Saturday, 3 September 2016

Travelling Europe: Konigsee Lake

The incredible, mesmorising Konigsee Lake. I don't think either of us anticipated how incredible this location would be, one of the hidden beauties of such a magnificent area. On our map of Berchtesgaden we were drawn to the lakes as it was close to the campsite. That last day of ours in the national park allowed us a morning free to explore some more before we had another long train journey ahead of us to our next destination, Graz. We packed away our camp after some breakfast and headed off with our bags, glancing up at the mountains surrounding us. It was set to be a beautiful day, the sun already warming up the cool mountain peaks. It took us about half an hour to walk to a large carpark at the start of the lakes. It was there we realised that in fact this wasn't a well kept hidden secret, but like most other places, a hub for tourist sightseeing. The car park was loaded with campervans and coaches, with a queue to enter. We weaved past the groups of people all standing around waiting to be told what to do and what to take photos of and walked a pon the lakes. They were stunning with high mountain ranges rising up all around. We walked over to an information point to ask about where to hike in the area, but got told it was only possible to hike once going on a ferry boat to a later point of the lake. There were large queues for the ferries (it seemed everyone had come here to do that one same thing) so we quickly dismissed that suggestion and went to sit by the lake and discuss what to do. It was then we spotted a rowing boat further out in the lake, we followed the lake around and came to a set of huts with indeed more rowing boats inside! Amazing!! We paid a deposit and got in with our bags and set off out on the lake. It was such a pleasant morning, we had managed to completely escape the tourist bubble and felt almost alone on such an incredibly vast span of water. It was so so beautiful, I didn't want to row half the time because I was so mesmerised by the surrrounding landscape. We rowed further and further out until we spotted a waterfall cascading down a mountain on the left. It entered the lake at a small shore that on closer inspection, we realised had a platoon that we could run our rowing boat up against and pull it up onto the sand. So we did just that and left our belongings and shoes in the boat (there was nobody about to even be concerned about taking things) and then made our way along the river that was the mouth of the waterfall. It was so beautiful, we clambered from rock to rock through lush woodland, pulling ourselves up each new level of the waterfall. It was so much fun and each time we came to a new level it spread out even further giving room to little pools that dazzled in the sun. We spent quite a while climbing and it felt we could of gotten to the top (wouldn't that of been amazing). But we were still paying for our boat hire and didn't want it to come to too much - we still had at least 45 minutes of rowing left to do before we got back to the rental hut. So we climbed back down and sat on the platoon for a bit, watching the dragonflies dance about us, before getting into the boat and pushing off the shore. 
It was food that kept us rowing all that way and a guilty Macdonalds at the end satisfied our stomachs. We then had a long wait for the bus back into Berchtesgaden, but struck lucky as a taxi van pulled up and asked us if we needed a lift in that direction. I wish I hadn't been so skeptical at first, I was so certain he was going to turn around and ask for money, but at the same time I felt I couldn't double check that it was a free ride. It was of course free in the end, the guy was really friendly and wanted to know all about our trip so far and where we were off to next, he had to pick up some paying customers in Salzburg (we declined the journey all the way to Salzburg although soon regretted it) and so it made sense to pick us up on the way, how nice!! 
We then had ahead of us a bus to Salzburg and a train and a bus to Graz where we arrived in the early evening, ready to explore another lovely city. 



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