Upon a brisk breakfast at 8am, the boys leftthe hotel for an adventurous journey to the Obersalzberg region; renowned for its magnificent views and infamous Nazi mountainside retreat. The bus trip proved to be one of great remembrance for the boys, with the sustained presence of spectacular mountains detailed by a myriad of trees, that were made prevalent by slanting cliffs that overhang hidden rivers, that in all proved to be more than enough stimulus to fight off the urge of sleep!
This enthrilling bus trip was met by an even more enthrilling trip to the Dokumentation Obersalzberg, an excellent and comprehensive Third Reich museum, with a focus on the Obersalzberg region in relation to the Nazis. Impressively, the museum was built upon an authentic WWII air raid shelter, with the boys given the option the explore the shelter at leisure. Unfortunately, many of the walls were vandalised by previous ´explorers’, but the experience still remained unique and immersive.
After a very much reluctant leave from the Dokumentation Obersalzberg, the boys embarked onwards to Hitler’s famous Eagle’s Nest, a holiday retreat given to Hitler as a 50th birthday present. The journey began with a perilous bus trip up a hazardous mountain path. However, the bus driver proved to be more than adept, and hence we arrived promptly, and intact, for the brass elevator that would take us up to the Nest itself.
The panoramic views that the boys were instantly met by were nothing but memorising, with every angle from the Nest arguably the ‘perfect postcard’ where one could not linger in admiration. Hitler’s treasured retreat has since been converted into a cosy restaurant, where the presence of top Nazi officials dining along the likes of Albert Speer and Heinrich Goering, has, unfortunately for the ‘fuhrer’, been replaced by American tourists enjoying an incredibly overpriced meal.
Whilst the Nest remained impressive for the boys, many did not linger around, but rather chose to scale further up the mountain in the fever of exploration. For some, this meant a timely walk up to a stunning peak marked by seating and camera bearing tourists. For others, this marked an opportunity to test the hiking integrity of their white-soled sneakers, and pursue further up the mountain, where the marked ‘path’ became less and less convincing. Whilst I will not comment on the safety of such a hike, what I will comment on is that the isolation, furthered by the extraordinary views, marked an incredibly special moment for the those boys, that will certainly be remembered in the times to come.
Regardless, the trip up to the Nest proved to be tiresome for all the boys, and hence they were all eager to return to Salzburg. However, with this return came the option of free time, and with that, the majority of the boys ceased to be exhausted, and opted to venture out to explore the foreign streets of Salzburg’s Old Town, that for some, included a well-spent purchase of Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
After free time came dinner at a local restaurant, where afterwards the boys returned back to the hotel, for a leisurely end to an eventful day.