Monday, August 10, 2009

The Black Forest - 1 August 2009

MummelseeThis morning we bade farewell to our companions for the last week on the car tour and and set off on our own to explore Germany. After crossing the Rhine back into Germany we took the autobahn to Baden-Baden to find the beginning of the Black Forest High Road as all the guide books, and some of our fellow drivers from last week, highly recommended it.

FreudenstadtThe first stop was Mummelsee, a tiny lake at the top of a pass, again recommended in the guide books but we thought it a highly over-rated, tacky tourist stop-off so we drove a little further down the hill to the next cafe as we thought we had better sample the local Black Forest gateau; it was, frankly, disappointing; we have had bettter in Auckland.

Black Forest driveIt was not long until we arrived in Freudenstadt, the end of the Black Forest High Road; we were totally under-whelmed by the drive, there are many better forest drives in NZ, bur I guess these things are all relevant to one's previous experiences.

ShiltachBut, getting off the tourist route, things did get better. The next stop was at a stunningly beautiful town, Shiltach. The old half-timbered buildings in the centre of this medieval town, nestled in a valley, were at their best in the glorious sunshine.

Schramberg, our next stop, was not worth the detour so we pressed on to Rottweil, which definitely was worth a detour. Home of the Rottweiller dog; the old town centre is a pleasure to walk around.

Rottweil's RottweillerThen it was time to hit the autobahn for a high speed run down to Bodensee on the Swiss/German/Austrian border to visit Meersburg. Meersburg is built up the cliffs from the lake shore and has a lower town, an upper town, several castles and squillions of tourists arriving by car, ferry, lake steamers and possibly even by zeppelin, as there was one flying overhead. There are two zeppelin museums nearby and also the Dornier museum so clearly aviation has played a large part in the recent history of the area.

But, it was time to find a campsite for the night. Optimistically, we tried a few dotted along the lake shore but they were all full so we set our sights further afield Meersburgand headed out into the countryside. Quite how far out we had not bargained for! The road became not much more that a private driveway and when we finally arrived at Reidholz, the only sound was the the cow-bells tolling (all night). We discovered that we had arrived on the night of the annual village feast so during the evening we were serenaded by Bavarian music until the wee small hours.

No comments: