Marmots, milk and everything asparagus: Berchtesgardener Land

The Königssee was featured in the ESC (Eurovision song contest) introduction for Germany a couple of years ago, and ever since then, I wanted to go there. With verdant green mountains rising directly at the lakeside, it totally lived up to the expectations I had.

A picture book hiking day

On a day that starts overcast, develops into a gorgeous spring day and ends with heavy rain, we take the Jennerbahn to the Mittelstation and walk along the first trail we happen to find. It is a pleasant walk, and  it takes us to the Königsbachalm where we cannot resist to stop for a break with deliciously fresh local milk and Strammer Max, a small Bavarian meal consisting of a slice of medium-dark bread with smoked ham and a fried egg.

The Alm is at a crossing of several trails. While we are still discussing which path to take, we hear a high-pitched whistle. Look, T. says, there are some birds of prey sitting in the grass. We observe the birds for a while, until one of them disappears into a hole in the ground. When we realize that we have just seen the first marmots in our lives, there is no doubt anymore – we have to take the path that takes us closest to them.

And the marmots do lead us on a good track. We walk through beautiful alms and forests with occasional views of the lake. At the end of the trail, we arrive at a little jetty where we are able to get on a boat back across the lake.

Dinner with rainbows

We have dinner in an excellent restaurant in Ramsau. The food and owners are all very local Bavarian; the food with a modern twist, the owners without. April to May is the time for white asparagus, and Germans are crazy about it. At this restaurant, they even create deserts and sweets from white asparagus, and believe it or not, the white asparagus ice cream with strawberries is a dream. And as we are enjoying the asparagus white chocolate truffles they offered at the end of the dinner, there is a lot of commotion and the owners do not give peace until all their guests have stepped outside to watch a beautiful double-arced rainbow.

Time of visit: May 2013

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