It seems a little while since I have contributed to this, leaving Androclast with the difficult challenge of tackling the philosophical questions of the World alone. A very good job he does too. Unfortunately, as hopefully happens to many, I am having an arid season when inspiration is called upon. I have therefore decided to dedicate this post to Freiburg im Breisgau as a foray into the world of travel writing for one brief blog post.
As you can probably fathom, being the smart thinking types that you are, Freiburg is nestled in the Black Forest close to the Swiss German Border. My confusion surrounding the divisions in Basel airport will have to wait for another day! Most of you when asked about Freiburg will immediately think of cake, although some may do this instinctively when pressured for answers. Anyway for basic Freiburg facts you can check out wikipedia or some other such travel guide so I will refrain from detailing the population and crops.
We stayed in a beautiful family run hotel called the Goldener Adler in Oberried around 12km from the city centre and at the heart of the beautiful black forest. For one day we enjoyed the sunshine and the amazing autumn colours that inspire such poetic sentiment. The second day, we had fog, but more detail about this in a moment.
Oberried is close enough to Freiburg to enjoy a frequent bus service but we had t he luxury of a car. On arriving in a most confusing car park, we stumbled into the open air and straight into a magnificent independent bookshop – one of many that followed. It was refreshing to see such a variety of literature not under the Waterstones logo. After spending at least an hour rifling through every language section several times and looking for ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in German we headed to the Augustiner Museum. The first room is remarkably like a scene from Indiana Jones where there are huge statues either side that will collapse when you try to steal the icon from the far end. It was a remarkable place and of great interest (although largely sacred histories). However, the gods had their revenge after I blasphemed by having me expelled from the museum for brandishing a rucksack. So we pootled over to the StadtMuseum and obliged the gods by leaving aforementioned bag in a locker. Another quaint little place full of models and maps, statuettes and ephemera. The rest of the day was spent testing a host of coffee houses and bookshops before retiring for the day replete.
So, the fog. It was foggy and dreary on the soul so I was convinced to take to the mountains and we drove to a nearby mountain and hoped for a spot at a high-altitude cafe. We drove most of the way and then abandoned the car and trekked the last part in the glorious sunshine. One could see completely over the cloud that sat in the valley and could only just see the tips of the hills like little islands. My favourite being the island housing the wind turbines that made it look as though they would float away across the sea of clouds. On reaching the cafe at the summit, we realised that quite a lot of folk had had the same idea….so we walked back down again and found a splendid wafflehouse.
I cannot stress the over-aweing view when you arrive in the Black Forest as it completely overshadows any forest that remains in the UK. I can honestly say that I have never seen so many trees – ever.
There is much more to the area than gateaux:
http://www.freiburg.de/servlet/PB/menu/1164028_l2/index.html – Augustiner Museum
http://www.goldener-adler-oberried.de/ – Hotel in Oberried
http://www2.bookworld.de/Popups/Walthari/index.htm – Walthari Bookshop