Because we love Freiburg and all the people in it, we decided to repeat our little trip from last year, effectively making it an annual tradition. This time we moved it to December, so that apart from all the food and people and places we like, we could also enjoy the xmas markets and snow. Unfortunately, the snow was not quite there (that only came a couple weeks later after new year’s, dammit!), but everything else was in place. We stayed with our great friend, which was amazing, and we also rented a little car this time, so we were super flexible. We did it all – Schauinsland over the clouds, Feldberg, Titisee, flammkuchen in Goldener Sternen, Feierling with friends (they have a new annexe and it’s pretty!), gluhwine, Turkish and Thai. For markets, we explored not only the usual Freiburg ones, but went also to Ravennaschlucht outside of town, where the market is nicely located in a gorge under a tall train viaduct, and we also swung by the Basel markets on our way back to the airport. So the only bother on the whole trip were, traditionally, the UK trains which were on strike, causing us to get up at 4am on the way there to be able to make it to Gatwick, and further stress on the way back. I am done with complaining about UK trains on this blog, but if they don’t nationalise this omnishambles soon, my head might explode. But we did not let that spoil anything, and we enjoyed ourselves a lot.
After unwrapping our beautiful presents in the morning (we must have been good last year, especially Iestyn), and having lots of christmas cookies and other sweets, we decided to go for a short walk up Schauinsland, to make space in our bellies for the epic christmas dinner. We could not really have gone for a longer walk, as epic christmas dinners take a long time to make (even though we already prepared lots of stuff the day before).
Schauninsland was full of snow, and had a strange lid of grey clouds hanging over the whole of the sky, except at the end over the horizon, where the sky ran out of clouds and showed some Alp peaks in the sun. We went up the tower, and both of us made it all the way to the top, which was great. Iestyn made pictures, while I was playing with the tiny icicles made by snow and wind.
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 Â 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.
Unfortunately, due to someÂ mishapsÂ 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 theÂ Schauinsland area, to try and catch the sunset, which was a great idea, as the sun went down with a brilliant red colour.
We didn’t make it all the way to the top of Schauinsland, as we would have missed the setting sun, but the niceÂ lay-by was good enough for us, as the view was beautiful on this Autumn day.
From here, we continued along the road to theÂ other side of the ridge, where we could see down into theÂ neighboringÂ 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 theÂ foliageÂ turn into theÂ fiery Autumn colours, as all we can see here is trees, I predict it’s going to be mighty fine!