This blog is a potpourri of all the little places we visited in the Black Forest.
The Black Forest (Schwarzwald in German and if you want a laugh, ask Leslie to pronounce this) is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Wuertemburg in southwestern Germany. It is bordered by France and Switzerland so there is an interesting mix of cultures. The highest peak is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 metres (4,898 ft). The region is almost rectangular with a length of 160 km (99 mi) and breadth of up to 60 km (37 mi). The name comes from the Romans who referred to the thickly forested mountains there as Silva Nigra or Silva Carbonara (Latin for “Black Forest”) because the dense growth of conifers in the forest blocked out most of the light inside the forest.
The mild climate and warm spring water of the lower forested area has made the Black Forest a destination for people looking for spas and health resorts. We tell you that in case you ever go, because we did not know this and did not pack a swim suit, so… no hot springs for us.
The Black Forest is also famous for cuckoo clocks. Leslie loves cuckoo clocks, so we had to do part of the Cuckoo Clock trail where we got to see the largest Cuckoo Clock in the world, go to lots of stores and find out how the clocks are made. We (Leslie) fell under the spell of the Black Forest and bought a clock (we have a few weeks to figure out where to put it in our Southwestern themed house).
We stopped in Schiltach because the guide book said it was a town out of a picture book. It was right, very cute and very interesting. It was like walking though a time machine. The city hall (middle picture) and many of the houses were built in the 16th century and are still being used today.
Titisee is a lake located in the southern part of Black Forest. It is a beautiful resort town (we wished we would have had more time to spend there) .
Triberg im Schwarzwald was on the cuckoo clock trail. Yes the “im Schwarzwald” is necessary since there are multiple Tribergs in Germany which becomes important when you are trying to find it in a GPS, but that is another story. Oh did we mention that the GPS we used to navigate around the Black Forest was totally in German? Very interesting.
The Triberg Waterfalls, a series of short waterfalls in the Gutach River, are among the tallest waterfalls in Germany with a total vertical drop of 151 mt. (496 feet). For those of you that are photographers (and actually for those of you that are not), Don posted two versions of some of the pictures that he took. The first shows the waterfall as it actually looks and the second shows the waterfall when he slowed down the shutter speed. Leslie was amazed at how the second one makes it look like there is so much more water. Another photography secret revealed.
The road to Triberg is very breathtaking (first and last two pictures). In a small town, Hornberg, we got to see a very large musical cuckoo clock (second picture). For a euro you could make the clock perform – Don had to stop Leslie from spending all her money there. The road from Triberg ended up being very nerve-wracking. We started the 45 minute trip from Triberg (in the mountains) to Freiburg (in the valley) in a bit of a rainstorm. About half way down, the skies opened up and the water was running down the mountain and flooding the streets. The farmers were out madly trying to channel the water away from the crops and we were (or Don was) navigating our little Fiat (remember how small it was next to Leslie?) through 1 1/2 to 2 feet of water in several places. We finally got out of the flood and into a traffic jam, so 2 hours later we arrived at Freiburg.