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The Eagle's Nest

Communication Confusion!!!!!!!!

overcast 18 °C

Arrived in Berchtesgaden which is back in Germany, Bavaria, to be precise to visit the Eagles Nest, a significant site used by Hitler and his apparatchiks. It has been suggested apocryphally that it was built as a gift for Hitler for his 50th birthday but information we read today debunked this.
Berchtesgaden is geared up for tourists, there were a massive number of visitors processed through the buses which take you up the very steep road to Kehlsteinhaus. But Berchtesgaden's main function would be in servicing the skiing tourists during winter. The town has quaint chalet style houses with timber features, just what you might imagine from Heidi. There is accommodation for hundreds of skiers too.
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The area is surrounded by the Bavarian Alps, named Berchtesgaden Alps in this section and they make for spectacular views in every direction. On our first day they were bathed in sunlight and blue skies but today they are dressed with clouds hanging around them like lace.
We are camped in a van area beside a creek which gurgles into the Konigasee, a glacial lake reflecting the Alps.
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Our trip to Eagles Nest was far from straight forward as we needed to catch 3 buses and the information we had been given about the ticketing system left a lot to be desired. This resulted in some fairly terse conversations with a number of Germans, maybe they were just fed up with English speakers who kept getting it wrong, but an angry German is scary!!!!!!
After about 3 hours of frustrations we eventually arrived at Eagles Nest. There was to be a Documentation centre at the base of the climb which provides information about the National Socialist Workers Party and its involvement with this site, but it is currently closed for renovations, which was quite disappointing as I think this would have fleshed out the experience with a deeper understanding.
The road that was built for access the chalet took in excess of 3,000 men in very grueling conditions (all Work Health and Safety regulations were suspended for the time) about 18 months to complete. To get there you travel up the 7000 metres elevation in especially modified buses. The views along the way are very dramatic.
Arriving there you enter through the same 200metre tunnel that was used by the then ‘elite’ into a gold, ‘art deco’ lift which brings you up to the level of the building.
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The main building has been turned into a restaurant which hosts the red marble fire place that is alleged to have been gifted to Hitler from Mussolini. There has however, been considerable effort to mitigate any residual acknowledgement of its link to the disgraced leaders who enjoyed its comforts.
There are little walking tracks surrounding the building offering spectacular views of the Bavarian Alps, there is also a large cross allegedly erected by Hitler acknowledging Christianity as the German religion. The irony was palpable.

We gradually made our way back down the mountain just in time to hear that the Matildas had fallen to the Lionesses.

Posted by Seniorcitizens 06:39 Archived in Germany

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And the winner of the ironic cross is…. Mr Hitler!

by Peter Booth

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