This article first appeared on the original TannerFamilyOnline site in the summer of 2005. This is the first of five day trips we took during a one week period during our first summer there together. This article is originally dated June 20, 2005 and was written by Heather after being in country for only 3 months.
The Black Forest is about a 2 hour drive from our house. The drive there was pretty spectacular I must say. You can tell you’re in a completely different part of Germany. The houses start to have the half timbered look to them with the really big roofs. A few of the houses still had the old style thatched roofs on them. It was like right out of a fairy tale.
We drove along the Gutach River for quite a ways-which is where the river that creates the famous Triberg waterfalls. Triberg itself is a very pretty town. You can tell it’s a big tourist attraction. The town is right in the middle of the Black Forest, and it’s a decent sized town once you get into higher elevations and can look down to it.
Going into the area where Triberg Falls is, there were several different trails you can take. They all pretty much follow the river up taking switchbacks. Thank goodness we’re all in decent shape! We went up some major hills. Once we got onto the trails it was just gorgeous. Huge trees and boulders everywhere and every so often there were smaller falls and bridges you can cross to get better views. I’ve got pictures of winter views in a book that I bought, but unless they put some major ice melt on those trails (they’re all paved), it probably would be pretty difficult getting up to see all the falls. On one of the higher bridges, you can see the entire town-which is bigger than it appears when you drive through it.
After we made our way down from the falls, we walked down to the main street to go through some of the stores. One store that we went into was the House of 1000 clocks. That was an interesting shop. Cuckoo clocks that were really small and about €50 all the way up to €3000!
One worker there-an older German man was really nice and helpful. We’d look at two clocks and he’d take them and hang them side by side and get them to chime to see which one we liked best. He did this several times for us-we were having trouble making up our minds–he even did a family vote on which clock was liked best. We eventually settled on one very pretty and very “Black Foresty” looking clock. In the album, we put a couple of pictures of it.
We then just wandered around town for a while looking at stores -between the hiking and walking around everyone got tired pretty quick. Triberg is quite the hilly town!
Leaving Triberg, we stopped at a shop outside of town that is the largest working Cuckcoo clock in the world! The store is pretty expensive, but has some massive cuckcoo clocks in it. Outside you can watch the pendulum moving and the weights work also. We didn’t get to see it chime though-I’m sure that would have been a sight. But hey, we have a reason to go back! 🙂
On the way home, we saw some castles and castle ruins that I had to stop and see. I had seen information about it on the internet and happened to recognize it. Hornbach Hotel is the name of it. The castle itself is basically one remaining tower at the top of a mountain. The views from it though were awesome! You could see for miles. I found several small cave like areas that appeared to be cellars or rooms of some sort. Most of them were caged off. Outside one of the caves was an old cannon, and inside the cave right behind that were two more cannons-which I got pictures of. Unfortunately, the tower itself is locked, but I can imagine what the views from up there were like. Interestingly-the doors on castles are all fairly small. Germans must have been pretty short back then. Most of the doors aren’t much taller than Dakotah’s height.
After that castle stop, we saw another more well preserved castle. Ortenberg Castle in Ortenberg, Germany. It has the whole “castle” look going on. The road up to it was a one vehicle road-very narrow, through vineyards. This castle is actually a working castle–it has a youth hostel-a summer camp for kids. A group of kids arrived shortly after us. There are parts of the castle however, that you can view without bothering the camp. It had high towers and gorgeous views overlooking valleys. This castle also had a very pretty rose garden.