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Campervan Adventures in Bavaria: Ice Caves and Waterfalls

Day 4 was such a great day. A long day, but one of my favorite days of the trip! We had planned on taking the boat around the lake one day, and I remember reading there was a waterfall you could walk to so that was our plan. The only problem? I couldn't remember where the waterfall was and I wasn't finding it in my hiking app. Only the waterfall we tried to hike to the day prior from town. So I did some research the night before about where we could hike from the first town stop and found...there is an ice cave you can hike to! I looked up photos and it looked okay, really the photos only looked so so but I was like okay we definitely need to do this. I mean how often can you hike to an ice cave? I didn't see a waterfall though...so I looked at the second stop and found it! The highest waterfall in Germany actually which is odd that my googling didn't find it sooner, but ultimately good it didn't or else I wouldn't have known about the ice cave! So we got up early to catch the very first boat so we would hopefully have plenty of time for both hikes! 

The boat was packed, every seat taken, but adventures awaited!

It was still an overcast day, but with spooky clouds so you could still see the mountains a bit





It was such a beautiful boat ride even though the mountains had clouds. Part way through the boat stopped and the tour guide pulled out a trumpet to play a bit so we could hear how it echoed in this spot which was so fun! It sounded like a second person really was playing the trumpet! And the echo was so loud! I tried to get a video of it, but you can barely hear the echo. 



First stop - St. Bartholomä! There is a restaurant and a church and maybe another store, but that is about it. We were so early things weren't really open yet. Not very many other people got off at this stop either. Most continued on to the next stop.




It was a nice hike through the forest with glimpses of the mountains now and again





The trail was pretty nice until you got to this streambed you had to walk through to get to/see the actual ice caves. Then it was pretty much a choose your own adventure and find a way to get there. No real trail even though some people had put cairns out every once and a while. Since we were the first ones up there we didn't even have anyone else to see oh we need to go over there. It was an adventure!




First views of where we were heading. 

We took a break in the streambed at one point and you are in this valley completely surrounded by giant mountains and it was so imposing. The photos definitely don't show that almost claustrophobic feeling I had with these massive mountains everywhere you looked. All these sheer cliffs it was like how did we get here/how do we get out? It was one of the first/only times that my surroundings really made me feel small. 

We pretty much tried to go straight through here to the cave...it looked like there is a trail a bit higher up on the left of it, but 2 other people came by while we were taking a break and when we got there the one had come back to go the lower route of choosing your own adventure. He said that the higher route was kind of a mess and you were just slipping all over the place and it wasn't really a good spot for that...so that was helpful. 




First view of the actual cave!

























It was so cool, both figuratively and literally! It was freezing up by it! We did have a break and just took it all in for a bit until I became an ice cube and had to warm up. I did put on all my layers and it was like being in a freezer! I was so glad we hiked up to this and kept going on the non-trail till we got here. It really was one of my favorite spots on the whole trip. And I was so glad it was overcast while we were here because the ice was so blue! Most of the photos I saw online were from sunny days and it definitely doesn't look as cool. This is one hike I would definitely do again if I were in the area! And the photos really do not do it justice!


By the time you got a little bit away it was so much warmer! Significantly warmer not even that far away










I have no idea what these things are...they were attached to the leaf which was weird

By the time we got back to the town it was sunny and beautiful!

Even if the mountains still had some clouds

Next stop Kessel! We were one of 2 couples that got on the boat to go to the next stop...and only a handful of people were still on the boat. We had the front pretty much to ourselves. 




It was so beautiful! And seriously these photos do not do it justice! This was the perfect day weather-wise - cloudy in the morning so the ice was super blue for us and sunny in the afternoon so we could see all the things!



This is the view of Obersee - a lake a bit above Königsee and a super-easy walk to get to. Relatively flat, wide paths, everyone could get here. And you can see the waterfall at the far end of the lake.





This is from the opposite side from the first photo of Obersee. The hike to get here was...a bit trickier. There is one part where you have to go up and down some steps that are made out of really slippery rock. And because we were in the afternoon now there were a lot more people going both ways. 

Starting the hike up to the waterfall



We didn't walk the whole ways over to it - you could see the path down to the base of it and since we already had walked a ways and only had so much time before the last boat we decided not to. We really didn't want to miss the last boat! There is nothing at the stop so we would have been stuck...



Heading back




By the time we made it back to the dock the clouds were rolling in once again. There was a long line to get on the boat and we had to wait a bit as they only come every 30min or so, but luckily we got on the next boat to arrive (they only let enough people on that would have seats...no standing on the boat which was nice). 






And back to the campsite. We had a seat on the boat at a 4 place - we faced forward and 2 ladies were facing us across from us. At one point you could see a duck with her ducklings and I was like Raymond look! And she also pointed it out to the lady she was traveling with. Then the boat went on a bit more and a little duckling popped up out of the water and I gasped Oh no! and she was all Oh no, the baby duck is lost!! And we looked at each other and laughed as we both said it at the same time! 

This was a long day - my fitbit recorded 23km/14 miles! But we got to see all the things. Since it was our last day in Königssee we had to fit them all in. And as I said before the weather worked out perfectly for us! Next time it is off to the next stop.

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