Sep 11


The morning was quite sunny and fresh, but the forecast for today was really bad, so we didn’t want to go for a long trip, just something quick and painless. Iest suggested we could go see Villingen (not Schweninngen!), so I found this small walk in our book around Triberg, see the waterfalls and all. Of course, it was marked “blue”, so we braced ourselves for a loser-trail, which it of course was.

What we did not expect, was that apart from our little path being a loser-trail, Triberg also turned out to be a major tourist destination in the area. The kind that parking in the town costs 60 cents for 20 minutes, and menus in eateries have English translations. This all seems to be due to the fact that the Triberg waterfalls are very well known and frequently visited, and claim to be the highest waterfalls in Germany – 163 m in descent. Which, according to Wikipedia, is actually a false claim.

Since we were already there, we decided to just go for it, and have it done with. On the little pathway to the waterfalls, we saw an old guy in traditional costume pretending to play some kind of traditional music instrument, of course only when there was a group of tourists passing by. The dude playing pipes in Glen Coe in Scotland immediately came to our minds – and he still is the best in this trade we’ve seen hands down, world class. This dude was more like a local league in the whole dress-up-and-play-out-of-tune-for-the-Japanese-and-Yanks business.

Zum Schwimmbad


For the waterfalls you actually have to pay an entrance fee to see, bloody SOBs. Anyway, we did pay, and went to see the marvel, as our trail branched off of this little path around the water. The waterfalls are actually quite nice, and the forest around them is one of the few pieces of the Black Forest that is actually natural and not cultivated, and it feels very good. Of course we took some obligatory pictures of us there (and no, you didn’t have to pay for pictures extra), and also this picture of a guy, who had a really old-school Deuter backpack, like twenty generations before my Deuter backpack, really cool!

Iest Triberg

Gina Tribeg

Deuter double

From the waterfalls we followed the trail around the small Bergsee (lake), crossed the valley to the other side, and found the Hindenburg memorial. It is a memorial to the second German president Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg (yes, his name does remind one of this). We got some nice views of the town from up top, and that was about it for the trip.

Triberg _from_Hindenburg

Iest all the way up


From there we walked back down to town, actually having to walk through the centre this time, and thus exposing ourselves to the hideousness of  such kitsch gems as the “House of 1000 clocks” – the bear on the rope was actually climbing up and down. Ugh. We were happy to get out of there fast.

1000 clocks

By this point, we were pretty steamy, as no rain has come yet, and it was very hot. Nevertheless, we still went to Villingen, if only to get something to eat, because we certainly did not want to do that (or anything else for that matter) in Triberg. We remain divided in opinion of Villingen – Iest thinks the main street is prettier than the one in Freiburg, I say no way. Not in a million years. But! they do have a beautiful fountain, and that thing actually made the highlight of the whole day for me. The local tourism website has this to say about it:

Built in 1989, the church fountain is a masterpiece by Black Forest artist Klaus Ringwald featuring famous personalities from recent history. It illustrates the 1000-year history of the town. Each of the 8 sides of this work of art is different. They are dedicated to the eras of history of significance to the town.

I just think it is beautiful, and would have taken a million cool pictures of it, if someone didn’t forget to charge his battery camera before our trip.

Villingen Church

Villingen fountain

Sep 11


Glorious sunshine in the morning, so we decided for a trip with sky-high altitude for spectacular views. We also asked our friend Hendrik, who joined us for the hike for some added fun.

We left Claude in Himmelreich village by the train station, put lots of sunscreen on, and wandered off into the jungly thick greenery of the Black Forest. Soon the trail was pretty steep, and we were happy to be in the shade of the forest, as the sun was doing its job pretty heavily.

Himmelreich greenery

Himelreich forest

Himelreich forest

Finally we emerged from the forest, and found ourselves near the Höfener Hütte with a beautiful view across the valley.


What a place for a beer! Well, in reality we got ourselves Apfelsaftschorle, all organic and bio and from apples of the region, sweet and tasty. Also a cheesecake, which was yum!

Hofener Hutte

From the hut it was still a little bit to go to the very top of Hinterwaldkopf. Since it was a sunny Sunday, and we had a late start as always, not to mention the recharging stop at the hut, the top was pretty crowded, complete with a bunch of screaming kids and all that. So we tried to enjoy the views for a little bit but didn’t spend too long, and set out on our way down, on the other side of the hill.



Before we immersed ourselves into the forest on the other side again, we got a good close look at some endemic fauna and flora in the sun.



By the time we got out of the woods down in Hinterzarten, we were pretty tired from the long and steep downhill. We managed to see some very nice waterfalls and hug some trees for energy, but the most energy we eventually got was from the ice-cream in Hiterzarten. This made us miss the train back to Himmelreich by just a minute (we saw it!) because some people (me) cannot eat their ice-cream as fast as other people (Iestyn and Hendrik for example). But it was ok, because the train goes every half hour.


Gina hug

Hinterzarten station

Sep 11

Canoeing in the Rhine Valley

A group of friends invited us on an epic Canoe ride, down one of the inlets that feed the Rhine river. We left home bright and early, and met up with everyone. We were a total of 9 people – most of which had never been on a Canoe before – but that didn’t stop anyone from having some awesome fun.

We drove to a small town called Breisach, which is located right on the border of Germany and France, with the Rhine river separating the two countries. We had three inflatable Canoes. We set off from Breisach, heading North along the wee inlet. The wildlife was fantastic, the sun was shining, the river was surprisingly very warm, and everyone was in a good mood.

Gina Canoeing

The river

Gina took some really lovely pictures of the wildlife, such as the dragonflies, which were this fantastic sapphire colour, but, as the rest of the gang just wanted to throw people in the water, the camera had to be packed away for most of the journey. Around half way through the epic journey, we came across a really nice lake. The colour of the water was immense. I went swimming for most of the break here – it was good to swim, as I haven’t done so in many ‘a year.

Half way lake


From the lake, we continued North, through some very dense forest – but the river was still flowing strong. There was a few maneuvers that had to be done on the canoe, as trees had fallen into the river. After a few hours of paddling, we came to where we dropped off the cars, a small village called Sasbach am Kaiserstuhl, right on the Rhine.


We both really enjoyed the day – although it was very tiring! I really wish we can get out on more days like these in the future, as I really like being in a canoe or a kayak!