Monday, August 8, 2022

Germany's Most Romantic Lake


Hello T gang - today I am going to take you to a very special place in Bavaria which IMHO is the most romantic lake in Germany: the Königssee (which translates to King Lake but has nothing to do with kings). It is surrounded by steep and high mountains - these are the Bavarian Alps - and most of the lake is part of the Nationalpark Berchtesgarden. It is a natural lake that was formed by glaciers during the last ice age. It stretches for almost 5 miles (7.2 km) between the steep mountain walls and measures just short of 1 mile (1.2 km) across its widest part. It is similar to a fjord.

The best place to access the lake is from Schönau, and the only way to explore the lake is by electric powered passenger boats. You can see one of the boats in the middle of the picture below. The buildings in the background are the "garages" for the boats.

Of course we took the boat - it's the only way to get on the lake and see all the beauty and natural drama it has to offer. Each boat has a tour guide. We were very lucky that we had a wonderful guy with a refeshing sense of humor, colored by his soft Bavarian dialect that makes everything a little bit more special. The Bavarian dialect is often said to be "hefty" (mostly by people who don't like it), but I would characterize it as "hearty". Like with almost every language, it can be lovely and soft, or rough and hard. This guy definitely belonged to the first category - he was charming.

He told us about the lake and everything you need to know about it. It has a maximum depth of 620 ft. (190 m) and thus is Germany's deepest lake. It is supposed to be one of the cleanest if not the cleanest lake in Germany. The surrounding steep mountains rise to a height of 8,900 ft. (2700 m) and that includes the famous Watzmann massif, the third-highest mountain in Germany. Only the electric powered boats as well as rowing and pedal boats are allowed on the water. You can swim in the lake, if you like - but be forwarned, the lake is extremely cold.

In the middle of the lake, the boat stopped and our guide gave us a sample of the incredible echo at this spot. He took up his trumpet and played short melodies that sure enough were then repeated by the echo. It was simply amazing. I made a minute-long video of it; you have to turn up the sound to be able to hear the echo (the baby will get quieter).

After about 30-40 minutes we reached the first stop which for many people is the final destination on this tour. This is probably the most photographed view of Königssee - St. Batholomä with Watzmann massif behind it.

St. Batholomä is a pilgrimage church that was re-built at the end of the 17th century on the foundation of the original 12th century church. At the beginning of the 18th century it was remodeled to its current baroque appearance. It is very picturesque how it snuggles in its surrounding magnificent landscape.

Königssee is famous for its fish and our guide had already told us on the boat to try the smoked char which we of course did as well as a smoked fish spread. Both were avilable in a little shed for just a couple of euros. It was so delicious I would have happily eaten a second helping.

After this tasty refreshment we took a little hike along the shore of the lake and into the woods. Just look at the color of the lake - this is its actual color. Isn't it amazing?

The mountains were equally amazing and wonderful. It helped that we had a picture-book day.

Eventually we embarked on one of the boats again and went further south toward the end of the lake. There were noticeably less people taking this direction.

The terminal station is Salet where there are two Almen (Alm is a mountain pasture in the Alps, but simple inns with a very limited offer in food are called Alm as well and one of the best things you will encounter during a long hike when you're hungry and thirsty), Saletalm and Mooskaser Saletalm. In the picture below you can see Mooskaser Saletalm in the typical Upper-Bavarian architecture style.

As tempting as it was, we decided to skip the Alm and hike over to Obersee (Upper Lake) instead. I think we made a very good decision. The view was just breathtaking.

At the far end you see Röthbachfall, the highest waterfall in Germany with a vertical drop of 1,540 ft. (470 m). The mountains here belong to the Steinernes Meer ("Rocky Sea"). This is right on the border to Austria.

It was finally time to turn around and take the boat back to Schönau, passing boat stations and crosses of pilgrimage that you can find all over Bavaria.

Back in Schönau it was time for dinner. We were hungry - that smoked char was many hours ago! We wanted to go to Echostüberl which was still a bit to walk. We had to cross this beautiful covered bridge which is actually a weir to get to the other side where the restauant was located.

From the restaurant we had a lovely view over the lake and saw the last passenger boats coming in (it's a good idea not to miss the last boat) and then finally going into their garage.

The food in the restaurant was delicious - of course I had fish. Any guesses what we had to drink?

Thank you, Elizabeth, for hosting T Tuesday again. I'm so happy to join.



Kate Yetter said...

So many stunning pictures! You certainly had a picture book day. The fish looks delicious and I enjoyed hearing the trumpet and its echo. I can see why this site is highly photographed.
So glad you shared it with us.
Happy tea Day,

Red Rose Alley said...

A beautiful lake. The clouds and mountains make it look even lovelier. I like the photo of your daughter peeking through the wooden beams. And the one with her backpack is wonderful. St. Bartholomew is such a pretty church. I would love to attend Mass there. What a grand area this is to visit. Looks so peaceful.


My name is Erika. said...

Konigsee is absolutely gorgeous. It reminds me of Western Brook Pond in Newfoundland, only there is no St. Batholoma there. What a lovely church. This outing looks like an absolutely fabulous day Carola. I had a fabulous time reading your post. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. Have a great T day and week ahead. Hugs-Erika

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What a fabulous and amazing day you had on King Lake. It was like taking a tour bus, but on the water. The views you shared were spectacular. I enjoyed the echo after the baby stopped crying. It was stunning.

St. Batholoma is a beautiful church and is surrounded by sheer beauty.

I've never heard of char, but the fish sure looked good, as did the fish spread.

That waterfall is amazing and I loved the photo that included Kaefer's back. I also enjoyed the photo of her on the bridge. She has a great sense of humor.

My guess is you had beer that night with your fish (grin). Thanks for sharing your photos and perfect day on King's Lake, as well as your beer with us for T this Tuesday, dear Carola. Sorry I missed you last week when my computer froze on Tuesday morning.

Jeanie said...

Oh Carola, I can see why it is called the most beautiful lake. Nestled between those mountains, so blue and such fabulous views everywhere you look. St. Bartholoma is lovely -- I can see why it would be a beautiful pilgrimage spot. I should think Konigsee should be on every visitor's tour list!

Elephant's Child said...

How very, very beautiful. Thank you.

Iris Flavia said...

LOL, "soft Bavarian dialect"! And all I get is "Bahnhof"! Ja, mei.
I was into flat sharing with a guy (amongst other people) from South Germany. He once asked if I have a "Teppsch". He wanted no carpet but a blanket - that language is confusing!

Oh, Ingo would´ve loved the fish.
And despite having spent a lot of time near Hamburg, hence being half a fish-head myself... no.
Call me if or when you have Grünkohl.
Explains maybe, too, why I prefer to see where I am going. All those high mountains...oh!
Sweet and romantic pic of your Käfer, though :-)
If you ever come to Braunschweig I´ll invite you to a Crabbs (Craft Beer Braunschweig) :-)
Have a happy T-Day!

kathyinozarks said...

What an amazing post-I totally enjoyed everything. The views-totally fabulous and those boat houses-I love that and have never seen something like that before. the mountains so stunning. I really appreciated all the photos with the "tour" of the lake. the food looked delicious too-thanks so much for sharing Happy T Kathy

Valerie-Jael said...

Thanks for sharing the amazing photos. I haven't been to Königssee, but I would like to. It's all so beautiful. And the fish snack is making my mouth water! Thanks for sharing your wonderful visit and boat trip! Happy T Day, hugs, Valerie

David M. Gascoigne, said...

It is a very beautiful area indeed, Carola, and I would have been first in line to try the fish. This is the kind of place that you need to visit more than once. If I am not mistaken this is the area where Hitler had his mountain lair - and it's not hard to see why!

jinxxxygirl said...

Absolutely enjoying our tour of Germany. Thank you so much! Beautiful pictures!I know we went skiing in the Bavarian Alps and paddle boating on Lake Lucerne but i have no idea if i made it to this Lake.. Happy Tday! Hugs! deb

Divers and Sundry said...

Oh! Breathtaking is the perfect word! Those photos look frameable. I'm glad you had such a wonderful guide. It sounds like you had a wonderful experience.

Happy T Tuesday!

Jackie McGuinness said...

It looks fabulous! I have photos of those beer glasses!

DUTA said...

I've immensely enjoyed reading this post and viewing its great pictures.
The St. Bartoloma church with its surrounding landscape looks amazing!
Your daughter's presence, makes the outing very special, one of a life-time.

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, what a beautiful place! The lake views and architecture are stunning, it looks so peaceful and serene 😊. I'd happily join you for a beer too - wishing you a Happy T Day! Hugs Jo x

Caty said...

What stunning photographs!! That lake is, in my opinion, heavenly and I love seeing the mountains so green.
Happy t-day! You will have spent an unforgettable day and discovered very beautiful places. That fish looks good.
I liked seeing the boat garage.
Happy afternoon, and big hugs

DVArtist said...

OMGosh, if I could I would live there. What a breathtaking place. The fish sandwich looks good too. I am so glad you are sharing all of these wonderful places with us. Have a nice day.

nwilliams6 said...

Oh my gosh, that place is beautiful and your pictures are amazing. That is definately one of the prettiest areas of the world. I am so glad you shared the pictures and details with us, Carola. The food and drink look and sound great too. What a great trip! Lucky you. Lucky us getting to see your post. Happy T-day a bit late! Hugz

Rostrose said...

Liebe Carola,
obwohl es für uns ja gar nicht weit weg ist, waren wir noch nie am Königssee und auch noch nie beim Watzmann (obwohl der inzwischen zum schönsten Berg der Welt gewählt wurde!). Das hat mit unserem Vorsatz zu tun, zuerst mal die weiter entfernten Regionen dieser Welt zu besuchen, so lange es geht, und erst im höheren Alter - bzw. wenn aus anderen Gründen das Reisen erschwert wird - die näheren Orte zu erkunden. Durch Covid kam dieser Plan ein bisserl durcheinander und wir haben endlich auch mehr von unserer Heimat kennengelernt, aber eine größere Deutschlandreise steht noch aus. Den Königssee schreib ich definitiv auf meine Liste!
Liebste rostrosige Grüße aus Österreich,

CJ Kennedy said...

This outing was so enchanting. the lake and the mountains just gorgeous. Your photos are incredible. I was also charmed and entertained by your tour guide's echo concert. Happy T Day

Lisca said...

What an absolute stunning location! Thank you for showing it. I really enjoyed the virtual trip.
It is such a clean lake and I appreciate the fact that they are trying to keep it that way.
Oh I love a Bavarian accent. My father spoke with a Bavarian accent and that endears me to it I suppose.
That fish looks delicious.
I love the photo of your daughter (and the weir too)
Happy belated T-Day,
Keep smiling,

pearshapedcrafting said...

Wow! I almost missed this treat of a tour! It looks like the most amazing place- thank you so much for showing so many beautiful views. I would have loved to try that smoked char. A very belated Happy T Day, hugs, Chrisx

Empire of the Cat said...

What a beautiful place! Love the view of the mountains over the trees and that little church looks almost like the Russian churches. So sorry, RL got in the way, and I am terribly late. Happy T Day! Elle/EOTC xx