First day of the trip myself and Kev Baxter headed off to Werfen and specifically Schloss Hohenwerfen, where they filmed "Where Eagles Dare". Its a fantastic 50 minute train journey from Salzburg to Werfen through the mountains until you come across the imposing castle on the plug of rock. Its a steep slog up to the castle but the view is well worth it. From the railway station you can head up a number of ways including through the sleepy village.
To us the castle is part of movie folklore but in reality its the headquarters of the Alpine rescue service. Once inside the main gate we headed straight to the main square and joined the free tour of the castle. They don't mention much - if anything - about the film on the tour but are happy to answer questions. The views both inside and out from the castle are spectacular especially on bright sunny days.
After the tour we headed back down towards the main gate just in time for the bird of prey display. This takes place every day during the Summer months and lasts about 1 hour. The display is by the museum of falconry which is housed in the castle and has a number of birds of prey including buzzards and eagles. Its a great display and good to see these birds able to fly freely. The handlers really do put on a great display throwing food for the birds to catch in mid-air and launching them into the thermals.
After all that, it must be time for a beer and maybe one more schnapps together!
Next day we headed West from Salzburg and into Germany. We took the train to Berchtesgaden and from there walked the four kilometres to Königsee. Not a bad walk and looking up you can see Hitler's nest (Kehlsteinhaus), a tea house built on top of a mountain for Hitler by one of his aides.
Eventually you arrive in a sort of small village and the lake itself. It is a very clean lake and only the local tourist boats are allowed on which means its very tranquil. We took the boat towards St. Bartholoma which takes about 30 minutes including a stop in the middle for some trumpet playing. This involves the boat stopping in the middle of the lake about halfway across and everything is quiet. One of the boatsmen then steps onto the side and plays a few notes on the trumpet which echo around the mountains. They say the most number of echos heard was 7 but you usually hear at least 3 or 4.
Over at St. Bartholoma and there's a good chance for a walk around, take in the scenery and grab a bite to eat and a drink. I seem to remember being able to choose your own fish to eat out of a tank but, the schweinsbraten and a helles was good enough for me. Have to say its probably one of the best bars I've been in for the view!
Last day we decided to stay in Salzburg and take a wander around the fortifications, take in the views and enjoy the really sunny weather. We started from the main square and slowly climbed up above the rooftops of Salzburg.
Once you get up at castle level you can appreciate how close the mountains are, Salzburg being on the edge of the Alps.
Dotted around the Monschberg there are some lovely, big Austrian houses and older parts of the city walls.
We arrived at the castle at "Chinese dentists time" or so the Nonnbery Benedictine convent said it was! Some breathtaking views across the city, along the castle walls and over to the Capuchin monestary on the neighbouring hill.
That was it at the end of the day but just time for a picture of some handsome chap with some mountains, a frothy honey beer from the Augustiner klosterbrau and a look back through Mirabell gardens towards the castle.