Globetrotter: Konigssee Lake, Germany

Destiny, Europe, globetrotter, konigsee, Salzburg, Travel
I had a really hard time trying to choose pictures for this post because there were so many and each one is as picturesque as the next one. Honestly it is impossible to choose and since I anyway hate taking such decisions, I went ahead and loaded the post with photos. The more pictures you look at, the more you’ll want to start making holiday plans and that’s exactly my intention! ūüėȬ†Because everybody deserves to go to a place like this. A place so silent and so pure that it makes you feel so small and insignificant with its majestic-ness, and at the same time fills you with wonder and a sense of accomplishment. All you have to do is go and look at this place that has formed its own beauty, and although you had no role to play in its formation, the very fact that you are able to see something so wonderful with your own eyes makes you feel, for one teensy moment, that you can achieve anything in the world!

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View from hotel
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Heated indoor pool which we din’t get to use(except as a background for pics)

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Literally translated as the “King’s Lake”, Konigssee is the cleanest lake in entire Germany, and its easy to see why. Only electric powered passenger boats, rowing boats and pedal boats are allowed in the lake. Either that or you could hike your way forward. One of the best things about this place is the silence. It’s rare for such a huge tourist attraction to be so peaceful and silent. The view of the lake, the mountains, and the stillness of the water automatically makes you just sit back and stare…. at everything. One way or the other they’ll make sure you are a well behaved crowd. They are Germans after all! Sticklers for rules. The guide on the boat speaks only German and blatantly refuses a kind request to explain at least a few of his points in English. You ask for a few words of English and he looks at you like you demanded his kidney! A yellow line on the dock that says ‘Do not cross’ strictly means DO NOT CROSS. A concept that we Indians simply can’t wrap our head around. So if you decide to take just one tiny step forward to peep under the bridge and look at those cute ducklings – bad idea. Angry Germans are worse than rude Germans. You’ll get the filthiest look that they reserve specially for dark skinned people. They are not big on welcoming foreigners. That’s something¬†they can’t wrap their head around.

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Just look at that water!!!

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Pirate attack!!

There are two stops along the lake – St Bartholoma and Salet. To reach Salet, over the 8km stretch of the lake it takes about one and quarter hours. A 10 to 15 minute walk from Salet and you reach a smaller lake, the Obersee. If it’s possible to describe a hike as ‘cute’ that’s probably the word I’d use! Everything from the path, to the little restaurant mid-way, to the ducks that keep giving you company along the way, the fresh mountain water streams that you have to keep crossing over (straight out of an Enid Blyton novel!) is just picture perfect and adorable!

At the end of your little walk you reach a much smaller lake, almost hidden in the valley, with water so still that it seems to reflect everything around it. It doesn’t look real. Almost feels like its a set up where someone has planted perfectly symmetrical trees and painted a reflection that is too still to feel real. I don’t think our chaotic minds are used to such stillness. It didn’t come as a surprise that the instinctive reaction of most people over there was to throw a rock or pebble into the still waters just to see the ripples.

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Reflections

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Such pretty balconies!

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A few days of exploring got me convinced that I need to go back here not once but as many times as possible in a lifetime. How great would it be to just pack up and leave one fine day and just keep going, keep exploring and getting inspired? Some day! Until then, dream, dream, dream and make it happen!

Globetrotter: Eagle’s nest, Salzburg

Europe, globetrotter, Salzburg, Travel
Before I even knew which country Salzburg was in, the place meant only one thing for me – the von Trapp family from Sound of Music! This was when I was in the sixth grade. Years later I was able to actually sing and jump around like a maniac at the very place where one of my all time favorite movie was shot. And the fact that it was shot in one of the most picturesque cities in Europe and not some lame studio was just icing on the cake! Austria has the world’s most well maintained cities… I swear!

Instead of staying in the city, we stayed in a quaint little spa town called Bad Reichenhall (in Germany), which is 20min away from Salzbburg (which is Austria). We were country hopping between Germany and Austria during our entire stay, and waking up to gorgeous views like the one below.

After breakfast ( of bread rolls, yogurt, eggs and lots of fresh fruit) it was off to Eagle’s nest. It’s a far away place in Germany and is a mountain home of Adolf Hitler. Its called ‘Eagle’s nest’ in english, probably because its only access point is through a tunnel and then an elevator through a 2000meter mountain.

You reach the base point where the tunnel starts by bus, and you reach the bus stop by car.
Tip: It’s best if you travel by road in Europe. Although definitely more expensive than trains, the roads are amazing, the scenery is breathtaking, you’ll never feel exhausted for the long hours spent sitting in the car, you can cover more number of places, you can stop wherever and whenever you like (our stop at this spa town was impromptu.. we loved what we saw and decided to spend a couple of days here before heading to Salzburg)…. and you’ll thank me for all this!

And I just can’t get over how green the grass is. For some reason each time time I see a stretch of grass like this, I picture a dozen white horses galloping (90’s bollywood influence)


I am now going to embarrass myself with my limited vocabulary by repeatedly describing the view from the top as breathtaking, picturesque and simply beautiful. Honestly even repeating the same words again and again does not justify the beauty, unless you coin a different word altogether in place of all these adjectives. I don’t deny that there are far more amazing places in this world, each as wondrous (or more) than the other. This place too has its own charm and attraction and definitely doesn’t disappoint!

There’s a short and really enjoyable trek to the top of the mountain amidst the ever present clouds (pic below). Although our innumerable stops for photos made it considerably longer.

After that it was back to base in the bus down a long winding road. We could learn a thing or two about driving skills from these guys. Honestly, the speed at which he was going downhill, I was amazed we dint drop down the cliff.

We really wanted to go on the Sound of Music tour but since it was already late it was closed for the day. After a lot of asking around and noses glued to maps, we managed to find a couple of places at least! Our whole family used to sit together and watch this movie (so many times) that it sort of became a tradition. So we had to see at least a couple of the places if not all.


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Not so long ago, a great man with super powers, had a look at my horoscope and made a fabulous discovery and told my parents “You put a steering wheel in her hands, and she won’t return home for hours. She is independent and loves to travel”. Well, turns out its completely true (the great man is in fact a family friend quite adept at chalking out horoscopes and not just those marriage wala kind).

I love being at home but not as much as I love to travel. I hate going to the same place twice simply because there is so much more to cover and see, and so little time. If I had all the money in the world, I would spend it¬†all¬†on travel and even if I was broke, I would beg-borrow-steal and somehow travel. Some of us are born globetrotters (I mean how can you not love it?!).¬†For a while I’ve been wanting to start a travel series on the blog, but was unsure of the kind of response it would have. But the urge to share my love for traveling was too overwhelming to be suppressed any longer.

Since we have all read enough of those¬†what to see, where to eat, what to shop¬†type posts, am only going to share my (mis)adventures! The series will include all the places that I’ve covered in the past, the ones am getting a chance to cover now and the ones I shall cover in the future.¬†