Crossing the Alps South. Berchtesgaden – Maria Alm 

​Day 3. Next morning it is difficult to get up. Tired, stiff, but with lots of plans for today I force myself up. The first part is an easy stroll along the Königsberger Ache (a small river) to the lake Königssee. 

A quick climb up to the famous Malerwinkel for the view and I already board the boat with a big crowd of Japanese for a one hour trip to the other side of the lake. 

What a view, the light and colours are just beautiful. The mid way stop for the trumpet and echo sounds cheesy but is so peaceful in reality. 

On the other side of the lake I can see that there is a direct way of just 5 hours to the Kärlingerhaus. I quickly call them to make the reservation and start to hike along the lake. The sign for fresh buttermilk makes me stop already after a few minutes though. Yummy!  Then off we go, in good mood as I didn’t really look at the map to see the freaking closeness of the altitude lines! I am off for a three hours steep climb across ladders and small via ferrata. I am sweating and swearing, interrupted by small bursts of joy when I come to the lookouts. I take a lunch break,  interrupted again by three ticks. After I removed them I decide it’s time to continue. 

I arrive at the jungle and things are getting easier.  Finally I arrive at the long awaited intersection, from which the trail will be less steep for the next two hours to the hut. I can breath again and enjoy the hike and the nature. 

I arrive rather early at the Kärlingerhaus,  but as I am rather exhausted I just sit and relax, enjoying the view from the Hut. In the evening the weird guy from the first hut arrives, ignores me but talks to my table neighbour, who in turn looks for help to me… but nothing can be done except leaving for bed! Again I am lucky to sleep in a row for 7 with only 3 and have plenty of space.  Good thing about the early season.

Day 4. I start around 7am without breakfast.  10€ for a breakfast buffet is too expensive for me given that I currently cannot eat much in the morning.  I am waiting for the hiker hunger to kick in yet! I have decided to take it easy today as there is plenty of time. Slowly I walk through the beautiful morning mist, take a cereal bar when I am hungry and hike up to the Hirschtörle. From here the view on the “Steinerne Meer” (sea of stones) is beautiful! 

I arrive at the hut Ingolstädter Haus around 10h15 and take a break in the sun for about an hour. Then it is around 3h30 to the final hut for today, the Riemannhaus. At least half of the trail is still covered in snow, so I am glad I took the glacier mountaineering training last week as I feel much more comfortable now hiking through snow. The sea of stones is beautiful and thankfully the trail is going only slowly up and down today so the whole day is just a pleasure! A few hikers choose to hike the other way round so I can have some chats along the way. 

When I arrive at the hut – what an impressive setting! -they luckily still have a place for me (the last two days there was no phone network so I couldn’t book ahead). I also meet Marco from yesterday evening and together we climb up to the summit just next to the Hut, the Sommersblick. What a view!

Then it’s time for a quick wash (for the first time the washing room for women and men is not separate!), time for chats and dinner with Marco before heading to bed.
Day 5. Last night there was a snoring competition in my room… I didn’t sleep much and I get up at 5h30. Breakfast starts at 7am so again I am leaving without. It’s a steep climb down to Maria Alm for the first hour or so, the it gets easier and I arrive around 9h39 at the centre.  Time for a small breakfast before calling my friends Robert and Meli who pick me up for a relaxing day at the Jufenalm. My little treat in between the hiking. I just enjoy the time with them and the kids and we celebrate Robert’s birthday. When a thunderstorm starts I am even more happy about my relaxed day!

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