Hitler’s Compound in the Clouds

And I do mean in the clouds. Dense fog and steady rain plagued us all along the drive from Salzburg back across the German border to the compound known as Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, 1800 metres up in the mountains. In nice weather, you can get amazing panoramic views of the Alps from the top; in the fog, we could barely see the trees 20 feet from the windows. Oh, well.

The Eagle’s Nest was the second most important Nazi command centre during WWII — this is where many of Hitler’s crucial decisions were made. The tunnel leading to the elevator and the elevator itself are still as they were in the 1940s, though the massive doors to the tunnel are missing a knob (it was presented to Eisenhower after the war). At the top, we saw the dining hall, the conference room, and the hallway leading to an outdoor terrace. The rooms themselves were a bit of a letdown; the original furniture is in a museum in Munich, so we were basically looking at empty spaces. But it was still a nice taste of history.

We also had a walking tour of Salzburg’s historic centre, but I spent most of it wishing we could just sit down somewhere and relax. I have no interest in either Mozart or The Sound of Music, so most of this town’s attractions are wasted on me. Besides, it was raining. And I’ve been here before. And I still have those toe blisters. Sigh.

To Vienna tomorrow…