One evening, Gina bought home a couple of books about the Black Forest. One’s full of day trips that we can do with Claude the Auto, and the other if full of hikes in and around the Hills of the Black Forest:
Saturday: So, over the weekend, as the weather was beautiful, we decided to combine both books, by taking a nice drive up the valley, then depart on a short walk. The drive took us up the beautiful valley of Â HÃ¶llental (Hell’s Valley) – one of the most impressive valleys in the Black Forest. The valley isÂ richÂ in history and legends, whichÂ our book proudly describes to us, and was beautifullyÂ narrated by Gina as we drove along. Our first stop was by the ‘Hirschsprung’Â (“Deer’s Jump”) – the narrowest Â part of the valley, and was originally only 9 metres wide. Thus a common tale is existing about a red deer jumping across the 9m wide valley to escape from hunters, and in commemorative to these fine red deers, they’veÂ erectedÂ a lovely statue on the (now wider) part of the pass.
After some serious hairpin turns, and an almost full 360 degree corner around a pointed cliff peak in the middle of the road, we arrived at the top of the valley, which we were rewarded with some fine views of theÂ HÃ¶llental.
WeÂ continued East for a few more Kilometers, until we reached a nice lake called Titisee. Here was our walk for the day – a 7km gentle round circuit of the lake. It was indeed a really easy trail, as people from all strokes of life wandered around the lake with us. I enjoyed theÂ leisurely stroll, but we now know, that the blue colouredÂ Â routes on our walking book is indeed aimed for old people :)
After filling our bellies, we decided to take another route home, and do a circular trip with Claude. We headed West towards the village of Todtnau (where we went to before), and then up theÂ Todtnauberg Valley, where Germany’s highest natural waterfall crashes at 97m high, the “Todtnauer Wasserfall”. It’s a pretty area, where you can climb up above the falls, dip your feet into the water, and look down the valley. Located above the waterfall, there is a bridge, that you can cross the falls, and go hiking up and around the woods.
And from there, we headed home to Freiburg.
Sunday: Late on Sunday evening, we decided to go for another trip, this time exploring the North. Our destinations were the village of Waldkirch, and the peak of Kandel. WaldkirchÂ looked like a very sleepy village, and is quite famous for creating the musical Organs. Here also, there is a castle – the ruins of Kastelburg. We headed up the ‘KnightÂ Trail’ and was awarded with a beautiful view over the whole village, and the pretty Kandel sitting high above.
The castle is a fine castle. Built right ontop of a rock. There were stairs going right up to the top, but, as I can’t stand man made heights, I found it very hard to go up two levels. Gina on the other hand, made it all the way to the top without any trouble, and manage to take a few pretty pictures of the view (like the one of the village above).
After pottering about a wee bit, we set our eyes on the peak of Kandel. Claude the Auto took us all the way to the top, just over 1200m high. We had spectacular views of the Black Forest from the summit, but it was a shame the haze of summer was closing in, and we couldn’t see beyond the Forest, it’s said that on a fine day, you can see as far as the Vosges, and even the Swabian Alb. There’s some pretty epic legends about this hill. In earlier time, the Hill was known as ‘The Witches Mountain of the Black Forest’ – and to this day, the cliff is called ‘Teufelskanzel’, which translates to ‘Devil’s Pulpit’.
And that concludes our epic first trips around the Black Forest. There will be plenty more to come in the future!
Tags: Black Forest, Deer's Jump, Devil's Pulpit, Germany's highest natural waterfall, HÃ¶llental, Hell's Valley, Hirschsprung, Kandel, Kastelburg, Knight Trail, SÃ¼d Schwarzwald, Teufelskanzel, The Witches Mountain of the Black Forest, Titisee, Todtnau, Todtnauer Wasserfal, Trips, Waldkirch