Oct 6 - Exploring the Black ForestOctober 6, 2019 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 5 °C
Today’s adventure found us docked in Breisack (pronounced Bry-zack) in Germany. The day was another cool, overcast one with a forecast of rain. Bundle up and pack an umbrella has become our mantra.
After breakfast, we went by coach for about an hour to Freiburg. Our guide, Gerlinda, told us about the Baden area that we were passing through. The land here is very fertile because of past volcanic activity. We passed fields of corn (for animal feed and ethanol production), millet, pumpkins, mustard and tobacco. There are a lot of walnut trees in this area so walnut bread and walnut cake are local specialities.
Our destination was Schauinslandbahn - a cable car that took us high up into the Black Forest. The Black Forest got its name from the Romans who came here 2000 years ago. The forest is so densely wooded, that from a distance, it looks black, not green, and foreboding and menacing. The area is ripe with tales about goblins and dwarfs and gnomes and witches that inhabit the forest. We traveled up through light clouds and mist to the top. Our activity was a 4-km walk - all downhill - on good trails. The valleys are dotted with little farms and villages, and the fields are inhabited by contented-looking cows and sheep and goats.
We stopped at a little house called Schniederlihof. The house is over 400 years old, and until 1966, belonged to the same family that made its living selling dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt). At that time eight siblings living in the house, all in their 20’s, finally recognized the futility of making a living there. They sold the house and land to the local community and then moved to the local village. The house is now a little museum that showcases the life of Black Forest farmers. The man who tends the museum is a descendant of the original family. We toured the parlour, the bedroom, the kitchen (with Black Forest ham smoking in the attic) and the barn. We were rewarded for our walking efforts with Black Forest Cake and hot tea. We hadn’t actually burned the equivalent number of calories, but when in the Black Forest…….
Back at the ship, we actually had to wait a while to board. We had been double-bunked with another ship. It was time for it to sail, so our ship had to pull out, wait for the other ship to sail, and then pull back in. There was our captain again, making sure the gangplank was secure. He is definitely a hands-on captain.
The entertainment for this afternoon was called “Four Hands over 50 Bells”. It was a duo who played tunes, both traditional and modern, on cow bells. It was a delightful, upbeat show. Promptly on cue, we sailed at 4:00 p.m. Next stop - Basel, Switzerland. That will be the sixth country of this cruise.Read more