozart café having a coffee and spent some time in the hotel lounge reading over a cup of tea.
During one of our ambles around town, we came across a beautiful park that happened to be near the hotel. On a subsequent visit, there was a jazz concert taking place. Whilst a paid event, as it was open air, there was nothing to stop us from sitting on the benches nearby, enjoying the music.