The train meandered through lush green meadows and dense woodlands . Lakes and streams dotted the landscape , lulling us into a deep sleep . A fairy with a magic wand appeared from nowhere and lo ! we were in land of Red Riding hood . All the characters of Grimm Brothers came alive, but there were no wolves or witches to haunt us . We were in Schwarzwald or the Black Forest . Dark and Dense , with pines and conifers, black is beautiful. Cuckoo clocks, the traditional Bollenhut hats and the sensuous black forest gateau filled with the most delicious cherry schnapps, strawberries , cream and chocolates …this is where we had landed .

Our journey into the Black Forest started with Freiburg, a pictureque medieval town flanked by the Black Forest mountains. If you are planning for a walk in the clouds or a hike in the mountains, Freiburg is the destination . The town itself is a beauty to behold. According to Wikipedia , the city was founded in the 12th century and I felt that it probably remains just the way it has been …Like Heidelberg, the old and the new merge – the old town – Augustine platz is quaint and yet bustling..several old monuments, churches, squares dot the town .

The city is filled with Bachle or water that fills the gutters and even small cobbled streets . We followed the sound of water and walked down a narrow alley behind a church and found it gushing .For a moment, I thought that its sewage, but it was crystal clear with no odour . Then one of the shopkeepers corrected me saying that its water from the Black Forest that flows down and its not sewage – apparently its been flowing since the city was founded .

It was late night as we walked to the city centre. We had just had our first meal in the last few days that started with wine and ended with a sumptuous desert . We were doing some window shopping and I was amazed that there were only trams that were allowed into this road. Bright and colourful, these red vehicles added to the beauty of the town . Besides them, there were cyclists all over. Even the trams lugged them . I saw a couple who tied their child’s pram to their cycle and ambled along the road.

Could we for a moment stop and imagine a Linking Road in Bandra or the Brigade Road in Bangalore being open only to cyclists, pedestrains and trams or buses ? No cars, bikes, autos … no noise pollution pollution at all ! No wonder Freiburg , the eco city looks like its set in the middle ages….except for the young students and the modern brands, I thought for a moment, I was in a different world !

And now we wanted to explore the Black Forest . Tourists come here for a week , but for us, it was just a few hours . Unfortunately we just had a dekho ! So, we hopped onto a bus from Freiburg that took us to the cable car (Tal station – Tal means valley )and decided to go up the Schauinsland mountain at 4000 feet high.

Its one the longest and the most beautiful ride that I had ever taken , looking down to see just acres of verdant greenery . As the cable car dipped and soared, kissing conifers and touching flowers , we were breathless taking in the views .This is it ! we were in the famed black forest .The mist clouded our vision, leaving everything hazy and dreamy

And then we decided to go on a trek ourselves into the woods . We were amazed to find the energy among the old who were in their trekking gear . There were several routes , with information at every corner so that amateurs like us could enjoy the black forest without the fear of were wolves .

We wanted more, but there was no time . surprisingly our feet did not cry hoarse -so with the energy we had ,we decided to go to Lake Titisee to enjoy more of the black forest ..We were originally planning to stay there in a farm house, but accomodation was unavailable.

Its a great place to shop, trek, chill – go to one of the spas or a boat ride …But the weather cried foul…we landed there only to realize it was raining..but whats a holiday if you dont enjoy a bit of rain and shine !

Coming up next- Munich !


  1. Sivaram Kannan 24 September, 2007 at 06:59 Reply

    Hey Dudette,

    Each time I visit your blog, it is like a remainder to me that there are so many things to catch up. Nice Photos. As a start I am packing my bags to Goa this weekend.i really hope one day i would travel around the world with no second thought.

  2. Pijush 24 September, 2007 at 17:54 Reply

    I am spellbound by the pics. I can understand how you enjoyed by the following lines “Its one the longest and the most beautiful ride that I had ever taken , looking down to see just acres of verdant greenery . As the cable car dipped and soared, kissing conifers and touching flowers“.

    Its nice going, keep posting.
    One small suggestion: Download picasa(search in Google) and run I am feeling lucky on photos. You may have better contrast of the pics.

  3. backpakker 26 September, 2007 at 01:32 Reply

    Priyank-Welcome to backpakker .thanks for visiting my blog and your comments .water is so expensive in europe and to think its also freely flowing like this..

    Sivaram- Have a great trip..goa should be great fun ! Im sure you will have a blast- waiting to hear abt it

    Smita – I did a lot of research and wanted to go to Black forest and the Rhine cruise..Heidelberg wasa must do …but no time to inc berlin and cologne..

    Pijush- thank you .I have taken your suggestion .The pictures were hazy as it was very cloudy and full of mist ..but nothing really is as good as the mind’s eye

    Kalyan -Thanks for your comment .I wanted to keep the memory alive ..I hope I was able to bring out the experience

    Mark-” A thing of beauty is a joy forever …” thank you

  4. GMG 29 September, 2007 at 07:13 Reply

    So, you found the 15.5 km of Baechle (6.4 km of which run completely underground), the beautiful Titisee, and of course, something that can’t be missed in SchwarzenWald, the Rain! Beautiful pictures, Great post!
    Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog. I just left Bali and I’m posting on Singapore at Blogtrotter.
    Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

  5. backpakker 1 October, 2007 at 17:34 Reply

    the lad – welcome to backpakker and thanks for your comment. I am happy that I got to see these places

    GMG-thanks for the information on Baechle. nature can take us by surprise . singapore is a great place and one of my favorites . will read your post .have a great trip

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