Schwarzwald or Black Forest as it is widely known is the most visited and famous travelling weekend getaway in the South- Western region of Europe. It wins hands down as the most visited one in Germany. There is so much tradition and old medieval feel in this region that I would call it the essence of what Germans are proud of. If you wish to indulge yourself in the fantasies of the mountains and hear folklore from the medieval times that happened in Europe, this is the best place to be. With farmhouses that reach the sky, situated at the backdrop of wide spread landscapes and clouds that touch the roofs of these homes, not coming here once in your life, if you visit Europe is like missing the essence and jewel of nature. Each season has something special in Blackforest. In Autumn the colours play and run over the canvas of trees and mountains, as if let free. Hues of red, orange and yellow fill the panorama. Green can be seen peeping through the encircled twigs and branches of the trees.
Blackforest is the place for cascades and amazing waterfalls, trees that are so thick and green that the name Blackforest or Schwarzwald is the most apt one, Grimms Fairy Tales is inspired from this region. The best part is the drive through this forest with meandering highways and roundabout turn ways that give you a high. The Black Forest is situated in the South of Germany in the Baden Württemberg state and shares borders with Austria and Switzerland, therefore one can see tourism thriving even from these regions, and that makes it the favourite, because this is also one of the warmest regions in the south, since it is situated in a valley. The coniferous trees here are the highlight of the forest. It also has deciduous range of trees, but fir and oak can be found to a large extent. It is also the region for wood trade. Lot of wood from here is taken and used for house building activities and other commercial uses not only in Germany but the whole of Europe. Triberg and Freiberg are two main cities from where BlackForest can be reached. It is most famous for its cuckoo clocks, maiden dolls, the Protestant and Catholic cottages dating back to 1500s, and of course when you come to food, the Black Forest Cake and the Kirschwasser or cherry water that is an integral part of the Black Forest Cake.
Quaint little villages and old petite little houses keep you mesmerized as you drive along. I came here with my life Partner Kris and my German friend Marco. We all had a very classy and traditional time trying out the local food and alcohol, driving through the forest and also exploring the old alleys churches and the market place in Freiburg. It was raining that day but the walk was so serene and calm. Nothing seemed gloomy but took us into medieval era shopping centers and archways that led straight to the center of the city. Marco gave us some insights into the history and culture of the church and how life progressed in those times. People gave the bishop utmost importance, how the houses were costly within the center but as you moved out, common man found more room for his needs and a comfortable place. The center of the city was filled with residences, grand and lavish, that belonged to the who´s who of medieval times.
Dining in Freiburg was an eternal experience at a local old, yet classy restaurant where our host was an old lady and her husband who left no stone unturned to serve us the best food and beer. We had Spätzle and some authentic Bavarian dishes, non veg of course, trying the Schnitzel and drinking my favourite beer, the Radler, it was a relaxed lunch with simple conversations over the table about Indian and German culture. The meal ended with a Black Forest Cake the specialty of the region. Soft and mushy, creamy and lucid, it was melting in my mouth. I could have eaten hundreds more had I not had that heavy meal that lay in my stomach with so many extra calories.
We continued our way and ventured deep into the heart of the forest. Other than the crunch of dry leaves beneath our shoes, the humming of the birds, and the occasional clicking of our cameras there was nothing to be heard. None of us spoke. It was as if the forest had cast its spell on us. We simply marveled at the beauty around us with rapt admiration, but in hushed silence. The countryside was adorned with amiable cows and half-timbered houses where bright-red geraniums in the garden literally stole my heart. This day was one of the calmest days and trips I had with Kris throughout the Black Forest. Peaceful and refreshing even with the splashing rain droplets on our car felt like making our way deep into the world of heaven, where all you want is the satisfaction of a slumber, a stress-free mind and no adrenaline rushing but letting go and eternal relaxation. This one gave us all.
For a next time to another destination.
Rucha Sudhir Khot