After a wasted day in a BMW Motorrad, my wallet 150 Euros lighter due to a needless spark plug change, and a restless night’s sleep in a poorly selected wild campsite too close to the highway, I headed straight to the Eagles Nest in Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s mountain top retreat. Berchtesgaden is gorgeous, I was planing to return for photo’s and a Bavarian beer after visiting the Nest, but the weather conspired against me by turning shitty so I went straight to Salzburg instead. After an easy 150 mile ride from the campsite I arrive and pull up in the main car park, got changed into my walking gear, locked and covered the bike and set off up the hill where I see a dedicated bike park, full of bikers and one or two adventure bikes too… oh well, I’m not moving it now.
There’s not actually much to see of the Nest itself, the place is now an overpriced posh restaurant. Nevertheless, the views from the Berghof is breath taking. You park in the shadow of the mountain retreat and take the 4 mile bus ride (15 euro return) up to the nest. You then walk about 100m through a refreshingly cold tunnel lined with damp stones, up to the golden elevator, which takes you the rest of the way. Apparently, there are guided tours of the building but I didn’t see any signs so it must be by special request. That leaves you to then take in the view and either return to the bus stop via the elevator or take the winding walk down to the bus. I chose the latter, it’s not far, probably only 1-2km but it’s quite steep and my legs were a bit shakey when I got back to the bike.
I decided to skip the visitor centre, I was itching to get back on the road. I had a banana and a nectarine for a late lunch while I chatted with two lovely Brits, John and Alison, who pulled up in a very nice Porsche that they were touring in just as I was packing up and making ready to leave. I finished just as it started to rain, but then the sky opened up and within five minutes it had stopped. Another incidence of me putting on my rain gear needlessly. The one thing I love above all things in Austria are the many water fountains dotted along the alpine river road. I stopped to fill all my water bottles just in case I wild camped. It’s the most refreshing, water I’ve ever drank. I decided to check in at the Muffin Hostel in Salzburg but I wished I hadn’t it was not great. It was not only seriously overpriced at 25euros, it had the weakest internet connection on the face of the earth along with the most uncomfortable bunk beds and streile impersonal atmosphere. In hindsight I should have gone onwards to another hostel.
It was great to get off the bike for a bit and walk around but after 10 mins of tourists I was ready to get back on my bike an be on my way.
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