A weekend getaway to the Black Forest // Triberg, Germany
A few weekends ago, Germany was blessed with the most absurdly beautiful weather ever. While my hometown of DC was dumped with another snow storm, we had cruised right from Fall to Spring, last Spring, actually. Spotting the forecast for a weekend in the upper 60s, Dan and I (well, I) quickly concocted the perfect plan for a weekend getaway to the infamous Black Forest.
Kudos to Casey @ We Took the Road Less Traveled for her awesome tutorial on custom maps. Holy heck this map was so handy, I used it all weekend to keep us on track.
Channeling our inner Hansel, Gretel, and the Little Red Riding Hood, we headed south to Schwarzwald (‘schwarz’ means black, and wald is ‘land’, one of the few jumbo German words I’ve been able to unravel). We kicked off the weekend with a beautiful hike (post to come) near Simonswald, then made our way to this little gem of a town: Schonach, just outside of Triberg.
Schonach is just a blip on the map. In fact, check out they’re extremely wordy Wikipedia page (for non-clickers, there’s no information whatsoever). It came up on our radar though after finding an idyllic pension (hotel), complete with breakfast, a room with a balcony with a lovely view of the town, and being Stuart-friendly sealed the deal. Like most towns in the Black Forest, Schonach is cozy and charming, with cross timbered houses and nearly completely embraced by the thick forest.
After a very-needed restful evening (sans TV and computers, we’re so wild!), we rolled down the road all of 5 minutes to what was supposedly the largest cuckcoo clock in the Black Forest. Paying 1.20E each, we made our way through the inside of the ‘clock’ where the inner workings could be observed to the grassy backyard. At this point it was nearly 10:30 so we prepared ourselves for a show.
At 10:30:00 the show started, at 10:30:05 the show ended.
Supposedly, a wooden bird popped out of the door, yelled out a “cuckcoo” then scrambled back inside. I missed it because at that exact moment I was looking down at my camera. Dan witnessed the event out of his periphery. Stuart may have seen it dead on, but he won’t tell us. Rude.
So chalk it up to seeing the world’s largest ball of yarn, we won’t say it was the highlight of our weekend but it was an…experience (perhaps that’s even a little generous).
After the stellar cuckcoo show, we headed further Southeast to Triberg, home of Germany’s highest waterfall. Triberg itself carries a bit more weight and charm than Schonach (don’t tell them I said that) being nestled in a steep valley surrounded by extra dense forest.
After meandering our way on the trails up and around the falls, we found ourselves deposited on the far side of town (all of half a mile) so we opted to take the road back to our car. En route, we came across this church, “Wallfahrtskirche“, a pilgrimage site dating back to the early 1600s. It was here that a woman named Barbara Francis was healed of an eye disease and later a man from his leprosy after bathing in a nearby spring. In gratitude the man placed a small statue by the spring, which was later rediscovered by Tyrolean soldiers in 1692. The soldiers then built a wooden chapel, and later a stone chapel was erected, similar to the structure we see today.
In the way of cuisine, this small region has made quite a name for itself. We all know Black Forest Ham at Subway. The region is also known for reisling, potato soup and black forest cake! After a beer al fresco, we headed to Cafe Schaefer for cake and coffee. (Beer, then cake and coffee, another odd food combination. Not as nuts as octopus and coffee though, right?
Light, fluffy, not overly sweet, with a resonating pep of dark chocolate, this little slice hit the spot. Pared with a little milch-coffee, we departed Triberg with a zing, excited to ride the only roller coaster in the Black Forest! (more to come!)