Thursday, December 5, 2013

Germany Part 4 - The Black Forest

The morning after our car museum extravaganza we packed up the car, took some pictures of the cute little area of town we were staying in during a quick ATM run, and then hit the road toward the Black Forest!

Of note in these pictures is the green hill side - that's actually a vineyard that was just around the corner from our hotel!  And see how the leaves are changing colors!  I was so happy about that!  Also, that church, those bells, SO LOUD and they rang SO EARLY in the morning....  We decided that on our way to our next hotel in Triberg we would detour to Baden-Baden, which is a spa town with a giant casino.  It wound up being very beautiful, quite ritzy, and somewhat pricy...

The top two pictures are of the giant hotel/casino/spa that graces the center of the town.  The Casino is famous as the site where Dostoevsky learned enough about addiction to write "The Gambler".  Of course it wasn't open when we were there and we had just missed the tour.  So we headed down the street to the most beautiful "visitors center" I have ever seen.  The front of the building was a giant half enclosed hallway with stunning stone work and elaborate pictures painted on the walls.  The buildings here were just insane.  Since the weather was gorgeous we decided to walk through the park/promenade area, known as Lichtentaler Allee.

There were HUGE trees, beautiful buildings and museums lining the paths and a few pretty ponds and fountains.  We stopped off in one rather odd "art" museum that depicted the life of children of the children of that region in the 1800's.  After our walk we hit up a local cafe for flatbread pizzas and then hit the road again.  On our way from Baden-Baden to Triberg we stopped to check out the Black Forest Open-Air Museum in Gutach.

The Museum was actually a conglomeration of classic German a-frame buildings, the largest being a giant old farmhouse.  The buildings have been left intact and date all the way back to 1612.  They had buildings containing giant water powered woodworking tools for building more structures, a storehouse, a mill, a chapel, and textile exhibits.  We got there only an hour before closing, so they let us in without paying, which was really nice.  But we kind of had to rush through the exhibits.  From here we drove through the twisting mountainous roads of the Black Forest and made our way to our hotel in Triberg. 
This particular day also happened to be S's birthday!  So after we got settled in our hotel room we walked around the corner to a local restaurant where we noshed on traditional German fare and S had his very first piece of Black Forest Cake (Schwartzwald Torte) for his birthday cake!  Since it had egg I couldn't eat it, but I was told that it contained so much cherry schnapps that he could have gotten drunk off of it! 

More on Triberg next post!

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