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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 47.2627, 11.3947
We set out early from Lake Maggiore heading to Innsbruck. Wanted to arrive before Brent and Marg were due in on the train at 4-30pm. Drove through the mountains seeing some stunning views along the way.We first drove along the the lake to Locarno and from there headed up and up.We eventually made our way though the San Bernardino Pass.This was spectacular scenery with the snow having dusted the pine trees overnight and the autumnal colours of the landscape painting a fabulous picture of reds, golds and greens. The road took us through Leichtenstein: though we didn't stop there we can say we have revisited. We did stop in Chur for a quick lunch.
The last part of our trip took us through several tunnels, one was about 15Kms long. We eventually came into Innsbruck about 3pm. Found the bahnhof and booked two rooms through the Tourist Info office there. After we had checked in we met the Rankines at the station and took them to the hotel. This was ideally situated just across the river from the old town. We walked over there and found the Goldener Adler Hotel where we and the children had stayed in 1980 when we had last visited. After a drink in the square opposite the famous golden roof we found a traditional Austrian restaurant and had some of the local food, washed down with some of the local wine.
The next day we set out for Berchestgaden, the site of Hitler's Eagle's nest. This was a fair drive away but it was a beautiful day so we were not daunted.We did run into roadworks near St Johann which held us up for about 45 minutes. We got to the town at about 1-30 and had a quick lunch.then it was a short drive to Obersalzburg and the bus which was to take us up to the top of the mountain. We had to wait till 2-45 for the bus and then the drive up was spectacular. The vistas that unfolded were incredible. Once at the top we ascended the last couple of hundred feet in a lift that Martin Bormann had had constructed for Hitler's 50th birthday.
Emerging into the sunlight at the top was amazing as the views from there were breathtaking. It had snowed overnight and we made our way through snow and melting ice to the highest point on this mountain. Gazing out over the valley was breathtaking. The colours of the trees mixed with the small villages dotted about in the green fields made this trip well worth while. We also got to see the building where Hitler entertained guests. It is now a restaurant. while sitting on the outside terrace having a beer a WW2 American plane flew over our heads, did a victory roll and sped off! Quite an experience!
After this marvellous experience we drove on into Salzburg which was very close. Here we wandered through the main historical streets and had a bite to eat. We listened to a busker in the cathedral square who was playing a grand piano. He was great. I hadn't been here before so I really enjoyed seeing Sound of Music country.The drive back to Innsbruck was difficult as Fletcher had to contend with rain, the darkness and many semitrailers sharing the road, however we did it in 2 hours which wasn't a bad effort.
All in all a great couple of days!
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