Königssee Lake & Wimbachklamm Waterfall

Day 52, Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Königsee Lake is less than an hour south of Salzburg.  It is the deepest and cleanest lake in Austria.  The drive is pretty, and the clouds are low but it is supposed to clear up later in the day.  We checked out of our Airbnb this morning and we are on our way to Munich. We arrive at the lake just in time to get on the next boat departure.  Only electric boats are allowed on the lake. This is the view as we pull away from the dock. The water is crystal clear and the trees have put on their fall colours. Here we are passing another boat.  I love the reflections on the water.  The day is perfect, warm, sunny and calm. More reflections.  The boat stopped in the middle of the lake and one of the boatmen stood on the deck and played a trumpet.  The high rock walls of this fjord-like lake echoed back the song perfectly. There is a restaurant and a church about 2/3 of the way down the length of the lake.  We walk about and have our lunch.  There are lots of these rather strange fake trophys lining both walls in the entrance to the restaurant. The view down the lake back towards where we started. These benches offered great views while we had our lunch. Back near the dock this old tree is thick with moss, but it is still growing. There were lots of leaves floating on the water.  I quite like the contrast between the golden colours of the leaves and the cool blue-green lake. As we pull away from the dock we get a good view of Saint Bartholomew Church.  This small pilgrimage church, dating to 1697, is known for its wine-red onion domes. This bug joined us for the ride back. The rock face on the right side of the lake is even steeper and has fewer trees than the other side.   It is impossible to walk along the lake to St. Bartholomew Church as the rocks are too rugged. Just around this corner we see a cross, but what catches my attention is the face I see in the rock. Can you see it too? Walking back to the car Bob wonders if we should buy some new clothes!High up on one of the mountains we spot the Eagle’s Nest.  This retreat was built as a present for Hitler’s 50th birthday.   I get a few photos of some of the local cows, but what I really want is a chance to stop and draw them.  Not today, as there isn’t a safe place to park the car and we still have a ways to go before dark. Our next stop is to hike up to the Wimbachklamm Waterfall.  The hike up to the falls is a bit steep but so worth the effort. We pass a sheep farm with guard dogs for the sheep.  They are very protective and when I went up to the fence to get this photo they jumped up and came running, barking loudly.This is the beginning of the gorge walk.  The boardwalk hangs out over the water.This is the closest I will probably get to having a halo!
The water is very fast and loud… with many small waterfalls along the sides of the gorge. It isn’t a long walk, but we thoroughly enjoyed all of it. These beautiful golden trees are at the top of the gorge where we hike back down to our car.  The path continues further but it is a long hike, so not for us. Back near the parking lot we see the hugest dahlia plant ever!  It is at least eight or nine feet tall.  We are soon back on the road.  We drive the Deutsche Alpenstrasse, which is a scenic mountain road, and we arrive in Munich just before it gets dark.