Imagine… the image of a place forever imprinted in your memory as the most relaxing, serene place you have ever been. In my life I have traveled to many beautiful places, some changed my outlook on life, some recharged me…others simply took my breath away.
There is a wondrous place in Germany that is my favorite above all others; it separates my thoughts from the usual outside world making me forget my worries. For me such a place exists in a lovely spot in Bavaria, a place I have never forgotten, surrounded by majestic mountains with snowy peaks, speckled with alpine roses and edelweiss, quaint white houses and onion-domed churches in the sunny, picturesque village of Berchtesgaden, Germany. A town full of family boardinghouses, balconied chalets, twisting streets, rushing rivers and breathtaking panoramas of serrated, snowcapped peaks.
Berchtesgaden mixes medieval architecture, traditional Bavarian dress with snowy Alpine splendor, along with a surprising history into a potent potion. I always enjoyed starting in the town's center under the Franciscan Church's gothic arches with its altar hidden directly behind a huge supporting pillar, allowing the priests to play hide-n-seek with their worshippers.
A short walk away is the old Market fountain with its lion, the symbol of Bavaria, being hosed down by workers, momentarily giving it a misty life, lulling me into a wistful state of contentment, slowing life’s generally rushed business, if just for a short while.
According to legends, Berchtesgaden's gray peaks and green valley’s were once ruled by a cruel King, whose royal family trampled crops during hunting trips and starved the locals through taxation. On one such foray, the family was turned to stone during a powerful storm and now, high above, the powerless family remains the symbol of Berchtesgaden. The king is the highest peak; the queen rises to his left; while his seven royal...