To Ramsau Bei Berchestgaden

October 2, 2011


Our “pearl” for today was to be a visit to the Vorderkaser Klam somewhere near St. Martin bei Lofer.  A klam is a gorge and I’d learned about this place during my research into the trip.  I couldn’t quite figure out where it was so we just headed in the general direction figured that we find it eventually.

flea market in EllmauWe left Mayrhofen with great memories on a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning.  We wanted to avoid the Autobahns so we instead traveled up 171 to 178.  Along the way we stopped by a floh markt; “flea market” in the little town of Ellmau.  It was just like any other flea market you’ve ever visit; people lined up selling their junk.  It was fun to wander about and look at all the treasures.  I told Bill that the only thing that would tempt me would be a baby cup.  I have a small collection of baby cups that has not been increased in over 20 years.  Alas, it would not be increased on this day either.The Wilder Kaser Mountains

We drove by a beautiful range of mountains named the “Wilder Kaisers”.  Their mighty gray peaks were impressive against the foreground of the lush, cow-filled pastures.  As usual, Bill was a good sport about stopping or driving up little roads to allow me to take pictures.  As we drive along I think to myself, “Imprint!  Imprint!”  I’m so afraid that I will forget these places some day.  So many times it is not possible to stop.  Wilder KaiserWe’d also passed by a number of stainless steel canisters on wheels parked along many small roads.  I’d suspected that they were milk collection containers brought down in the morning for pick up by a larger milk truck.  I wasn’t quite sure until I saw one with a picture of a cow on it later.  This was kind of cool because smaller farms could still have an outlet for their milk without having to have a huge herd of wide road up to their location.milk ready for pick up

We turned down 311 and within less than a half hour found the entrance to the Vorderkaser Gorge.  I really wasn’t sure what to expect but the whole area is like a recreation zone.  At this time of the year, the river through the gorge is pretty tame and as we drove the 2.5 km to the actual site we were seeking, there were groups of families playing in the water.  There were also several ponds with floating rafts that kids could push out into the middle.  They looked very clear but weren’t deep at all; surely not diving depth.

When we arrived at the trail to the gorge hike the lady at the entranced said that much of the trail was a steep incline that included 353 steps.  Bill, whose knee had been giving him trouble, decided to hang back while I went up to explore.  In all honesty, I wasn’t feeling so up to it either but I am stubborn and since we were there I had to go.

more KlamIncline?  You’d better believe it.  The gorge has a series of 51 footbridges and 35 stairways.  It was opened to the public 1882.  It was certainly an adventure and quite fascinating to see the way the engineers had constructed the path through the gorge.  The gorge gets very narrow and is almost like traveling through a cave at places.  When the journey through the tight places is completed, the trail still leads up farther.  As I came to a sign with an arrow I was sure hoping it was pointing the way back down and wasn’t for a trail leading off somewhere else.  All the signs were in German only.  I was thinking, “She said it was a loop, right?” Now, I am obviously not in great shape but there are those in worse.  This trail definitely worked up a sweat.  I reunited with darling Bill about 45 minutes the VorderKaser Klam

I had anticipated that we’d spend more time at the gorge but since I did the “sprinter’s” version of a visit, we arrived at our B&B in Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden around 3:00 p.m.  Note:  there are a number of towns with the same name.  If you planned to take a trip to this area of the world, you really need to figure out at which one you’d like to arrive.  So Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden is the Ramsau by Berchtesgaden.  Johann Grassl showed us to our lovely room at this place that is also a small working farm.  There is a goat pen out front, a floppy eared rabbit, chicken coup and cows directly behind. We have a nice little balcony that perhaps we’ll be able to utilize one of these days or nights.goat at Ramsau

Since we had arrived so early we headed on to Berchtesgaden thinking we’d check out the Konigssee just a short distance away.  Not sure exactly what was going on but the place was absolutely crawling with people.  Cars were parked to overflowing in the huge parking lot and also along the roadway.  Perhaps it was a festival and I think we may have also hit a national holiday.  Either way we decided to return to Ramsau and find some dinner.  Lots of places were closed (Sunday) but we finally found a spot with outdoor seating to grab a brew and a bite.

The very overworked waitress gave us a quick English translation of the dishes.  Bill ended up with basically roast beef and gravy with a large, white, gelatinous dumpling (I’ll try to figure out what it is later), and I had a dish of about a pound of mushrooms in a sauce served with a more hearty bread-like dumpling.  It was all good but after about a half hour the sun had set and it got cold very fast.  Marylingerlehen B&BWe headed back to the B&B around 7:30 and just hung out here for the rest of the night.  We’ve both arrived at the conclusion that the “allergy problems” we thought we were having are actually colds.  While we’re not terribly ill, there’s lot of sniffling, coughing, and hacking going on in this room.  I do believe we’ll live.




at the VorderKaser Klam
flea market in Ellmau
The Wilder Kaser Mountains
near Ramsau2
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