This post is written by Katie, about her solo trip to Belgium, Germany, and Austria.
This morning I woke at 8:15am, ate the included breakfast at the hostel (bread, yougart, cereal, coffee), and then walked to the nearby Josefiau bus stop to catch the 9:31am 840 bus to Berchtesgaden (9.80 RT).
Once at Berchtesgaden, I took a bus from the train station to Konigssee (included in the RT for the 840). Then I had to walk through a tourist-crowded shopping alley to get to the boat docks. Once at the boat docks, I bought a RT ticket to Salet (which also allows you to stop at Kessel and Saint Bartholoma) for Euro 16.90.
Then I took the next boat to Saint Bartholma (about 35 minutes), where I first hiked along the shoreline before looping back to the national park information office. From there I hiked on the flat path to St Johann and Paul Chapel, and then took a steeper path to the Ice Chapel () at the Watzmann East Face. This hike was amazing, especially the last ‘alpine’ part across a rock field to the glacier and cave. Not only were the glacier and ice cave awesome, the surrounding mountains were amazing. It is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been! I felt surrounded by huge mountains and rock faces.
I felt sad to leave the area around the glacier and ice chapel, but I eventually did and hiked back to the St Bartholoma dock. From there I took a boat to Salat (about 20 minutes) and started hiking to lake Obersee and mountain meadow Fischunkel. However about 30 minutes into the hike I encountered rock stairs that a large group of elderly people were struggling to descend. Considering the pile up created behind them, the crowded state of the trail, and the fact that I wanted to catch the last bus and maybe do a hike by the boat dock at Konigssee Seelande, I decided not to bother and turned around. However, I had to wait by the Salet dock for 35 minutes for a return boat. However, on the return boat I was lucky enough to have my row to myself (somehow – there were plenty of people left on the dock).
After leaving the boat, I walked along the tourist shopping alley and bough some postcards to send home. Then I waited about 5 minutes before catching a bus back to the Berchtesgaden Hbf. There I waited 25 minutes (well, actually 40 minutes since it was 15 minutes late) for the last 840 of the day back to Salzburg. The two markets close to the hostel were closed when I returned, but I saw a larger market at the previous bus stop. They were closing when I arrived, but I managed to grab laundry detergent, a banana, chips, and some salted croissants from the fresh bakery area.
When I returned to Eduard-Heinrich-Haus (Euro 47.20 for two nights in a 6-bed female dorm on Booking.com) I purchased two tokens (each costing Euro 3) from reception to do laundry. I started the laundry and then worked on figuring out where to travel next. After much debate, I decided to go visit Hallstatt (staying in a nearby town). My clothing was not dry after the first dryer, so I had to go buy another coin to run the dryer a second time. Then I showered, and my shirts, jeans, and socks were still not dry! I hung them up on a hanging device downstairs – hopefully they dry and do not disappear overnight.
Some notes: (1) I saw a lot of hikers get off at Eishohle on the 840 from Salzburg. There seem to be some good hikes from that stop. (2) The Konigssee boat stops at Kessel, which is a stop just for hikers. Looks nice (and peaceful, since it would be much less crowded). (3) I saw so many people hiking carrying a baby! Not something you see in the US. In general, people seem less protective of their kids here.