From where it meets the Kinzig Valley, the Gutach Valley progressively narrows then climbs to a point some 1000m above sea level after 20km, where the air is so pure it once made the town of TRIBERG a health resort. But this was long ago, and today the town is obsessed with only one thing: the cuckoo clock. Thousands are on sale here and the tourist traffic the industry spawns can be nightmarish; but if you embrace the kitsch and are in the market for a clock, it can be fun.
The long, thin Marktplatz that follows the main road through town is its natural focus, with a large pilgrimage church, or Wallfahrtskirche, looming over it decked out in florid Baroque. But the busiest end of town is uphill from here at a bend in the main road, where clock shops are squeezed together. They're an attraction in themselves, and certainly as well visited as the town's two other main attractions nearby. The better of the two is the Schwarzwaldmuseum, Wallfahrtstrasse 4 (Nov– Easter Tues– Sun 10am–5pm; May– Oct daily 10am–6pm 4.50; Tel:07722/4434, Web: www.schwarzwaldmuseum.de ), a cache of local curios. Of course clock-making apparatus is here in force, but so too are various other mechanical instruments including what claims to be Europe's largest barrel-organ collection and a model Schwarzwaldbahn. As interesting is the collection of local folk costumes, including, of course, the Bollenhut, and there are sections on mining and winter sports, both traditionally a major part of life hereabouts.
The town's other main sight is a bit of a disappointment, even though it calls itself Germany's longest waterfall. In reality this is a series of seven smaller falls over a distance of 163m, but their natural beauty is completely compromised by the presence of the strolling masses on wide pavements alongside. Between April and October the charge for walking them is 2.