Dec 17

Black Forest and Heidelberg, Germany

Snow Fall. Black Forest, Germany, 2017

This was our final day in Europe on our Around the World Adventure. We said goodbye to the Black Forest and made a quick stop in Heidelberg on our way to the Frankfurt Airport.

Christmas Market. Heidelberg, Germany. 2017

Heidelberg had a wonderful old town and Christmas Market. We had a nice time walking through the streets and enjoyed some great food, it was very festive and a nice experience with which to close this chapter and move on to the next.

Pastry Shop. Heidelberg, Germany. 2017

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Nov 17

Prague to Germany and the Black Forest

Driving from Prague to the Black Forest of Germany was a long day behind the wheel. We got up, did some writing, fast photo editing and had a bite to eat before leaving Prague. I loved Prague and wished we had more time to get to know the people and the place, so we added it to our return visit list. The highways in central Europe were really good and the traffic was light. The Czech Republic had a 130k/hr speed limit so when we crossed into Germany and the Autobahn, I put the petal to the metal and made time. Then the rain began and it was nice, then it hailed which was fun but not so nice, then it snowed. It snowed just a little but cleared up by the time we pulled into Nuremberg. There was a local camera shop we wanted to visit, we were hopeful it had what we were looking for and it did but it cost us an hour of time. Afternoon commute traffic in Germany was the same as anywhere else, slow and tedious. Even on the Autobahn.

Eventually we found our way free of the cities and traffic snarls. Rolling green hills came into view, mountains in the distance. The sun was setting giving the clouds a wonderful orange glow. The forest was near and this forest was different to any we had seen. We turned off onto a two lane road, hills became low mountains, the forest became denser and it began to snow again. We had reached the Black Forest. As we drove on in the dark I imagined all the fairytales of my childhood. I imagined the Brothers Grimm traveling through this very region collecting folklore and writing their stories. I got very excited on our dark and windy road.

Dusky Valley. Black Forest, Germany. 2017

The snow continued to fall and the temperature dropped below zero, the snow started to stick. It took a couple of tries but we made it to our lodgings and now there was two inches of snow on the ground. We were staying in a very traditional local hotel away from the tourist areas surrounded by woods and a stream. This wasn’t a small hotel, it had been there for over 300 years and kept up with the time times. But the staff still wore forest green uniforms with deer antler buttons. There were small themed restaurants, one with cuckoo clocks and another hunting themed with antlers adorning the walls.

Snowy River. Black Forest, Germany. 2017

By morning there was five inches of snow on the ground and we wanted to drive and explore. Christy wanted to see Strasbourg but the main route out of the valley was closed due to snow. We found an alternate route that would take us through Baden Baden but it was over a narrow windy mountain road. Along the way we stopped to take some landscape photos and just enjoy the fresh crisp air. The windy road hadn’t been cleared and at one point our car began to turn sideways on some black ice but I grew up driving on roads like these so it was no big deal other than giving us a few laughs and a whoops.

Baden Baden was not what either of us expected. It was a pretty village but it was dense with tourists and shops and closed roads and paid parking. At this point we had lost a lot of time due to weather and traffic and it was getting late. We decided to turn around, go back over the mountain, have some food and snuggle in for the night.

Two words about German food; meat and Potatoes. I like German food but I would not want to eat it all the time. It’s so hearty and tasty and calorie dense. I had eaten meat and potatoes for an early lunch, ten hours later I was still full and all I had otherwise consumed for the entire day was water. Still, we felt like we had to eat something so we sat down for a late dinner. I had a bowl of soup and some poultry. I probably should have stopped after the soup. That being said, German hospitality was absolutely wonderful and the countryside really was magical and beautiful.

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