Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Jewel in the crown - Lake Obersee

Having completed the trip from end to end of Lake Königssee the tourist boats disembark their cargo on the isthmus between the Königssee and the Obersee. In my ignorance I knew very little about the twin lakes and their formation and although the Königssee is much larger and in some ways more spectacular I found the Obersee every bit as enthralling.

As already mentioned the Obersee is located above the Königssee and drains into it. This whole area of the Berchtesgaden National Park belongs to the drainage basin of the Salzach, and consequently, of the Danube.

Water flows from the Obersee
Across the isthmus to the Königssee
The short walk between the lakes takes around 15 minutes, but it is worth taking a little longer to enjoy some of the superb wild flowers on display like the Marsh Orchid pictured below.

Wild Marsh Orchid
Stepping out from between the trees you get your first view of Lake Obersee.

Lake Obersee
As you can see the left bank of the Obersee is a sheer cliff face, but fortunately there is a pathway allowing the intrepid to walk around the lake. The trail becomes very narrow and rocky and leads along the steep rock walls into which steps have been cut in places, taking you around the Obersee to Fischunkelalm. It takes a good hour to complete the walk, but is well worth the effort.

Mossy Bough - reminded me of big cat asleep on a branch. Can you see it?
The views over and along the lake are quite breathtaking.

Looking toward Fischunkelalm
As you approach Fischunkelalm you get your first proper look at the Röthbach Waterfall, the highest waterfall in Germany, which  plunges 470m into the gorge.

Röthbach Waterfall
As with the Königssee the waters of the Obersee are crystal clear as can be seen from the mirror-like reflections in the lake.

Looking toward the Königssee from Fischunkelalm Mt. Watzmann in the background
Note once again the amazing colour of the water in the lake - it's almost as if it has been dyed!

Green Obersee water
The Obersee... in my opinion a jewel in Berchtesgaden's crown.