Königssee, Germany, and the trumpet man

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. 

As you can see the lake is formed in a deep and sheer valley
As you can see the lake is formed in a deep and sheer valley

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. 

Being Flugelhorned.

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.

Stopped, while we got Flugelhorned
Stopped, while we got Flugelhorned

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.

Keswick

Keswick
Keswick

My friends are up in the north for a funeral, so we decided to meet up and spend the day in Keswick as I was over here anyway. Although it was cold the sun was out and we enjoyed  walk around the lake almost to Ashness bridge before having to turn back.
That’s one of the beauties though, you don’t have to have a specific goal in mind or target to reach in Keswick. You can go for a walk and enjoy just being there no mater how long you walk for.

Catbells
Catbells

There is often a great sunset in winter as the sun goes down over the Newlands valley, lighting up Causey Pike and Catbells.

I recall some years ago taking 2 hours to get up Catbells I was so unfit. I still struggle now but there’s no question of not being able to do it. The views are amazing from there, I think it’s time I was back up it again soon.

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Welcome Jack :)

Dog stands by lake watching swans
Jack swanning about

Jack seems to have taken to life in the van as if he was born to it, (which he almost was!) and he appears to be content. He’s playing  a lot, sleeping even more, and chewing me loads! I’ve been to get him chipped by  vet in Skelton, who didn’t even have a debit card machine and sent me off to the post office to get some cash. I told him the lifestyle I lead living in my van and traveling here and there, he stated he could see no harm that would come to the dog and then started the long process of inoculations, checks, worming etc etc that a new puppy has to go through.

Once that was all complete I decided to have the weekend in Ullswater as it’s one of my favourite places. I parked in Glenridding and took Jack to the lake for his first visit. As you can see, his instincts are all in place. I was not sure whether he wanted to play with the swans or eat them, although the swans seemed sure of the latter so they stayed a healthy distance away.

Must get rid of that awful collar. I’ve never understood how people can try and control animals with a thing round their neck. I’d like a decent harness for him.
As you can see below he’s not frightened either! He loves people and other dogs, he’s just so sociable. He’s settling in nicely too, I don’t think I’m going to regret getting him.

Jack meets a Jack Russell and makes friends
Jack making friends