Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Day 7: Off for a day-trip toward Obersalzberg, the site of Hitler’s mountain-side compound, including his mountain residence “Berghof” and the hilltop retreat, Kehlsteinhaus or the “Eagle’s Nest.” Kehlsteinhaus was a gift to Hitler from the Nazi party secretary Martin Bormann for his 50th birthday. Apparently, he was afraid of heights and rarely visited. (What a wuss – I handled it just fine.) We payed 30€ ($40) each to ride the bus 10 minutes up a super windy road, got off in a parking lot, walked up a long tunnel INTO the mountain and rode a massive lush elevator (think: polished brass) up to the retreat house. The house is now used primarily as a restaurant. The views were fantastic! You could see for miles in every direction. After we took it all in, we rode back down the mountain to the site of Hitler’s vacation home, Berghof. During World War II, he spent more time here than anywhere else. It, along with all of the other buildings on the site were destroyed by allied bombs in April of 1945. The area was occupied by US troops until 1996 when they transferred control to the local government. In 1999 the Dokumentationszentrum Obersalzberg, a museum outlining how the local area was used by the Nazis. All of the information was in German, but we did get to wander a bit through some extensive network of the underground bunkers. All in all, a full day packed with tons of historical information.