Black Forest and Europa Park

The story of my first trip in Germany, to the beautiful Black Forest.. Schwarzwald!

We began from Stuttgart early in the morning. The train journey was a bit long, but fun since I was able to catch up with my friend Anu after a long time. Chit-chatted for long and surprisingly didn’t want the train journey to end! Our first destination was Freiburg, the biggest town in Black Forest. There we were received by Juergen, Ann’s collegue. There began the royal German hospitality.

He showed us around the town of Freiburg, its canals, churches and marketplatz. One interesting thing there was the shallow narrow canals all across the city streets. Juergen explained that these were from the trading days of Freiburg when they were used by the cows and donkeys of the merchants to quench their thirst. And what if you fall down on one of these? Well you have to marry someone from Freiburg! So had to be a little careful all the while. :)

The main attraction was of course the Münster, the big cathedral at Freiburg. There was a mass going on, so we unfortunately couldn’t enter. But we did climb all the way up to the top of the tower. It was an amazing view from up there. Shouldn’t be missed! So after the tiring climb up all the stairs, we did another round of climbing up a hill and thankfully the destination was a restaurant on top of the hill. There had some food and we were down again.

Next destination – Titisee. There was a small lake there and we decided to take a boat and row. I soon found out that it was not as easy as it looks. But thankfully Juergen seemed to have excellent rowing skills. So he did most of the rowing. :) It was fun though and right at the time when I was getting the knack of it, it was time to leave hmm. After that we had a round of the ‘Schwarzwalder Torte’ – the original Black Forest cake. Honestly it didn’t live up to all the hype. Hmm. I think I liked the ‘duplicate’ ones we get in India better ;)

After that it was time for the cuckoo clocks, I mean hundreds of them. Both my friends wanted one, so we spend some time at the shop listening to the descriptions given by the salesman who spoke English like a carnival announcer. To my shock he even gave us an address in India, where we could repair it if at all it stops working (which he says will never happen). Anyways didn’t convince me to buy one. But he did do good business, he sold 3 of them to Anu and Priya.

Done with that, Juergen drove us down through the B500 or the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse to Triberg. It was one of the most scenic roads I have ever travelled, probably the only one that can beat my favourite drive to Munnar in Kerala. We stopped at the Triberg falls, supposed to be Germany’s highest waterfalls. Was a bit disappointed, it didn’t seem that hight at all. But the atmosphere around was excellent! Triberg also boasts the world’s largest cuckoo clock. But it didn’t really give me much thrills either.

By this time the sun was coming down and we drove back to Freiburg to Juergen’s village. We had dinner at a nice German restaurant. It was very good, contrary to my expectations. I was told too many horror stories about German food, but this one was very good. With that we ended the day and slept peacefully after a nice tryst with Schwarzwald.

Next day was very different and far away from nature. We went to Europa Park, advertised as Germany’s biggest amusement parks. I haven’t been to many such parks, but this one was the best among all I have visited. The ‘Silver Star’ is an amazing roller coaster, one you should not miss! So was ‘Eurosat’, ‘The Eis Show’ and ‘The Spanish Arena’. All in all had a fun time there.

Day ended with a boring ride from Karlsruhe to Stuttgart, all alone since all my friends had left for their abodes at Hildesheim. Would be eternally grateful to Juergen for making the whole trip special! Hope one day I can return the favour when I can play the host in India :)

Schwarzwald is a very beautiful place that you should really visit if you get a chance. The nearest airport is Karslruhe and there is excellent connectivity by rail provided by the Deutsche Bahn. But the best way to enjoy would be to drive with a car.

I will definitely be back for more!

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