The Black Forest

Trip Start Jul 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Germany  ,
Saturday, February 24, 2007

The warm weather cut our ski season short... so we looked on for 'deals' in the area near Switzerland. We lucked out in finding a time share in Hinterzarten - a small village in the German Black Forest. The region is famous for its nature paths, cuckoo clocks, watchmaking, and was also the setting for some of the Brother Grimms fairly tales (i.e Hansel & Gretel)!  Hinterzarten is in the 'higher' altitudes of the forest (at ~3000ft) and the town is well known for it's ski jumping.  Our hotel was in a secluded area of the woods.  It reminded us a lot of our old place at Hunter... the only thing missing was the grill on the deck!

The week was quiet and relaxing. We had our first taste of bad weather since we had arrived in Europe. There was a wintry mix of snow and lots of rain every day.  It seemed that our luck with good weather was due for a correction (just like the US stock market events of this week!).

Despite the less-than-ideal weather, we were able to take advantage of the numerous hiking trails throughout the region and also made day trips to surrounding cities.  We visited Freiberg - a quaint university town near Hinterzarten where we enjoyed strolling around the old city center, browsing the many shops and bookstores (finally - English books and movies too!), and had some Black Forest Cake at the highly recommended Schmidt Café (yum!). 
We also spent a day in Baden-Baden, a famous spa town near the French border.  Walking around town we saw the Opera house (second largest in all of Europe), explored Lichtentaler Allee & the Rose Gardens, had lunch near the casino, and spent the afternoon soaking in the 'healing' thermal baths at the Caracalla Spa.

From our hotel, we were able to hike trails leading to Lake Titissee and the center of Hinterzarten near the ski jump ramp where an international competition was being held this week.  We had hoped to watch some of the events but the weather had caused so many changes to the schedule that we were never able to figure out what was and was not taking place.  We had also hoped to see Triberg Waterfalls (the highest in Germany!) and the German Clock Museum... Next time!
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