I arrived in Black Forest late in the evening and all I could see was mountains of trees amidst the dark foggy forests. I stayed in a house in Winden Im Elztal that is 500 years old and it still has the similar looking oven that you see in the castles that heats up the dining area. The family was wonderful and hospitable and gave me great tips for the trail I am going to take. (For $50 off your first stay in Airbnb, click here!) I met 3 friends whose parents brought them for a holiday to the blackforest when they were kids in 1968, and now they’re back here, as aunties and uncles and doing the same hikes they did when they were kids, staying in the very same house. They were from Cologne and they were very nice to invite me for their BBQ together with the hosts. I’m so blessed. The breakfast is also great as grandma makes fresh eggs for you in a cute little hat.
The next morning, because it was drizzling, I headed to Freiburg first. You can choose to stay in Freiburg too and drive 20km to the Black Forest. Either way is good because Freiburg is a large university town and it’s very pretty too.
Freiburg has a beautiful cathedral that is completely original. This means that it has escaped unscathed in the air raids of the world war while the surroundings were all destroyed. A miracle indeed that’s worth a visit. As the rain got heavier, I decided to stay within the Munster a while longer and I didn’t regret it. There was a free organ concert and it was very memorable. The Freiburg Munster has 4 large organs and you can play them individually or together! It also has a beautiful Statue of Mary from Cuzco in Peru. Around the church, there is a busy open air market and you can buy food, fruits and flowers. It’s open daily except Sunday’s. In Germany, like other parts of Europe, a lot of shops are closed on Sunday.
Within Freiburg historic town, there are 2 gates that still stands from the Middle Ages. Do walk from one end to the other as the streets are very pretty. I had lunch at a slow food restaurant, restaurant LichtBlick, that uses fresh produce of the season and it was pretty good and reasonably priced. I love the food prices of Germany. It’s cheaper than other European cities I’ve been. Do head to the market hall of food from the world. It was really crowded so I guess the food must be good too!
After lunch, rain stopped so I decided to take he chance and hike the Black Forest. Recommended trail by the hosts was to Hornleberg, to see the chapel at the very top of the hill and it’s a rather easy 40 minutes hike. It was a sometimes mysterious, sometimes scary, most of the time beautiful hike. It’s mysterious because there is always some darkness. Sometimes scary because it’s only yourself and I get scared when I hear weird noises but it’s really because the wind was blowing. Once up, the view was magnificent.
And then it started to rain! So I waited for a while and ate my fruits. And I saw 4 more people who hiked up the same route. That’s the amazing thing, the Black Forest is so big it has more than 500 trails that you can do, so it’s never too crowded. The rain was still coming down but the other people decided to walk while I waited a bit longer. After 40 minutes, it was getting a but dark as it was 430pm. So I decided to walk down in the rain. Luckily I had my poncho with me. I prayed that no branch will fall on me else even if I died no one will discover me. Paranoid I know. Ok my way down, I met another hiker who proclaimed that I thought I was the only one! I replied and said I felt the same, till I saw 4 others and him. We wished each other a safe hike and went on our way. If you have more days and love hiking, I recommend this website to see the trails available. It’s all fun and the trails are rather clearly marked. http://www.blackforest-tourism.com/discovery/hiking/hiking
When in the blackforest, you have to eat the blackforest cake! My hosts told me the best one in Germany at the moment is at Cafe Pension Endahof. Yes, there is a contest to suss out who makes the best and he won last year! It was a delicious cake with cream and lots of cherries and also, it’s alcoholic. One slice is more than enough! I had it for brunch before I headed to Triberg to see the cuckoo clocks and hike the tallest waterfall in Germany.
Driving to Triberg was just beautiful the blackforest roads are wide and easy to drive on. Remember to stop by the hour to see the largest and first cuckoo clock ever made just near the main town. The town has a museum to show how people in the blackforest used to live so it’s history and fun.
The beautiful and tallest waterfall of Germany in Triberg was the main reason I was there. Hiking up was really fun and there are also plenty of squirrels that are not too shy so you can feed them nuts. It’s really fun and I saw a lot of kids hiking too so it’s not too hard a hike. There are 3 trails to choose from too, depending on how long you want to hike and he level of difficulty. Parking is easy here as there are big car parks.
After Triberg, I headed to Titisee. It was a rather touristy town with a large lake and you can row a boat there or peddle. It’s quite fun when the weather is good. Is as lucky the sun came out for a hit to humor me. The drive there was also beautiful.
After titisee, I headed to my bnb in Friedrichshafen. This town is on Bodensee, the Swiss call it Lake Konstanz and it’s a beautiful beautiful drive because you get to see the alps once again of Switzerland and the vineyards and fruit farms around the lake make it particularly scenic. The sun also sets there so it’s really a romantic and green drive with the lake beside you the whole time.
This makes my second last night in Germany as I head to the fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein and then to Munich to fly to my next destination, Portugal!
Safe and happy travels!