“A forest of these trees is a spectacle too much for one man to see.” David Douglas
Germany’s Black Forest got its name from the conifers that block out much of the light below giving the region a mysterious aura. Add castles, cuckoo clocks and tiny villages to the scene and you have a real-life fairytale! According to legend the Brothers Grimm were inspired by the forest in their native country when they wrote Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty. Ben and I rode this beautiful region today. Up early, we left France after having a very scant breakfast at our hotel—- it would make breakfast at our hotel brands n American look like a sumptuous buffet. We put Baden-Baden, Germany into the GPS and set out for the Black Forest region. Mr. and Mrs. Compton, Ben’s parents travel a lot and this was one of their favorite places during their trips. It was very beautiful with the tall trees and towering evergreens of every shade of green you can imagine. The ground under them were a beautiful growth of ferns and small wildflowers. The smells were fresh and like spruce and cedar.
A German photographer named Stophel posted on Vimeo this video of the region. Cut and paste, please.
After a 2 hour trip we came to Baden-Baden, a spa town in southwestern Germany’s Black Forest, near the border with France. Its thermal baths led to fame as a fashionable 19th-century resort. Lonely Planet Travel describes it like this - Baden-Baden's air of old-world luxury and curative waters have attracted royals, the rich and celebrities over the years – Barack Obama and Bismarck, Queen Victoria and Victoria Beckham included. This Black Forest town boasts grand colonnaded buildings and whimsically turreted art-nouveau villas spread across the hillsides and framed by forested mountains. We saw the beautiful buildings, walked the shopping district of the old town and had cappuccino and German pastries. Then off to Freudenstadt, which lies on a high plateau at the east edge of the north Black Forest, and is well known for its fresh air. Its city centre is famous as the largest market place in Europe. In the 19th and 20th centuries, visitors of note included George V of the United Kingdom, the Queen of Sweden, John D. Rockefeller, and even the American writer Mark Twain. With its many hotels and guest houses, and its high-class cuisine, Freudenstadt remains a popular vacation spot for Germans. We visited the Info Center on the main square and landed a beautiful room at the Palmenwald Hotel which sits high above the town with a beautiful view. It was built in 1895 as a “healing home” (Kurhaus) by the respected entrepreneur and social reformer Paul Lechler from Stuttgart. The romantic Jugenstil, a design style from around 1900, and the healing climate turned it into a preferred place for relaxation. During the First and Second World War, the building was used as a military infirmary. The unique soldiers’ paintings with black paint on the walls of the underground hotel premises are a protected cultural monument. We had our rest time and then a very beautiful and tasty dinner in the hotel dinning room wit its 24-carat gilded columns, the crystal chandeliers and inlaid parquet floors. Wring, reading, and planning tomorrow ended our Tuesday!
At dinner each evening our grandson, West, always selects a rose (the best thing)and a thorn ( the worst thing) of each day so Ben and I have been doing this on our trip. Our rose today was the beautiful Black Forest and it’s towns and MY thorn was my curling iron would not heat this morning. I tried every outlet in the room—it had worked great on Monday and my very straight bed-head needed it. I do not want to buy one here because the Europeans do not even use the same plug we do soooo I am so glad that I have friends coming on Friday! I called Janice Hunter and asked that she get me a new one and some how get it into her already stuffed bag. Until Friday, either unstyled hair or a hat for me!!