This trip starts in Kaiserslautern, where I work. My wife and I decided to see Germany’s largest waterfall (Gutach Falls) as well as see the Black Forest, so I went on-line, researched a well reviewed and relatively inexpensive hotel and got reservations at the Best Western in Triberg. The next morning we drove to Triburg, which took about 3 hours. Most of the drive was on the autobahn (a.k.a., the German highway) and didn’t start getting interesting until we started on B33. The Black Forest area is actually very picturesque and this particular B-road didn’t disappoint (B500 is pretty too).
As we entered the town of Triberg we were struck by how vertical the town is. It’s kind of nestled in-between two very steep hills (or mountains, depending on your definition), so you are usually walking at an angle at all times. You will have to be in decent shape if you expect to walk anywhere in this town.
After you get over the hills, you’ll also notice the clocks. They’re everywhere. But of course Triberg is suppose to be the birthplace of the cuckoo clock, so this is understandable. There are several clock houses (including the world-famous House of 1000 Clocks) that showcase some very impressive and expensive clocks. The House of 1000 Clocks even has the largest cuckoo clock in Germany (make sure to bring Euro change in .50 denominations if you want to see how this clock works). There is also a Schwarzwald-Museum of Triberg that goes into how the original clocks were pioneered in this town, among other things.
The Best Western actually turned out to be a rare find. While the parking was tight (this is true of most places in Europe ), the hotel staff were very friendly, the room was a lot bigger than I was expecting and had a balcony, and the hotel is right in the middle of Triberg, so you can easily walk to the town center. I would definitely stay here again.
Seeing the Gutach Falls
The waterfall was really easy to walk to from the hotel. Once we got there we noticed that only the bottom portion was accessible, probably due the the cold weather. We took a couple of pictures and started to walk around until we found a way to get up to the top of the falls. This is one very steep walk, but the path is well paved. It took us about 45 minutes to climb to the top, which is where we took some more pictures. The walk down was a lot easier.
After our “hike” we were very thirsty and hungry, so we found a nice German restaurant called Tresor. It was very small (it could fit about 20-25 people max) and the section that we sat in seemed to be a converted bank vault. Aside from this, though, this place looked great and was decked out with exposed wood beams on the ceiling and big wooden tables and bench chairs that were built into the walls.
I ordered a deer-meat dish and my wife had some schnitzel (breaded and fried pork slices). Both of these meals were exceptional, but the best part of the meal was the apple strudel. This BIG dessert was comprised of the strudel, vanilla ice cream, some whipped cream, and a sweet liquor dressing. The first bite was like taking a shot of Jägermeister! However, it only took a couple of bites to get through this sweet liquor dressing, which allowed you to taste the strudel itself. It was heavenly (and I don’t generally use that word to describe food). I HIGHLY recommend you trying the apple strudel at this restaurant.
After the exhausting uphill climb to see the waterfall and the thoroughly filling lunch and dessert at Tresor my wife and I decided to take a nap at the hotel (we’re really not as old as you might think, but we were both very tired). Around 7PM we decided to try out a restaurant that was recommend by Fromers called Park Hotel Wehrle, which serves gourmet German dishes. When we walked into the restaurant we immediately felt under dressed. We were greeted by a very nice hostess wearing a “traditional” German dress that seemed to come from the 1800s. She asked us which side of the restaurant we wanted to eat in: the normal side or the more fancy side. We chose the normal side, which still seemed very “fancy” to us. We were even given the option of eating in a converted bed but decided to eat at a normal table instead. My wife ordered a nice curry chicken on rice dish and I got a smoked salmon and spaetzle dish. Both were very good.
On to Freiburg
Early Sunday morning we packed up the car, checked out of the hotel, and headed west on B500 towards Freiburg . This drive had a lot of impressive views of vast rolling “hills” with small villages or single houses nestled in-between them. There was also very little traffic so the drive was very relaxing.
Once we got to Frieburg we were immediately impressed with the size of this “town.” We aimed for the Altstat (old center) and found a parking garage. Since it was the biggest building in this area of Freiburg we walked five minutes to the Frieburg Cathedral. This church is pretty massive. We arrived too early to go in but the buttresses are riddled with interesting statues and gargoyles. After taking a few pictures we milled around the Altstat, which was an interesting mix of old and new architecture. Around mid day we hiked up a very steep hill that flanked the Altstat. It takes about 30 minutes, and a good deal of energy, but once you get to the to you can see all of Freiburg (and the alps on a clear day.)
Since we were pressed for time we walked down the hill, paid our parking bill, and then headed back to our house.