The Black Forest is not called the Black Forest because it’s black in color. No. It is named for how dense the forest is in the southwest corner of the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany and is the backdrop for the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. This area of the country is known for it’s beauty, Black Forest cake, and cuckoo clocks. More on those things.
I randomly had a holiday on Tuesday, Oct 31st and Wednesday, Nov 1st. Therefore, most people opt to take a Bridge Day or Brückentage on Monday for an amazing 5 day weekend. We opted to chill out Saturday through Monday but decided on a somewhat impromptu road trip out to the Black Forest area, about a 4 hour drive from Nuremberg. With our little Opel Corsa on the autobahn with Beemers and Porsches that go 220 KPH (that’s about 140 MPH for you Americans). The weather was sunny albeit a bit on the chilly side.
There are a lot of places in the Black Forest area that one can stay in to use as a base for exploration. It was actually really difficult to chose 1 town to stay in since we were just going overnight but we ended up in Freiburg, a small university town nearly to the borders of Switzerland and France. We stayed at Hotel Zum Schiff, perfectly clean and serviceable with free parking for a one night stay.
We arrived around noontime on Tuesday and immediately went in search of food in the Altstadt (old town) of Freiburg. It was a beautiful, small city! I could see the design and architectural differences between there and Nuremberg. The only downside is that because it was a holiday, hardly anything is open. Because, Germany.
We wandered the town for a bit, which was nice even with the extreme quietness.
In the main square (in the picture below, to the left is the Freiburger Münster, the central cathedral), we settled on the Ganter Brauereiausschank, a restaurant that also has a brewery and therefore, their own beer. The dish that I got is very typical for that area of the country, called Maultäschle which are meat stuffed mini-pockets, kind of like larger, heavier ravioli. I took a picture but it looked horrible.
We just absolutely had to follow up lunch with the Black Forest cake also called the Black Forest Gateau and in German, the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. It is a chocolate cake with cherries that are often soaked in Kirschwasser (cherry liquor) and whipped cream
Needless to say, we were pretty full after that and decided to head off to Triberg, a small town about an hour from Freiburg. They are famous for their cuckoo clocks and being the good fake Germans that we are, wanted to get a real cuckoo clock. Our destination was the Haus der 1000 Uhren (House of 1000 Clocks). The ride over was gorgeous and had to stop to take pictures.
I also tried to take pictures along the way but that is a bit impossible in a moving car that is going over windy and hilly roads. But I got a few!
We reached our destination.
And were instantly overwhelmed by the amount of cuckoo clocks (Kuckucksuhren). There were all sizes, styles, prices, materials, AH! The nicer ones certainly had a price tag on them like this bedazzled one:
We went more with a middle to low cost thank you very much.
This was our chosen clock (we took a picture of it later) and of course we needed to have beer on it.
What a cute little town. Definitely more on the touristy side but we liked it. We headed back to the hotel after this but not after a crazy, windy road that was nice 10x more difficult in the impending darkness so props to my husband to steering our Opel beast. We were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.
For dinner we stayed in Freiburg and went to a place called the Kartoffelhaus. They had all potato dishes. Gratin, fries, stuffed baked potato, etc, etc. You can pick your toppings (bacon, herbs) or dips. I had a gratin with bacon and Kräuterquark which is kind of like an herby, thick yogurt dip. Delicious but did not call for very nice looking pictures. Sorry guys.
Onto Day 2 in the Schwarzwald!
PS – I still owe you the Thailand cooking class review which was AMAZING by the way. I prefer to just keep you in suspense for 10 months.