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Hitler's Eagle's Nest: Not what I expected.

I suppose I expected a palace stuffed with looted treasure. Surely a man intending to build the ultimate society would have his hideout richly adorned with balconies, towers and banners. Elegant food would be dished out on gold-crusted platters and the carved beds must be topped with down mattresses and comforters, Right?

Our trek to Hitler's "Eagle's Nest" started on a bus in Munich, Germany. It wound past Salzburg Austria and into the soaring peaks of the Austrian Alps. Here are some photos from the bus on the way up the mountain.

I'm never a fan of winding mountain roads, but the scenery is so spectacular, I couldn't help but enjoy it.

When you get to the stopping place for the busses, there's a cafe a gift shop and a potty stop. A short walk brings you to the entrance to the Eagle's nest. It's a tunnel that goes into the mountain and branches off, with an elevator just inside.

That's me (Beth) son Thomas and his wife Katie

The plaque above the door means built in 1938. The war didn't start until 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. This network of bunkers and tunnels tells you that Hitler knew what he was doing and prepared a place of safety for military and govt. operations.

This is all there is (or ever was) of the visible structures of the Eagle's Nest! Brick building, nondescript roof, unadorned and poorly lit. Clearly Hitler wasn't thinking of making this place a palace. It was to be the nerve center for Nazi operations. The small, unremarkable building at the peak of a mountain, often shrouded in clouds would prove to be impossible for the Allies to hit with a bomb. But even if they had, the important functions were in the tunnels and caverns inside the mountain.

Nevertheless, the panoramic mountain views are spectacular (if quite chilly in June of 2022)

Sometimes the fog descended so thick on the mountain top that there was no view at all.

If you have time and interest, there's hiking/scrambling among the crags along the ridge. The array of wildflowers impressed me.

On the backside of the mountain, the fog cleared enough for an instant to almost see Salzburg in nearby Austria.

No, it wasn't what I expected at all. Hitler apparently was enough of a pragmatist to understand that the world had to be subjugated to his wicked plan before anyone could really start enjoying "the good life." If only he had wandered out on the mountaintop and breathed in the peace. What difference would it have made if he listened to the tranquil sounds of birds and breezes in that wild, lonely place? How could he be so full of hate that the natural beauty all around him didn't soften his heart?

Is it possible that sometimes we have access to great beauty and peace and purpose, and yet we keep ourselves underground in the darkness, thinking of revenge or conquest and refusing to see our own gifts and God's grandeur around us?

Poke your head up and look around.

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