The last of the month and another holiday for the good, easy going people here. We hired a carriage and started at 9:30 for Berchtesgaden and the Konigssee. On the road, we saw many foot tourists with their Knapsacks on the back, pointed stick, and knee breeches, also girls and men on bicycles and Autos, all out for a good time.
And it was a glorious day, the sun shone brightly, the birds were singing, the meadows filled with wild flowers and our road along a pretty mountain brook, the Ache.
We passed through pretty villages where the houses are built in the Swiss mountain style with pretty galleries and staircases leading to them all in scroll work, the gables ornamented with scroll work and heavy rocks on the roofs to hold them down in winter.
We passed the Bavarian border, and an officer asked us whether we had anything liable to duty. The roads are beautiful and clean out here and as smooth as our asphalt streets, well protected wherever they skirt along a ravine or the river and kept scrupulously clean.
The mountains surrounding us were partly bathed in sunshine, and then again you could see the clouds hanging in the snow covered tops. We saw a curious opening in one of them called the Dragons hole, so called a/c of its resemblance to a dragon with open mouth. We passed the Salt Mine with a large lake in it, but could not go in as it was closed for the holidays.
When we reached Berchtesgaden, we had a fine view of the mountains which surround this gem of a summer resort. We saw the American Flag in front of a very pretty Swiss Villa and learned that it is owned by a rich American who spends his summers here.
A beautiful Avenue lined on each side by immense trees brought us to Konigssee. We had passed many peasants dressed in their alpine costumes, and when we reached the lake, we found crowds of them. The picture is one never to be forgotten.
But our stomachs claimed attention, and we took a good substantial dinner at the Schiffmeister. I engaged a boat for three and, as we had to await our turn, we took our time to eat our dinner.
We had two oarsmen in Alpine costume to row us, an hour going and an hour returning, for the big sum of $1.25 for the three of us. Steamers are not allowed on this lake and, after we had rowed around an island which hides the full view of the lake from our starting point, we saw the grand old mountain lake stretch before us with its tremendous gray rock walls falling into the bottomless depths of the lake.
A pistol fired at a certain spot was re-echoed from these high rocks, sounding like a heavy peal of thunder. On the only spot where the soil has been washed up and affords just space enough for a tiny settlement, stand the little pilgrimage church of St. Barthalomew and a hunting chateau, a charming retreat seemingly shut off from the rest of the world and surrounded by the most delightful scenery.
The wild, rugged walls of the Watsmann mountain in the background rise to the dizzy height of 10,000 feet, and here we rested under chestnut trees, now in full bloom and sipped the brown beverage.
On our return trip, we sang and then again we sat in silence and listened to the singing of the birds and the splashing of the oar and here we heard the Kukuk. It was all so charmingly quiet and so grand that our hearts were lifted heavenward to the Almighty (in thanks) who created all this grand scenery.
Our ride home was most delightful—again and again we stopped to pick the beautiful flowers, and it seemed as if Emily could not get enough of them.
Home at 6:30, glad to stay there and rest and talk about the glorious day which we have passed. And, all the day, in the carriage as well as in the boat, we had one seat to spare and wishing that you or Tante Lenchen or some loved one would be with us to share the pleasure.