The Black Forest (Der Schwarzwald)

The first thing to know about the Black Forest is that it is not in Bavaria. I used to think that it was close to Munich, but it is actually quite close to the French and Swiss borders in the state of Baden-Württemburg. Germany’s very famous castle, Neuschwanstein is far from here.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 1.30.38 PMWith all of the very touristy famous places we have been this year, we thought that a quiet weekend in the country would be a lovely change. We found very few foreign tourists wandering around (and no selfie sticks!). It turns out that this area is where many Germans like to visit.

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A group of German tourists.

Not knowing exactly where to go, H found Black Forest Tours online where you can buy a multipage PDF with many recommendations for self-guided tours. After looking through the possibilities, we bought the Panorama and Cuckoo Clocks Tour. This day tour had more things to do in it that one actually has time for in a day, so we chose what looked most interesting to us (and actually skipped the cuckoo clock stuff since H said that if he had to go to a cuckoo clock museum and/or shop, it might put a major strain on our marriage …).

Because we had the rental car, I started looking for AirBnB accommodations outside of Freiburg and found our favorite place we’ve stayed yet. In the tiny, tiny town of Tutschfelden (pop. 600) we found this top-floor apartment in an old rectory. The owners live downstairs and have renovated the upstairs to look like something out of a magazine. The balcony was fabulous and looked out towards the town church which right now has a pair of storks nesting on the roof. We spent time watching as one or the other would swoop in with a beak full of nest material.

Although we had communicated with the owners in English, when we arrived, we carried on most of our conversation in German. In fact, we were once again so happy to realize that our German is better than we think it is than when we are in Switzerland, where we are never quite sure. At one point we asked someone for a map in English and she was surprised because she told us that our German was good. We felt that most of the people we talked to spoke slowly and clearly, not just for us, but as a general rule.

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