Saturday, August 30, 2014

Salt mines and speed walking

Day trips from Munich-part two
Today we went to Berchtesgaden-say that three times fast! The train ride there was three hours through the beautiful country side though sadly it was very cloudy and rainey so we couldn't see the Alps. When we arrive the rain was in a steady downfall. I wanted to go to a salt mine and told Laura what I though was the name. We got directions and were waiting for the bus when Laura asked why we stopped in Berchtesgaden if I wanted to go to a different town. I was confused but then realized that we were headed to Salzburg instead of the mining place, Saltzberwerk. We were figuring out which bus we should actually take when a guy asked if we spoke English and could help him figure out the bus schedule. Turns out that he just needed to talk through it out loud because he realized what he needed to do. That happens to me all the time!We got to talking and he was from Sydney,Australia. We talked about where we were from and what we were  doing. Our good luck was that he knew of Salzbergwerk and gave us directions on how to walk there! What a friendly bloke.

Upon arrival at Sazlberwek, we bought a ticket for the salt mine tour and proceeded to eat our lunch. Once it was time for our tour, we went and got the special suits all people have to wear for the cold since the mines are kept at 12 C or 53 F at all times. There was a little train we took down into the mine and I was given an audio guide so that I could understand and learn about the mining. There also were two slides that we got to go down! Very fun. I learned that they find places that contain salt and add a lot of spring water to make a brine. I got to taste some and it was quite salty! The brine sits in these huge caverns for around 30 years and is then taken out and distilled to gather the salt.

After this tour, we went outside and were greeted with fewer clouds and no rain! We walked around climbing here and there in the mountain paths and then walked to the city center to see the castle, cathedral and lovely streets. A lot of this area was on a hill and we had a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. Our next endeavor was to walk to Koenigssee which is a lake close by Berchtesgaden. At the information office we learned that it was 5 km away which is an hour and a half walk. Also our train was due to leave in two and half hours With Laura's encouragement, and reflection on our past speed walking, we took the challenge to walk there, take photos, and make it back in time. With the fastest speed walking I've done and some spurts of running, we made it to the lake in 45 minutes. We didn't get to walk all around since we were afraid of missing the train but we saw part of the lake and it was quite lovely. The walk back was a little slower paced and also easier since it was down hill! Round trip was an hour and 40 minutes. We then went to the grocery store to buy some sweets for the three hour train ride home. Feeling very accomplished and a little sore, we are now preparing to rest up for tomorrow's adventure-Neuschwanstein!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I cannot wait to hear more about and see pictures of that mine. It sounds fascinating!