Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Black Forest

In April we took an extended weekend trip to the Black Forest. Our first stop was Baden Baden. It has hot springs and apparently a lot of rich people go there. It was nice enough, but didn't have too much for tourists to see. We didn't go to the hot spring spa, because it was kind of expensive. They did have a bunch of flower pots everywhere with quotes on them, which was neat. Then we went to Gengenbach. It was used in the Tim Burton Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie as the hometown of Augustus Gloop. It is picturesque, with a lot of half-timbered houses. Next we went to Triberg, which is one of the places where Black Forest Cake was supposedly invented. We got some cake at a cafe that claims to use the original recipe. The town is very touristy, with many souvenir shops and a little train to take people up the hill. There is a waterfall there, but you had to pay to see it, so we didn't. Not pictured below, we stopped briefly at one of the two places that claims to have the largest cuckoo clock in the world. It's on the side of a souvenir store. Towards the end of our first day, we went by one of the origins of the Danube, that is, one of the small rivers that combines with another river to become the Danube. It comes up out of the ground as a small creek. Then we went to our hotel. It was pretty neat. It's an old building now operated by Best Western, between Freiburg and Titisee. There were some cows in a field nearby, which we tried, once successfully, to feed. They seemed wary of people. For dinner we went to Titisee, to an Italian restaurant.

The next day we drove to Freiburg. It has the most sunny days of any city in Germany. It did get sunny in the afternoon. They have mosaic signs on the sidewalk everywhere that historically represented what kind of shop they were in front of. Some of them are still traditional-looking and some are newer. After eating lunch we drove to St. Blasien, which has an impressive cathedral and overpriced cafes. In the late afternoon we went to a large indoor pool complex with lots of pools and waterslides. An hour was included in a pass we got from our hotel. They had one pool with a high salt content, like the Dead See, so you could float really easily, which was fun. They also had seats that shot out bubbles, like a jacuzzi, but they were seats in a larger pool and an outdoor heated pool area with a bar, as well as a hamam-style steam room. But the waterslides were the best part and much fun was had.

On our way back home the next day we stopped by the confluence of the Danube and in Villingen, a small town where we ate in a restaurant that had booths in giant wine vats.

No comments: