We were up around 4am again so I wrote up my blog post for yesterday and we gradually got ready for the day. I had tossed and turned a bit and my arthritis was acting up so I took a larger dose of my pain meds (I don’t like taking them so often forget that I can).
Finally at 8.30am we headed down to breakfast. Wow – this was impressive. They have our beloved bread rolls, cheeses, boiled eggs, the usual selection of museli, yoghurt, meats, etc. Plus make your own veggie/fruit juice or orange juice. I made Kevin & I an apple, carrot and orange juice.
We honestly can’t rave about this hotel enough and at breakfast the owner came up and introduced himself to explain more about the B&B and to offer any help we needed. At 9am we moved into the lobby to meet with our tour guide for the next 3 days – Simone of Black Forest Private Tours. Such a lovely friendly young lady. We immediately felt as ease and throughout the day it just felt like a friend was showing us around her home town.
First off we went on a walking tour of Gengenbach, which is a very sweet little town.
We visited the local university (which is where a monastery used to be) and the baker with it’s old water mill. This town had been burned down many times so they started building in brick. We chuckled many times when Simone referred to something as not too old or new – only to discover it was 150-200 years old. It’s all relative I guess but in Australia we have very few buildings older than 200 years so new would be in the last 50 years or so.
I didn’t know what I was seeing when we walked past this. But it’s apparently the normal way to announce a birth in Germany. Pretty cute actually.
After exploring the town and got in the car and drove to Oberkirch Castle, which is now a youth hostel. We got a workout walking up to the top I tell you. Actually I was too pooped to make it to the very top tower (but Kevin and Simone went up)
Here I am posting a keek 🙂
As you can see this is very much wine country.
Our next stop was in fact a winery. If we did drink wine would could have enjoyed a wine tasting, but instead we just enjoyed the view. BTW, today was ALL about the view – everywhere we went!
We drove through a number of cute German towns before we stopped at a rather fancy Schnapps maker
This is one of the more upmarket and famous brands and we were made very welcome. Kevin got to try quite a number of flavours and we felt bad we couldn’t buy more than a few small bottles (but we did get the details of the Australian distributor). The lady even included some sample bottles and put out some chocolate/biscuits for us to enjoy. I was offered a coffee since I wasn’t sampling.
Next we drove to a more informal tasting. Apparently everyone around here makes their own schnapps and many have what is called a schnapps fountain where you can have a sample (and where you are expected to leave one Euro per drink (all on an honor system). To get here we had little uphill walk in the woods. I tell you we are going to be super fit by the time we leave Germany.
The schnapps is kept in the cupboard underneath.
I enjoyed some apple juice & water.
And we got to see some cute baby goats.
I think we took close to 200 photos today but you pleased to know I’m not sharing them all with you :-).
Next up we headed to the town of Baden Baden – which actually seems rather French as we are very close to the border and a French man turned to town from a spa town into a gambling town (when gambling was banned in France). Today it is a town of money – with many Russians calling it home. You can definitely tell it’s a wealthy town with many designer shops.
I could be wrong but it seemed like the Beverly Hills of Germany, with many rich people calling it home.
It is a really gorgeous town with lots of flowers, which I loved.
We had been going to have lunch at a sit down restaurant but somewhere else caught our eye.
Fresh Choice is relatively new juice and sandwich shop, which Simone hadn’t yet been too. It was perfect for us. Kevin had a roast beef sandwich (they have the fillings already prepared and then slide them onto the bread as it is cut in a special machine – I did film this) and I had a yummy oriental salad.
After lunch there was a quick stop at a chemist as Kevin was having some sinus pain. The chemist here was so lovely and helpful and even offered a glass of water for Kevin to have his medication right away. I loved how it looked. So different from chemists in Australia. Here nearly everything is behind the counter and they really mainly sell medicine (and a few beauty items).
We then set out to the explore the town some more. I tell you, you’d have to be fit and able to live in this town as there are so many steps. No wonder nearly all Germans are slim.
This is the bust of a Russian author (can’t remember his name now) who wrote Crime and Punsihment, but actually wrote The Gambler while living here.
We visited a now Catholic Church with gorgeous stained glass windows.
Kevin found his next car…
And I’ve been loving these blossom trees…
We left Baden Baden and headed up into the mountains on the Summit Road.
As you can see it was a magical day and even up here it was still rather warm.
Kevin was happy to have some snow to play on.
But he decided not to try walking on the ice (though apparently you could about 2 weeks ago).
Instead we went into the hotel and enjoyed some afternoon tea out on the deck.
Of course we had to have Black Forest cake in the heart of the Black Forest. It was yummy, though I gave my cherry layer to Kevin.
Next we headed to a place where parasailors take off and there were a few there waiting, but no wind. A few were up high in the sky above us though.
It was around 5pm now so time to head back to Gengenbach. We got back around 6pm and said our farewells to Simone, then headed into town to have a look at a few shops. I found one selling lots of cute horse stuff (made in Germany) and made a few “little” purchases for Christy.
I had an unsettled tummy and we had no luck finding a place with a English menu. In the end we found a cute little pizza place to get some dinner.
We asked for takeaway, but changed our minds when we realized we could sit outside and enjoy the lovely evening.
Unfortunately the lady didn’t understand we ended up with takeaway, which was fine and we just took it back our room to enjoy.
After dinner I watched some YouTube and fell asleep around 9pm. I woke up during the night with my headphones and glasses still on!!!! Kevin informed me he closed up the ipad. Oops.
Tomorrow : Exploring the Southen Black Forest with Simone.