Our first stop in the Black Forest was actually not in the forest, but in the city of Freiburg im Breisgau, or, just Freiburg. I guess there is another Freiburg in Germany (and a Fribourg in Switzerland), so when programming your GPS, make sure you are clear on just where it is you are headed.
Apparently, Freiburg is the sunniest and warmest place in Germany, and even though a light rain came in a few hours after we arrived, it was still warm, and we managed to continue our walk though the old town.
One of the first things we saw in town were the Bächle, a system of gutters (but not for sewage) with water diverted from the Dreisam River. The water from these were originally used for firefighting or for animals to drink, but the cutest thing we saw were children pulling little boats on a string through the gutters. Then we found the little stall selling these boats. So cute!
The big church in town, the Freiburger Munster, served as a great place to stop in when the rain started, but not before we looked at the outside at the interesting gargoyles. We had read in our guide that there were medieval measuring markers on the outside of the church showing the standard units for trading purposes, but we did not see them, either because we just didn’t, or because part of the church is hidden behind scaffolding (as is at least 20% of Europe at any given time). We were also supposed to see the unusual gargoyles, which we did, but the one of someone’s rear end out of which the rainwater pours is probably hidden. (The Swabian’s Gate, one of two original gates still remaining is completely covered by scaffolding.)
The mosaics on the street are made from split pebbles from the Rhein River indicating what goes on in the building, although this one probably means something different.
Encircling the cathedral is the daily market with your typical produce and flowers. We almost bought the local Lange Rote (long red – which is a wurst), but we headed to the Markthalle for lunch where we had a huge plate of Indian vegetables and rice for about half of what we’d pay in Zürich. After lunch we had to go back to the market and find Stefan’s Käsekuchen (cheese cake) for dessert. We knew it was a great place because of the long line. We were glad we ended up with the smallest size, because it was a good amount for two people. This cheese cake it not like what Americans think of. It’s much softer in the middle and not nearly as sweet, but oooohhh, is it ever creamy.
Everywhere we went we saw Spargel and Erdberre for sale – asparagus and strawberries are in high season, especially the white asparagus.
When the rain let up, we decided to climb up the Schlossberg. We didn’t go all the way to the top, but we did get a good view of the city.
One day was not enough in the city, even though we came back for lunch on Monday on our way back home. Maybe we’ll feel like returning this summer and taking some hikes nearby.