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Black Forest

The Black Forest is a beautiful mountainous area in SW Germany, full of trails, mountain scenery, romantic villages, cottages, well engineered rail lines, and covered bridges. This is the covered bridge of Forbach, over the Mergtal River. We road the Mergtal Bahn through the heart of the forest on this trip to Germany in July 1993. Forbach, Germany, while on a 
train trip along the Mergtal River. We walked across the bridge, and then ate lunch
on a bench while admiring the view of the town.

Germany. Traveling through the Black Forest by regional bus.This is Altensteig, located in the Central Black Forest. It was one of the most picturesque old hill-towns that I have seen in Germany. I climbed up the hill admiring all the half-timber houses and toured the castle on top. A baroque church is also positioned nearby. The view back down the valley was breath taking.

The Black Forest is a beautiful, clean, well lived-in mountainous forest. The two times that I have been there to visit Linda's sister Cindy, and brother-in-law Peter, have been just wonderful. They live in an old house (which they have remodeled and added onto) in a small village in the mountains above the town of Bad-Herrenalb, which is located in the northern range of the Black Forest (rather idyllic, but also modern). It is a very beautiful place. I have walked all around the Bad-Herrenalb town area, and walked the trails through the forest. I have ridden the local bus service to other towns in the region like Baden-Baden, Wildbad, Calw, Altensteig, and Freudenstadt. And I have ridden the excellent trains on the Mergtal Bahn, and Nagold Bahn. One thing about traveling by public transport in Germany is that it is fairly expensive, but I have noticed that bus drivers will sometimes try to give you a discount if you are a tourist. Everywhere I have been in Southern Germany has just been excellent! However, I always feel hurried and short for time, which is probably because I want to do too much in too little time. To really experience the Black Forest would take several weeks, and so far I have only been there for a total of about two weeks, but that's the way traveling is for me...I never have enough time to do half the things I would like to do!

The day I went to Altensteig was a long day. My journey back to Cindy and Peter's was not going to be easy. Buses and trains tend to stop running around 6:00pm in the Black Forest, but I found this out the hard way. I took a bus from Altensteig to Nagold, and got on a train to Pforzheim (a little NE of the Black Forest). Pforzheim was a big town, so I thought there would be buses going to Bad-Herrenalb in the evening, but I was wrong. There were no buses going anywhere past 6:00pm and I was stranded. I called Cindy's house from a pay phone; explained where I was, and she said Peter would come get me in the car. When Peter showed up twenty-five minutes later, he had a smile on his face (he doesn't speak English) and said, "Are you ze vanderer?" I had a good laugh, hopped in the car, and for the duration of the ride home tried to hold a conversation with Peter. While there were only a handful of mutually edifying words between us, due to our lack of knowledge of each others tongue, we had a good time of it, and I didn't feel too bad about staying out "late" exploring Altensteig.

2004 Update

On our trip to Germany in 2004 we revisited Cindy & Peter's in the Black Forest, and this time I revisited Forback and Altensteig in half-a-day by car. I walked quite a bit in each town and felt elated being there again and seeing the lovely sights. The weather was partly cloudy and mild--perfect--and my rented Opel Wagon handled the roads just great. Driving in Germany is way above average as it is, but driving in the Black Forest is a dream-combination of beautiful scenery, quaint villages, and very good roads, with excellent signage. I had a good set of maps and I just drove to my heart's content, but my time was limited, as usual. I took a lot of digital photos and videoed a lot, too. Read about the rest of the trip in my London-Berlin travelogue.

See a photo of Linda with Forbach in background.
Click here for a map of Germany