I’d long wanted to visit Konigssee, it’s renowned for being the cleanest lake in Germany so since 1909 only rowing boats and electric boats are allowed on the lake in order to prevent pollution. It’s about 5 miles long and at one point a mile wide and the tourist boats sail every 10 minutes or so, so if you visit you never queue long to get on a boat.
Like most valleys it was supposedly carved out by a glacier and the highest mountain there rises to over 9,000 feet.
I was quite shocked when I looked at the photos I’d taken from that day out. Normally I take some as simple records. They’re not arty in any way, they’re just to give a wide or overall view of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. When you leave the car park there is a walkway to the jetty that is several hundred metres long and winds it’s way through an absolute throng of gift shops and other small types of shops. It’s bold with colour and noise and there’re some fabulous things for sale, such as the most amazing cuckoo clocks, and Lederhosen for him and her, starting at €600!
And yet I didn’t take a single photo to show all these amazing shops. That’s not like me and I’m a bit bamboozled as to why I didn’t but hey ho, it’s not the end of the world and I can recall what it was like anyway. I could easily have spent thousands of pounds in an hour so beware if you go.
Quite often when travelling I don’t do tons of research about where I’m going. I knew Konigssee was there but I hadn’t googled it so finding everything out while there was a pleasure. I know some prefer to know all about it when they go but each to their own right? Anyway, so I didn’t know about the Flugelhorn.
A flugelhorn is basically a trumpet. So if you look at some of the pictures you will see that on the lake the valley walls rise sheer for hundreds of feet all around you. We stopped in one part where they seemed to go on forever and the feeling was almost smothering. Once we had stopped altogether one of the crew came to the middle of the boat and opened one of the doors. He then opened a locker and got out a trumpet. Germans call these Flugelhorns.
I suspect a few others too had no idea what was going on because they were looking at him blankly, wondering if we were going to be treated to some music. Well, we were. He played a very simple tune on his trumpet, a few bars at a time, and THE most amazing echos were bouncing off the walls of the mountains over and over and over again. It was the most simple tune but the most beautiful thing to hear it in the deathly silence, echoing back and forth along the lake.
I was so taken aback by it all I didn’t even consider taking my phone out to record it and as I looked around only 2 people did actually have their phones out. It was stunning and so unexpected and when he finished we all applauded because it was actually quite a moving experience. If you ever go to Konigssee make sure you get Flugelhorned!
They did have a little collection afterwards and of course we were all feeling so nice about it we were all giving a couple of euros, on a boat of maybe 40 people, so the two crew didn’t do so badly out of it. I wondered how many times a day they’d do that too…
I’ve got a file so you can hear the tune but there appears to be only 2 echos in this recording, we heard 4 at least. It’s here anyway if you wish to hear it.
When I got back I spent more time in the gift shops because it was a blisteringly hot day and I was in no hurry to be anywhere. It was fun just seeing all the lovely stuff which if I was wealthy and had a large house I’d probably buy. As it happened I didn’t spend a penny.
Oh by the way dogs are allowed but they charged me €3.50 for Jack which is a bit much considering he’s so small. They say your dog MUST be muzzled as well but I didn’t see a single one that was, so Jack’s muzzle stayed in my pocket and no-one said a word to anyone.
I drove up for the day early in the morning and paid for their car park, but the night before, and for several nights while I got my leak repaired I’d stayed in the train station car park at Berchtesgaden.
Where I stayed: Unnamed Road, 83471 Berchtesgaden, Germany, 47.627236, 013.001140
As ever here’s some photos.