This morning Kevin and I packed up for the first day on our own. The kids are all headed to do a homestay with a German family and we’re off to explore the Black Forest – somewhere I’ve wanted to see since I was a child.
We left our luggage in reception and went to have breakfast. Another yummy roll with cheese (we also packed one for later :-)). Then we collected our luggage (said farewell to Amy) and walked about 5 min to the train for our first train (of 3). This was when we became glad we were travelling so light.
The trains here are amazing – so quiet and smooth. We loved going past all the little towns. And at the train stations they have special conveyer belts (beside the stairs) for your luggage. At one of our stops we bought some tea and chocolate to share – making sure to buy things we can’t get at home. Both of these were yummy, but we esp. loved the Milky Way crispy rolls.
It took just 1.5 hours and 3 trains to reach Crailsheim. Unfortunately we didn’t know where to get a taxi and ended up walking into the main town.
We got a taxi pretty quickly and he drove us to Europcar to pick our car rental.
By 10.30am we were on our way and Kevin was having fun driving on the autobahns with no speed limit. At one point he was up to 170km/hr and cars were flying by us. Kevin didn’t drive that fast most of the time because cars would suddenly stop and trucks would pull out in front. I have pretty crazy footage of all the trucks stopped and us trying to get through them to an off ramp.
After an hour or so we had a bathroom break (where we had pay to use to toilets).
We also bought this packed of chips to much on – which I have declared the best chips I’ve had.
Finally at about 12.30pm I spotted our destination…
I don’t know why but Kevin always laughs at me when I pull out the camera to vlog.
We arrived at the parking lot and caught the shuttle (you had to pay for both) to the top. Holly molly – there is no way I could have walked up the steep path (but when we were coming back I say someone with crutching walking up the path!!!!).
Okay… wanna see some pics of the castle? We started off by walking around the outside…
The view was impressive from every side.
We then headed into the main courtyard.
There was a lovely outdoor cafe we wanted to eat at but there was nothing vegetarian so we went to the indoor cafe – where we were the only customers.
Here there was even a section in the menu titled – Main courses for vegetarians. I ordered cheese spatzle (swabian noodles) – which was just like a version of mac ‘n’ cheese – only better. It was a huge portion, however and I only ate about a third.
After lunch we had a quick look in the gift shop (only buying a postcard) then went outside to wait for our English speaking tour of the inside of the castle.
The tour was great and we had fun sliding around in these shoe covers (which you could buy in the gift shop).
Unfortunately there were no photos allowed once we left the main entranceway. It was fascinating to learn more about the castle and the family who owned it. Yes, not lived in it as no-one has ever lived here!!! How crazy is it? The man who built it died before it was finished so you can only hope he planned to live here but it really was built as more of a monument for the family. It’s a very cold monument I can tell you. It was freezing inside (after having some cold weather last week). This the third castle built here and is “just” 150 years old.
We took our time leaving the castle, taking some more photos and enjoying the view from up here while Kevin had an icecream. Then it was a bus ride back to the carpark and into the car. One thing I’ve been amazed at is how busy the roads are here. I was expecting to be on quiet country roads – not so far anyway.
We drove about an hour to the town of Schiltack, which is full of beautiful timber homes.
This home was my favourite
Can you imagine living in a town like this?
On the way to Gengenbach (our home town for the next 2 nights) we stopped for a visit to Aldi – which was pretty much like the ones in Australia except they sold huge timber trays of strawberries for just a few euros!!! We then went to a supermarket and pick up a few things, including some dinner.
Then it was onwards to our B&B. All I can is wow – I did good picking this one.
This would be one of the most luxurious places I’ve stayed and it really wan’t too expensive (not by big city standards anyway). We even got robes, slippers and a plate of fruit.
We were pretty exhausted by the time we got settled at around 7pm and very glad we’d already got some dinner. Kevin actually ended up falling asleep pretty early so I enjoyed dinner in bed while watching some YouTube (free wifi here).
I tried to stay up as late as possible but I think my ipad fell on me just before 9pm so I called it quits then.
Tomorrow : A day of touring with a private guide I’ve booked for the next 3 days.