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Travel Germany: Triberg Germany: Baden Germany
The Black Forest, or Schwarzwald in German, is a 100-mile range of hills in southwest Germany, near France, Switzerland, and the Rhine. It is a gentle mountain range that happens to be a hiker’s Valhalla. The forest is thick, which is what led people to call it black. Back in the day, the Romans described the forest as an impenetrable wilderness, inhabited only by wild beasts and barbarians. Today, the Black Forest magically attracts tourists year after year as a wonderful place to spend a holiday. It is famously known as the land of cuckoo clocks and here you can admire the two largest cuckoo clocks in the world!
The Black Forest
Until the last century, the Black Forest was cut off from mainstream Germany. The poor farmland drove medieval locals to become farmers, glass blowers and clock makers. These small industries, together with forestry, tourism and certain high-tech industries have since formed the backbone of the Black Forest’s economy. The region became accessible by road, rail and it also has an extensive network of walking and hiking trails. There are endless trails and constantly varying terrain – you pass from deep pine woods to open pastures where farmhouses back up on gorgeous hillsides. Tours are now offered “on the trail of the cuckoo clock traders” – following the paths of those who carried the famous Black Forest clocks across Europe centuries ago.
The Black Forest has drawn tourists since the 18th century who are attracted by the contrast of the Rhine Plain and the mountains rising some 4,000 feet above it. On most Sundays you will find Germans in their traditional, beautifully embroidered, costumes wandering about the Black Forest. The Black Forest is also very well known as having clean air, and cherry cakes. Additionally, the central area of the Black Forest is famous for its cuisine, enriched by culinary ideas of Switzerland, Austria and France – it delights lovers of good food everywhere. Specialties also include, of course, Black Forest ham. They say that if you’ve ever visited the Black Forest you’ll be bound to return and I cannot wait to return a second time.
Triberg is one of the area’s largest tourist traps, but don’t let this keep you from going – it is well worth it. It is located deep in the Black Forest. The town is filled with cuckoo-clock shops and is famous for its Gutach Waterfall, which falls 500 feet in several bounces. You will also find the Black Forest Museum here, which gives you a look at costumes, carvings and the local culture’s traditions, as well as an original workshop with valuable old clocks.
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Where to stay in Triberg?
Well, I cannot offer options here since a friend recommended a hotel to us and that’s where we stayed. I can tell you after staying there that I, too, would highly recommend the Parkhotel Wehrle – it is simply amazing! It was decorated beautifully and most people spoke English. It even has a small, but fully featured, spa. The room was so beautiful and the view even better. Triberg was easily accessible by just stepping out the front door and walking up the street to wonderful shops - when you go, you must visit Bruno Roth and his wife who run a wonderful shop that sells clocks and other woodcarvings – the smokers (wooden carvings of people that open up to be able to place an incense cone inside – when lit and put together, the carvings appear to be “smoking” – okay, sounds corny but they are really adorable – we bring ours out at Christmastime). Continue along the main street to the museum and then...
Some pictures from my trip:Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Gutach Waterfall tumbles down over seven cascades into the valley – it is a very impressive natural wonder. It is both the largest and the highest German waterfall. There is a walking trail that runs alongside the cascades with a couple of pit stop locations and a small wooden bridge that crosses over top of the falls. It is not an easy climb, but well worth the muscle ache. I was there in late March and the weather was cold but beautiful – we got almost to the very top of the waterfall but couldn’t quite make it due to ice on the trail at the very top.