Previous Diary Next Diary

Home Diaries Best Pictures Road Trip

Bad Reichenhall, A Base Camp

November 9, 2001

Dear Friends and Family,

Geography Intro: Bad Reichenhall is in the far lower right corner of Germany, not far from Salzburg, Austria. It is right where the Bavarian Alps start. "Bad" means baths. "Reichenhall" means "rich in salt", the original source of local wealth.

Marianne selected Bad Reichenhall for a destination because she, her mom, and Gabby had vacationed here a few years back and had a wonderful, low-key time. After Berlin, we were due for low-key. We were also due for a number of chores, so we wanted to have some free time and that meant a five-day "base camp" stop.

The guesthouse Marianne and her family had used a few years ago had been sold. However the original owner still had a small guesthouse in a neighboring village. Our "no reservations" practice prevented us from trying her new place though since, when we called, we found her one double room had already been rented. In consolation, she gave us recommendations, including the Steiermark Garni hotel in the old Bad Reichenhall neighborhood.

The Hotel Garni Steiermark was a great place. It had everything we look for, starting with friendly "staff". When we checked in, owners Gertrude and Bernd Temeier provided us with a small one-bedroom apartment so we could have the phone line we need for email, website updating, and phone-card calls home. The other requirements were also built in: off-street parking, CNN International news, clean, quiet. Just right. And did I say it was well under our nominal budget? It was tempting to stay here for as long as they would have us but we have places to see and people to meet.

Our chores were relatively easy too. There was a laundry so we could have a new batch of clean clothes. It's interesting how little we worry about this anymore. We "recycle" clothes with impunity. It helps that we are with different people every few days. No one seems to notice.

Both of us also got haircuts. Neither of us likes our own. Marianne's is almost as short as mine , but of course she has much more hair to be short so I'm still jealous. This is my first "foreign" haircut and I'm not impressed. Marianne has had three trip haircuts so far: Norway, Sweden and Germany. And she wonders why it's so short.

Marianne successfully found a warm coat. She's been either using my "inner coat", making me cold or she's used one of the heavy coats from Kyiv. The Kyiv coat is plenty warm but is actually too much for what winter we've seen and it's hard to stuff behind Marianne's seat in our little car. That small slot is about all the storage space we have inside with us. Everything else has to go in the trunks. This car is great for limiting shopping. For everything we buy, we have to abandon something, so purchases are rare.

Bad Reichenhall has a few tourist attractions, but we managed to miss everything. There's an old salt mine, but it was only open on the day we took a day trip to Salzburg. There's also an artistic glass shop but the glass blower was on vacation this week. The reportedly spectacular cable car ride was not popular because the cloud level was generally just above the buildings, so wonderful alpine views were out. And the famous saltwater baths had closed a few years ago. Oh well, the streets were quiet and still pretty, despite the rain.

That left day trips to the neighboring towns. There will be separate notes on Salzburg and on Wasserburg, Marianne's birthplace. Each warrants a few paragraphs and pictures.

Our trip to Berchtesgaden will be reported here. It warrants one small paragraph and at most a single picture. First, it was a pleasant enough 25-minute drive, despite the slushy rain, but when we got there, Berchtesgaden was completely empty. We knew it was off-season, but in November all the stores close for 90 minutes in the middle of the day. And they open late and close early. I'm sure that the people are very busy during the summer and winter seasons, but this November schedule sounds pretty relaxing.

Five days and that's all there is to report. This wasn't Berlin. But if you ever need some peace and quiet, this is the place and, for us, this was the time.

Take care and look for peace and quiet.

John and Marianne






Previous Diary Next Diary

Home Diaries Best Pictures Road Trip

Created November 19, 2001

This page created on a Macintosh using PhotoPage by John A. Vink.