Wednesday, September 8, 2004

September 7: Konigsee

Monday morning we met early and took the train--a little over an hour--into the mountains.  We were like little kids watching out he windows looking for the first big ones.  Several of us took pictures out the window as the mountains got bigger and bigger.  We got off at the Konigsee, the King's Sea.   It's a large lake that fills a valley between huge rocky mountains; the name comes from the days of the Bavarian monarchy when the royal family had a vacation home on the lake. 

It was still early; the mist was still on the water as we walked towards the dock.  A postcard-perfect islands was silhouetted int he fog.  We took a boat down the lake 9it's almost like a short, wide river the way it winds around the foot of the mountains) as the sun burned off the mist.  Halfway out, one of the tour guides got out a trumpet and stepped into the doorway of the boat.   He played several calls and then waited while we listened to the perfect echoes bouncing back from the steep mountainsides.  

We docked by St. Bartholomew's chapel, constructed with money given by the royal family.  The white walls and orange-red turrets are quite a contrast against the green mountainside and blue sky  behind it.   Only a few steps away were a restaurant famous for serving mountain trout, smoked whole, a souvenir stand, and toilets.   There were paths that led around the edge of the lake, but we did not have time to explore too far.  I would love to hike the whole thing someday.  It was quite cool--sweatshirt weather--up there in the mountains, but several of the girls went wading anyhow.   I wasn't so brave. 


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