Deutschland – Berchtesgaden

We crossed the border back into Germany and found ourselves in rolling highland, with the alps looming behind us. A few short turns later brought us to the tiny town where we had booked lodging. The apartment sat atop a huge steep inclined hill. We drove up and the car struggled – I wasn’t sure what we would do if another vehicle came as the road was definitely not wide enough for two cars.

We parked and met our hosts, a local couple. They assumed my German was far better than it actually was, and I struggled to keep up with them. They showed us our apartment, which was beautiful: it included a sauna, modern kitchen and furniture, a luxurious bed, and a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountain tops. The apartment was also right at a small trail head, though we didn’t know exactly where it went.

We got settled in and researched a spot for dinner, back in the main town of Berchtesgaden. It was a short drive away, so we hopped back in the car, made our way down the narrow lane, and drove a short way to town. We found a parking spot without much trouble which was pleasantly surprising, and found the restaurant after a few tries. For dinner, I had a German take on roast beef with stewed potatoes as we sat outside overlooking the place’s beer garden.

We took our time with dinner. Afterwards we of course made the necessary gelato stop; I got a flavor I’ve seen a few times, “milcheis.” Literally “milk ice,” it tastes just like sweetened frozen milk. After dessert we headed back to the apartment, where we took a few pictures, then hopped in the sauna for a little relaxation therapy before heading to bed.

View from the front lawn
The charming little apartment where we stayed

The next day was the last of our trip. With Chelsea’s knee not feeling 100% we skipped our hiking plans for the area. While it would have been beautiful to see, we felt it was more important that she was rested and healed up before her summer adventure. With no need to be out on the trail early we slept in a bit, departing late in the morning after taking some time to grab breakfast at a nearby bakery.

Or rather, we tried to leave. About 10 minutes into our journey we received a call from the hosts. It turns out we had forgotten some clothes in the apartment – thankfully we were not far away, so we turned back and retrieved our stuff before setting off properly. Amusingly, our route took us back across the Austrian border almost immediately, so we literally crossed a country border to fetch our dirty laundry.

We had no further issues on the trip after that. We took the opportunity to practice our road-trip karaoke, and I frequently practiced my breath-holding skills through the many tunnels. We arrived back in Stuttgart around 2PM or so with plenty of time in the afternoon to clean up, pack, and get organized. We had plans to attend a potluck dinner that evening and consequently had to make a grocery run. There we picked up some dessert; we had been planning to bake but were concerned we wouldn’t have sufficient time to do so. We picked up a Black Forest cherry cake and some ice cream. The ice cream didn’t make it to the potluck 🙂

We caught a bus over to the apartment where the dinner party was being held. There, we spent a few hours talking, I introduced Chelsea to everyone and we spent time catching up, discussing our trip and hearing about other places people had been. There was pasta and pizza as well as a few other dishes, but mostly it was just nice to hang out and get to see everyone.

We left around 10PM. Chelsea was all set to leave in the morning, so we made an early night of it so that we wouldn’t be too tired. The next day I had work but was able to drop Chelsea off at the train station before heading into the office. Goodbyes are always difficult, but I know we’ll both be so busy doing great things in the month until we meet again.

With Chelsea on her way home I solemnly drove into work, missing her already. Fortunately I had a short week ahead of me, and even more travel plans looming on the horizon. More about that next time! Until then, as always,

Best wishes and safe travels everyone,

– Ben

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