Feb 12

Snowshoeing around Kandel

Beautiful sunny Sunday, only like -20 degrees outside, perfect conditions to run around in snowshoes. Of course, only if you happen to have fancy cool snowshoes, otherwise gaiters have to do. We decided for a roundtrip around Kandel because the views from there are pretty in good weather. We took our guidebook and also picked up our friend Hendrik on the way, not too early in the morning as usual, but not too late either.

Up on Kandel we first headed for the very top, with nice panoramas all around. My snowshoes worked nicely, I could run around in deep snow like it’s no-one’s business. We did not spend too much time up on the top, as it was quite cold, and we set out on our roundtrip, getting lost almost immediately.


Gina on top

View from Kandel

Of course in a place like Kandel it does not really matter if you get lost, we just sort of kept our direction, and didn’t mind the rough deep unforgiving snow with hidden steep rock faces where one step on the wrong spot could be the matter of life and death and all that in blinding blizzard… ok, exaggerating a little bit, but truth is we were a bit surprised to arrive at Gummenhofhütte after good two hours of wandering, while according to our map that place was no further than 1,5 kms from the top of Kandel. Nevermind, at least we were back on the map and continued according to plan.

Deep in the snow and woods


by Gummenhofhütte

From here it was a piece of cake – soon we found Thomashütte with a pretty view, and continued over Kandelfelsen back to Claude. Frankly, we still did not arrive to Claude from the right direction technically speaking, so we must have strayed a bit somewhere from our guide-prescribed tour, but may be we also had more soft deep powder snow to play with on our way.

Gina with the moose

Jul 11

Süd Schwarzwald – (South Black Forest) Trips!

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:

Our Black Forest Books

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  Höllental (Hell’s Valley) – one of the most impressive valleys in the Black Forest. The valley is rich in history and legends, which our book proudly describes to us, and was beautifully narrated by Gina as we drove along. Our first stop was by the ‘Hirschsprung’ (“Deer’s Jump”) – the narrowest  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’ve erected a lovely statue on the (now wider) part of the pass.

Deer Statue

Gina & Claude

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 the Höllental.

Iestyn & Höllental

Gina &Höllental

We 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 the leisurely stroll, but we now know, that the blue coloured  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 the 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.

Gina on the Bridge

Gina Chilling

The Todtnauer Waterfall

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. Waldkirch 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 ‘Knight Trail’ and was awarded with a beautiful view over the whole village, and the pretty Kandel sitting high above.

A Knight on the Knight Trail

Waldkirch & Kandel

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).

Gina & Kastelburg Castle

Looking down from the top

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’.

Kandel Summit View

Gina locating Claude

And that concludes our epic first trips around the Black Forest. There will be plenty more to come in the future!