20 September 2009

Der Schwarzwald und Treiberg ~ August 29th

Wow. Der Schwarzwald (the Black Forest) is beautiful!! Its hills remind me of Pennsylvania but its deep dark trees make me think of Acadia and Maine forests. We took a long bus ride over to Treiberg so I was able to gaze out at the landscape the whole time and watch the hills roll by, dotted by valley villages with red-tiled houses and steep fields and cows. Trieberg itself is a quaint town that looks as if it is cut off the side of the mountainside. It gets alot of tourists, since it borders the park with Germany's longest waterfall but it is still very nice. We had a picnic lunch there and did some window shopping before we headed off to the park. The town has alot of little shops, but one big one boasts 1000 cuckoo clocks, and sure enough, its walls were packed with cuckoo clocks of different sizes, styles, and ornamentation. It was pretty fantastic to see. Luckily, they were just set to tick, or else I think I would have been overwhelmed by the thunderous noise of "Cuck-oo, Cuck-oo" of a 1000 cuckoo clocks going off at the same time, ha. Oh, I also had my first coffee in Germany during our sightseeing. Jon Larson and I spotted a cafe, looked at each other, and it was like two dogs on a scent: COFFEE!! It was overpriced and too sweet but strong and definitely was the wondeful caffeinated beverage that I love. :-)

The waterfall itself was amazing. As we started our ascent, I forgot my tired legs with the all sights around me: the forest that surrounds the waterfall seemed somehow denser and the colors more vivid than anywhere else I have seen in Germany so far. The path followed the twists and turns of the waterfall and you could hear the constant rush of water and its coolness as you walked higher and higher, until you could stop and turn around and then! the breathless beauty of the nature that overwhelmed you as you gazed out upon the landscape! It was wonderful. We got lost on the way back downtown, but I didn't care, because there were many pink-purple, white, and yellow flowers and lovely trees and I enjoy being in nature so much. I picked some flowers to press later before we left the waterfall so we could catch the bus to a mountain lake on our way home back to Reutlingen. It was warm enough and the lake water pleasant enough that I waded in it while everyone else sat and relaxed on the pebbly beach. The water was amazingly clear so you could see straight to the bottom even with a couple feet of water :-) A couple of the group stopped at a bakery and we shared real Black Forest torte....mmm!! The cherries here are tart and not sticky-sweet marachino cherries like back home, and I like it better that way. And the whipped cream was freshly made....I have had nothing as good as it in the States. The States version of it doesn't do the torte justice.

And so it is the end of my third day here in Germany and I am blissfully happy to go to sleep now. Guten Nacht!


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