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.

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