So shit I didn’t just stumble across Berchtesgaden in my travels. But my beautiful German friend A has been telling me about her village for a long time since well since we met in Guatemala in Nov 2008.
Shit how could I not know about it cus that’s all she went on and on about! How beautiful her village was, the mtns, green valleys, the hiking, biking and posted pics of the places. So hell I guess u Hey could say I mght have gotten brain washed (but also was dying to see it with out that) into thinking about possibly checking out the place if I ever got near Europe or Germany!
Hell I’m not crazy about Europe cus when I think of the place all I see are $$ or Euros as it’s frigging expensive there. So I like out of the way, cheap places where few travellers go, except for hard core travellers go (not only cus it's a little more difficult travelling). However in some cases people who are rich and go for a quick vacation. (unfortunately those are the assholes who drive prices up in previously cheap places!).
So living in Vancouver and dreading the upcoming Winter Olympics being held in Feb 2010 well I decided to get the fuck out of town to avoid it all! Hell I’m big into travelling so decided in Jan to head off to a place where I’ve always wanted to check out (no not Berchtesgaden even if I was brain washed to want to see it) Timbucktoo in West Africa cus it has always represented a mystical spot that people have heard of but few have visited. So in Jan 2010 I decided to finally make the trip cus also really liked Africa cus to me it means real travelling while Europe was not backpacking but train riding from city to city in a short time!
Hey maybe I’m coming across as knocking Europe but I do like the European people more than North American now! But guess I am kind of knocking Europe in a way cus been there before and anyway not big into touristy shit like seeing museums, churches, etc. Cus I like to see how people in different cultures live and survive & don’t let people tell u that Europeans have a different culture than North Americans cus they don’t as it’s the same with a different language!
So where am I going with all this shit ur probably are wondering? Good question cus I don’t really know but I do know that I’ve always wanted to see the mystical village/town of Timbucktoo in West Africa. Cus to me it represented the middle of no where as opposed to Europe which to me represents the epitome of boredom for hard core travellers! In my mind Europe is the destination for first time travellers who feel that they’re seeing the mysterious world - NOT!
Well I found out if I want to check out Berchtesgaden well it's best in the summer cus well it’s like Canada and winter lasts until June! Ha ha. So my friend A said come in mid July cus then she would be free to hang out and show me the place. Well having been brainwashed (or brain dead cus of all the drinks, smoke and generally screwing around) I just went da flow. So travelled up and thru the Middle East and into Eastern Europe for the next few months waiting till July. But unfortunately to go to Berchtesgaden in mid July I had to bypass going to see some awesome places &visiting some cool people I met travelling in countries like Romania, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Solvakia, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Cus initially I had hoped to visit these countries! So after getting talked into visiting Berchtesgaden in mid July! So having been brain washed well I probably gave up visiting most of these countries in this trip to visit one area! So shit now I have to make another trip to Eastern Europe!!!
But with all this complaining I have to say in retrospect that visiting Berchtesgaden, hanging with A and her friends was so awesome. Then checking out Amsterdam with A was so much fun so all in all this side trip to Berchtesgaden was so well worth the sacrifice. But shit maybe I’m a chronic complainer who wants to fit in everything in one trip so don’t have to return or spend the money on tickets twice!
I got to Salzburg in Austria which is probably 20 km from Berchtesgaden. Hell I`m an independent traveller who doesn`t like to feel obligated cus hell I travel alone most of the time so can get by on my own plus have funds to support myself as don`t care about freebies! So I wanted to take a bus and stay in a hostel in Berchtesgaden like I do in every other place I visit. But A being the sweet hospitable person said she would host me in her parent’s big home in Berchtesgaden. Well now I was a bit worried cus well I’ve been told by some people that I don’t fit in regular society! (think it was my ex wife who made that observation before she told me to fuck off!). Well I didn’t want to be an embarrassment to A around her parents, friends or villagers! Hell u probably think oh u couldn`t be that u couldn`t be that much of an embarrassment to anyone. Duh u haven`t seen Tom the Idiot in action or being stupid then cus I can be very annoying most of the time. Cus don`t think or use tact but I don`t do these things on purpose but while traveling the road of Life – Well Shit Happens! Unfortunately it happens to me more than others cus duh usually just floating thru life just trying to enjoy! Also don`t know when to shut the hell up, poor listener, rude, spit on people when I get excited when I talk (yes gross), snoring in my sleep, loud gum chewer, etc. I won`t even get into my farting, peeing on the toilet seat, burping, getting shit faced or stoned most of my waking hours! But think A got feed up with me almost as soon as we met up cus she must have had a memory loss and thought the same as others that should be OK if Tom visited. Actually it wasn`t all that bad cus her parents and I became good friends and I was so taken by how nice, kind and friendly they were. Now I know where A got her friendly, kind, awesome personality!
So yeah stayed 4 days in Berchtesgaden and met a few of A`s friends and some family members and didn`t get thrown out of town. Actually I thought I was on the best behaviour I had been on during my 6 months of travelling. Also it wasn`t that bad to act civilized either cus the people i met were so nice and civilized that it made me want to be nice myself! Guess the only time I might have slipped was when I went to eat some typical Bavarian food at a local restaurant after smoking and drinking at A's neighbor's. Well I had gone with A to visit her cool neighbour`s who seem to be cool like minded people like myself. So we sat around in their cool house, drank some beer, smoked some weed and chilled. Shit I didn`t expect to meet these kind of people in this little idyllic part of the world! Hell I would have just expected kind sweet parttime partiers who are into nature and staying healthy. But these neigbhors were people not un common to people that I like to hang and chill with! So it was like finding a paradise within Paradise, ha ha! So anyway I got a little wasted but kept myself under wrap while eating and talking. I was proud cus in my 4 days staying at A`s place I don`t think I slipped and said Fuck once! But jokingly said ' sheiste' cus thought it was the least vulgar word I could say without offending anyone!
Met a few of A`s girlfriends that she grew up and still hangs out with! Cus hell she couldn`t do anything without calling one of them up to hang out! I was really amazed with all these girls as they were ultra femine and cute. But shit they could put any guys to shame who thought these girls were wimps! Cus they could hike up any steep mtn with a heavy pack, rock climb, swim like a fish, mtn bike up steep mtns, etc. I like these kind of sporty chicks or jock cus yeah they got my admiration for being in such good shape! But I think all people living in that village were brought up hiking up mtns, biking up mtns, skiing or boarding, etc from an early age. Hell we hiked up what I thought was a steep mtn to get to this restaurant & I thought shit who would hike up this mtn to have a beer, coffee or bite to eat. There are places to go which aren`t as much work to get to. But hell when we got to the restaurant on top of the mtn there were all kinds of ppl there. Most were quite elderly who I wouldn`t have thought could have made it there. But hell most probably hike up there for their morning coffee and then back again for a beer later in the day! Ha ha. So have to say most of the people in the village are in awesome physical shape, healthy looking and probably live way past the age of many city people!
Visiting there and seeing A and her friends and what they do made me think shit I should do more activities myself cus I live in Vancouver which has mtns like 20 mins away. Mind u most Vancouver people are into nature, biking, hiking, etc. I never had any trouble hiking with A and her friends as hiking is no big deal with me. But hey rock climbing or climbing a tall peak would be new activities to me. But I have climbed some mtns in various countries but not with special equipment. So itWe als got me thinking that besides just street or stoned riding (as like to bike after smoking ha ha) I may buy a better mtn bike and do a bit of biking up mtns cus think it would be fun! I watched A and her friends do some climbing in a Climbing wall and it looked like fun! So I was thinking I may try it out myself when I get home. Cus could do to get over my fear of heights but time will tell! So have to say visiting Berchtesgaden and seeing A and her friends enjoying and participating make me think i should do more than running, biking and getting stoned! But guess half my time is spent on the road roaming the world getting into all kinds of shit!
We also hiked up this mtn which u can see from As bedroom. It has former Hilter`s fortress built on top but it is now a tourist attraction http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kehlsteinhaus There was a hollywood movie made of it http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065207/ check out the trailer! I watched it and it seems like a real thriller that I`d enjoy! The hike up was great and not too bad to do and the view from the top was awesome as could see the entire valley below.
We also hiked up another mtn which I felt was the most challenging but not to the point that I couldn`t manage. But it had parts at the top which I really enjoyed cus had to be part mtn goat! There again the view of the valley was so beautiful and breathtaking!
When we did all 3 mtns well hell A was leading the pack and doing it without working up a sweat & her friends were no different! Hell thought were these young chicks who were unlike typical chicks who liked to shop and hang out. Their hanging out was going for a hike up a mtn at 7 am and being back by noon so they could go Rock climbing in the pm, go for a swim in a cool lake or maybe mtn bike up and down a steep mtn! Hell any guy who wants to be in a relationship with them had better be in equal condition or be open to be put to shame when they have to help u up the mtn!
A`s parents Siggy and Michael are equally active and good condition. Which may account for their happy, friendly kind outlook on life! I can`t say when I`ve last met such nice sweet people. A`s Dad liked to joke and kid around and I left so glad I met him even if his English wasn`t as good as A`s Mother. Hell language was no barrier as far as I was concerned cus when people are as kind and warm as them words aren’t required! When I said goodbye I found it hard to put in words (cus don’t speak Bavarian ha ha) how much my visit meant to me and how grateful and how much appreciation I felt for them. I felt that I had made 2 awesome friends (like when I meet cool people and hang with them in hostels for a few days).So I found it hard to say thank you and goodbye. But do know that I will never forget them for how nice they were to me! I asked them weren’t they a bit worried when a weird looking guy like me came to stay at their home. Cus let’s face it I never saw anyone that looked as crazy as me! But they told me if I was a friend of A;s that was good enough for them! So then I realized that they don’t judge a book by the cover but were willing to accept me as A’s Friend. This was truly one of the nicest things that a person could say to me! If I ever make it back to Bavaria or Berchtesgaden well I would make a special visit to see them cus that’s how much they affected me in a positive way!
Berchtesgaden was a cool place that I’ll always remember but a couple of other memorable thing I’ll remember were being hosted by A at her parent’s home plus meeting & hanging with A’s friends! The people I met were so hospitable and friendly that I felt overwhelmed (especially A’s parents),
I’ve done a lot of traveling in all the continents and many countries. So of course I’m always rating and looking for chilled places to hang out! I would rate Berchtesgaden high on my list as this type of place cus it was so relaxing with beautiful views of nature like the mountains, green valleys and beautiful cool lakes! But like all the places I visit I find that it’s not only the beauty of a place but it’s the people you meet and hang out with there that makes the difference! I would say that Berchtesgaden ranked up there with any as a place I met nice, kind, fun people! Thanks A for being such a nice, beautiful friend who I will never forget and who I can repay by hosting u one day, Insh allah!
Rock climbing and the beautiful home of A's family where I was acceptted with warmth and hospitality!
Hiked to top of mtn to this restuarant run by A"s family friends
Went out for nice Bavarian food
Hanging out at A"s neighbors and found them so friendly and cool!