Scanned Photos 05

The trip to Berchtesgaden was a free gift to all military personnel and their families stationed in Europe, paid for by the Kuwaiti royal family after Desert Storm. Naturally, this was handled on rotation by location. My area was sent there in Spring 1992. They loaded us up on tour buses and we were scattered among various hotels and such throughout the city. This shot of my wife and kids was taken outside our hotel.

We were allowed to take all kinds of tours and side trips at a reduced cost through the American Military recreation system. One of our better choices was to visit Salzburg, Austria, just across the border north of Berchtesgaden. This is the Hellbrunn Castle, used in parts of the movie Sound of Music.

My personal highlight was hiking up to the Eagle’s Nest, while my family was visiting the war bunker. There is a trail that runs up from the General Walker Hotel parking lot in Obersalzburg. After a lot of climbing up through heavy forest, I broke out into an open area at the foot of the cliff. Into the face of this northern cliff a narrow path had been cut in order to build this retreat often called “Hitler’s Tea House.” There were patches of snow on this trail that day because it’s in the shadow of that north face. I wasn’t able to hike the whole way up because part of the hiking path was closed near the top. I waited for my family to arrive by bus and we climbed up through the elevator with everyone else. This panorama (above left) was stitched together by hand from the photos, but I think you’ll get the idea. The retreat is just barely visible near the paper break at the top. The second shot is the retreat from the ridge above, still somewhat snow packed, as well.

I recall the above picture of Konigsee was shot from the bus window, because it’s not in line of sight from the retreat. The Konigsee was one of the tours we could have taken, but we ran out of time. We did walk a bit up the trail toward the natural dam that created this body of water, which is where this last picture was taken. I was wearing a snug knee brace and very sore from the climb to Eagle’s Nest the previous day. It was the last big hike I took, as this was before the surgery when my right knee was still going bad, and I began using a cane later that year.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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3 Responses to Scanned Photos 05

  1. Jay DiNitto says:

    That first photo captures the mom and different-age sibling dynamic nicely.

    That penultimate mountain shot seems so unreal to me, but we mostly see those shots through paintings or film clips (or photos). Before all this tech, I wonder how people perceived those extreme landscape perspectives in the occasional times they did?

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  2. Ed Hurst says:

    I know that the camera I used didn’t even capture very well what my eyes saw. The newer electronic cameras are slightly better, but the mountain views were breathtaking in real life.

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  3. Iain says:

    Martin Bormann had the tea house built in a sycophantic act of devotion to his Fuhrer. AH visited it once and it was later testified by one of his personal staff that he did not like it. Source David Irving. It is the only surviving building of the entire Berchtesgaden complex that was not destroyed by bombing and post war destruction. Incidentally, in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers it is featured as E company “took” the house as their last operation of the war. It also is in Steven Ambrose’s book of the same name. A good read as are most of his works.

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