I'll fill in a bit more of recent events by writing about my day trip to Triberg im Schwarzwald. Triberg boasts the tallest waterfall in Germany, as well as a Black Forest History Museum and tons of woodworking and cuckoo clock shops.
Shurrece and I drove for about 2.5 hours, through clouds and rain for most of the journey. Still, the region was beautiful. As I've stated before, Germany is very green this time of year, and all of the flowers are bright and lively. (Incidentally, this includes my own attempts at balcony gardening, both of which are flourishing!)
When we finally reached Triberg, we knew straight away. Cuckoo clock stores (House of 1,000 Clocks being popular) lined the roads for a few kilometers before the city itself became visible. It is situated in the small valley between several hills, with houses and hotels reaching up into the hillsides, and cleared cattle fields at the summits. We decided that the first order of business was finding food, and so began a walk down the main street. Across from the Rathaus, we found a little restaurant that was housed underground, called Pinnochio Pizzeria. It reminded me of going to CW's in Wooster, or maybe like Wags for those more familiar with Frederick. It was full of old paintings that seemed to be inspired by the Brothers Grimm. We ordered Italian specialties- tortollini and pizza. It was delicious! And of course, we ended our meal with some Schwarzwaelde Kirschtorte- Black Forest Cherry Cake! Also, magnificent.
A quick jaunt up and down main street revealed a combination of tourist-geared shops and everyday establishments, such as a photographer's gallery and a hardware store. We decided to tackle the waterfall path first, so we started up the hill. We took many photos because the trek up the hillside was perfectly picturesque.
It was tough work at some spots, but when we noticed a group of senior citizens coming down the path, we decided that we could absolutely handle the climb! :o) It was worth the effort, because the waterfall was breathtaking. They have bridges crossing the falls at different levels, and from those bridges you can see out across Triberg, and into the hills beyond the town.
We followed a hiking trail that took us along the hillsides, around a lake, and eventually back to the town church. The church is about 350 years old, and featured some magnificent painted woodwork- the front door, the alter, and the organ were all gorgeous. Interesting fact- this area was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, so Austrian flags were painted on several surfaces in the church. (I have posted a few photos of this church so you can see the intricate detail in the woodwork.)
Next, we visited a few cuckoo clock stores and woodworking stores. We bought little carved wooden eggs, and mine is hanging from a cabinet handle. It is lovely. The cuckoo clocks are amazing and diverse, but also extraordinarily expensive! Perhaps one day Josh and I will purchase a cuckoo clock, but not any time soon.
Our last visit was to the Black Forest museum, where we saw traditional costumes, heard music played by one-man-bands and carnival crank organs, saw historical clocks and Fasching costumes, walked through a reconstructed "farmer's bedroom" and "clock maker's shop," and saw a large train layout of the region. The museum was quite interesting and I experienced things I did not expect.
We were fairly worn out at this point, so we decided it was time to head back to the Pfalz. Triberg was an excellent choice for a day trip, and thanks to my friend for planning everything so I could just ride along and enjoy!