We woke up early and got a taxi to the Europcar Rental agency to pick up the rental car. We got a brand new Mercedes 220 C Class. A beautiful car and a pleasure to drive. I made good time on the autobahn and got to Berchtesgaden about 12:00 noon but we had a difficult time finding our B&B. Even with GPS it was in a rather obscure location up a driveway. We quickly checked in and literally ran to the Visitor's Center to meet our Eagle's Nest Historical Tour which I had pre-booked. The bus took us up to Obersalzberg, three miles uphill from Berchtesgaden, where Hitler built a mountain retreat called the Berghof. and there was a huge compound of 80 buildings. Very little remains today, having been heavily bombed in 1945.
Next we were taken to the Nazi Documentation Center and Bunker. We walked through the museum, most of which is primarily geared to German visitors, and made our way down to the vast and complex Nazi bunker system, the most interesting part of the tour. This underground system held meeting rooms, offices, archives for the government and living quarters for Hitler - all connected by four miles of tunnels. Most of what you see was stripped and looted after the war. But it is a fascinating look at the inner workings of the Nazi regime.
Then we changed buses and drove up the narrow and steep road to the Eagle's Nest, a mountaintop chalet built for the Fuhrer's 50th birthday. Today it is a restaurant. Unfortunately, the weather was windy, rainy, and cloudy with no views, so we were unable to go out on the terrace and get any photos. We had a beer in the restaurant and then met the group at the bus for our return trip to Berchtesgaden. We drove to Salzberg in the rain and had a delicious Bavarian dinner at a restaurant in the Old Town.
The following photo is the view from our B&B in Berchtesgaden.
The next day we visited the Berchtesgaden Salt Mines where you put on traditional miners' outfits, get on small trains, and head down into the mountain. You cruise a subterranean lake, learn how they mined salt many years ago, and slide down slick, wood bannisters. It was fun.