Oct 11


As Gina has been away for a couple of weeks in Sarajevo, Bosnia with work, we hadn’t been anywhere for a bit. I went with a friend to stay for the night at the Wutachschlucht, and when Gina got back, I showed her the photos I took from our trip, which was a very nice trip – but very misty and steamy weather.  Gina thought it would be fantastic idea (well, in reality I said something along the lines of ‘let’s go somewhere or whatevs’) to head on down there again, as it was a glorious sunny day – she was right (as usual). The valley in the sun was a whole different place, really nice.

Wutachschlucht is a narrow gorge, with about three different sections. It’s believed to be the youngest valley in the whole of Europe, which formed about 10,000 years ago when the Ice retreated. It’s a beautiful place, full of wildlife and vegetation. The route we took was roughly 14km long, that starts from the village of Bonndorf and ends close to Wutach – where we were to catch the tourist bus back to Claude…

We headed out early, and missed the morning traffic. Driving up the Hollental Valley out of Freiburg is always a pleasant experience, but in the Autumn, the whole Valley shines in epic Autumn colors – something I’ve always wanted to see here in the Black Forest.

Arriving in Bonndorf, we left Claude at the car park, and headed North towards the valley. Gina was armed with my camera, and happily merrily took some photos of the Autumn scenes all around.

Autumn Berries

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Colours

We headed down into the gorge, and began following the stream steadily downhill. It’s a great big deep valley, which gets deeper really quickly, and without knowing it, you get dwarfed by the 100 year old trees that surrounds the gentle stream. There are some nice bridges that cross the river frequently, which makes the trek very ‘tourist friendly’ – which it certainly was on this sunny Autumn day.

Gina on the bridge

Gina in the stream

As we continued happily down the stream, the gorge opens up, and the stream joins a huge river, and  you start to see all around. Today, from what I can gather, was Gina’s day of experimenting on new techniques with the camera that she’s recently learned from somewhere. One of the techniques she liked today was what she called ‘Fast Zooms’ :) (never called it that once. I call it ‘motion pictures’)The results are posted below (truth said, a little bit too much motion in the second one. But the first one came out right.):

Gina on the river

Gina Smiles

Gina's "Fast Zoom" Experiments

After walking along the wide river peacefully, the path takes a pretty great gain in height, and without knowing it, you suddenly become very high. One particular place, roughly just under half way, offers an amazing view of the river and valley, which I took the opportunity to take a panorama:

Panorama View

As you can see, the Autumn colors really make the place look amazing. As we continued further, the terrain changes again, this time, the river flows along, and carves into these great big Limestone cliffs. The cliffs themselves looks so strange, as you can clearly see the layers of rock so clearly.

Iestyn Canyon

Gina Canyon

And this is pretty much the end of the tour of the Valley. From here, it was a gentle walk though some trees, and over a few bridges, and along the river. As the tour was winding down, still on her Experimenting high, Gina also took the opportunity to create some lovely macro shots of the vegetation (oi! i’ve had macro under my belt practically before you were born – this was no experimenting! just doing what I do best.).

Gina's Macro Experiment

We came out the other end, just by the bus stop where the bus would take us back to Bonndorf, and to Claude. But, with a bit of detective work on the timetable, we figured out that the last bus had indeed left about an hour earlier, so we were faced with an interesting situation – how do we get back to Claude, that was sitting lonely 14km away? To think about it, we headed to the hut at the side of the road to have a delicious, well earned coffee and cake:

Eating Plum Cake

Gina Eating Cake

After filling our bellies, we’d decided that we couldn’t call a taxi to come and pick us up – so the only other option was to try our hand at thumbing. So, we headed back to the bus stop, and using my best thumbing moves, we managed to pull the third car over – which was also heading to Bonndorf – result! Our driver was originally from Bonndorf, so he knows the situation with the bus very well, and because we looked like a cool pair of hikers, he decided to pick us up. He took us all the way to Claude – which was fantastic, as we both really didn’t fancy walking back.

Oct 11

Welsh Rugby and Schauinsland

We got up super early, and headed into town, wearing our lovely new Welsh Rugby shirts (Diolch yn fawr mam a dad!) to support the Welsh Rugby team in the Semi Finals vs. France. Our destination was our local Irish Pub, O’Kelly’s – which is a proper Irish Pub, here in Freiburg. As we walked in, the  pub seemed to be full of French supporters, so we had a quick look around, saw some Welsh supporters sitting in the corner, and decided to join them. As it was (almost) the crack of dawn, there was no beers or the like for us, as we sipped some nice coffee and tea to watch the game.

Gina at the O'Kelly's

Guiness Coffee

Unfortunately, due to some mishaps in the Welsh team, with the lack of kicking the ball over the bar in the penalties, we didn’t get through to the Finals of the World Cup. But we both agreed that Wales was the best team, as we managed to ‘run the ball over the line’ more time than the ‘French sissies’. I had fun watching it with Gina – I hope we’ll get to watch some more matches in the future!


After a busy day in the shops of Freiburg, we decided to go for a wee drive with Claude to the Schauinsland area, to try and catch the sunset, which was a great idea, as the sun went down with a brilliant red colour.

Sunset (just under) Schauinsland

We didn’t make it all the way to the top of Schauinsland, as we would have missed the setting sun, but the nice lay-by was good enough for us, as the view was beautiful on this Autumn day.

Gina Smiles

Iestyn glowing beard

From here, we continued along the road to the other side of the ridge, where we could see down into the neighboring valley, where Gina took this lovely panorama of the Black Forest.


It’s nice starting to feel the Autumn air here in the Black Forest, as the evenings are getting much colder and fresher, the sun starting to sink lower in the sky, and I cannot wait to see the foliage turn into the fiery Autumn colours, as all we can see here is trees, I predict it’s going to be mighty fine!

Oct 11


We wanted to get up real early and go for a long hike but of course that idea didn’t go down so well with people who wanted to have a ‘proper Sunday lie-in’ cause they never get to sleep in, so there we were, stuck in a traffic jam quarter to noon on the road to the Höllental valley. Oh well, it cleared up quickly, and the drive through the valley was pretty as ever.

We arrived in Saig, and despite Henry trying hard, we couldn’t find parking in the village. Eventually, we just left Claude in a little clearance by the forest behind the village, hoping noone would tow him away. But the village seemed pretty sleepy and quiet, so we didn’t really think anyone would bother. Of course, once we started walking, we found the parking place in Saig all ready.

Saig is a very small and traditional schwarzwald village, couldn’t be more stereotypical if it tried.

Saig church

Saig pointers

From Saig we took the steep hill up to Hochfirst. From there we had a beautiful view down on the Titisee area.

Hochfirst view

But that was not enough for us, we decided to go up the watchtower as well! The watchtower looked like a mobile transmitter or something like that but had a nice double winding staircase inside, and a platform up on top with legend for identifying mountains and hills around. Unfortunately, the horizon was quite hazy, so we could not see the Alps. We did have a nice chat with a German dude, who started talking about the tower falling over as soon as he heard from Iest that he does not enjoy heights.

Iest by the tower

Hochfirst tower

Gina Tower

When we had enough of disaster scenarios we decided to go on with our trail, which led us along the Beerwaldhauptweg. This was all through the forest, which Iest found nice, since they don’t have forests where he comes from, I found it a bit boring, although quite bearably. We also found one nice hut with an autumn view and forgotten digital camera on the inside (curiously, with some antipodean pictures on it), we left it there.


Autumny hut

We were looking forward to seeing the Francosenkreutz commemorating the fallen in a battle between the French and the Austrians in the aftermath of the French Revolution in 1799, but we were kind of disappointed.


However, the village Kappel was really nice with beautiful old farmhouses and spunky cows.

Kappel chapel


Kappel cow

We were happy to find Claude where we left him, waiting for us all good. And we headed home after a nice little walk, looking forward to our yum cake, also waiting where we left him.