Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Just another Sunday in the Black Forest

Sunday morning 7 a.m. it was still kinda dark, and the rain pounded against the window. Turning around and getting back to sleep seemed the best option at that time. Around noon however, the sun fought its way through, the air had meanwhile warmed up and we answered the call from our long neglected bicycles. First we had to ride to the gas station to get some air into our tires which were almost flat.

Sundays for us are mostly about being together, and not have any plans. And this is how we ride our bikes on a Sunday. We just meander through the valley along the various brooks and rivers.

Having no plans has its disadvantages, though... we could have packed lunch and a bottle of wine, and could have brought along a towel or a blanket. Or a book? It was so nice in the sun, especially in the slipstream of the flood dyke.

There are some fall colours to be found in the Black Forest, however they are not as spectacular as the North American fall foliage.

Roland had the weird idea that bicycles might need to get cleaned like any other vehicle. So before riding home we stopped at the car wash...

After two hours in the fresh air we were reasonably hungry, and Roland went to procure some fruit cake at our local cafe. It took ages before he showed up again. There was a huge line up, as the baked goods from this place are very popular.

Nothing wrong with sleeping in, having a late breakfast, going out for a bit of cycling, enjoying cake and getting in some couch time after. It might almost sound like vacation, but it is merely a normal Sunday in the Black Forest.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Celebration Hike

Saturday, 3rd October marks the 25th year since German reunification. Even after 25 years the press and the officials make it sound like it is we and them, the Easterners and the Westerners (Ossies & Wessies). However, we don't feel that way anymore. But we were privileged to spend several years abroad, and watch from afar how Germany does on growing together. On our return the thoughts of separation were gone for us. One unified Germany, that's what it is for us.

And so, we had our own way of celebrating this important day: we went on a hike. Our trail started at the pass of Freiersberg on 740m, at one of the long distance hiking trail stations in the Black Forest.

It started with a fairly light ascent on a wide track. They are called hiker's highway, as you may find large crowds of strangely motivated pilgrim like long distance hikers during high season.

The incline became steeper after a few clicks, and changed to smaller trails covered by roots and boulders, and the forest opened up to a spectacular view over the Bad Peterstal valley.

The grounds change from soil to sand, from moss to gras and from rock to gravel as we were gaining height.

Every once in a while we'd find a fresh water fountain, where we could quench our thirst. It wasn't really warm but the uphill hike was quite strenuous.

Finally we had reached the apex around 960m, after an elevation gain of almost 220m, and we were rewarded with a stunning view on Glaswald lake below and the southern ridge of the Black Forest.

Glaswald lake is a tarn, surrounded by steep mountain walls. The lake and its surroundings were formed by a glacier during the last ice age.

We enjoyed the view for a while but it was getting late in the day, the air had turned a bit chilly, and we had a few miles to walk back to our car.

The shadows became longer as we walked downhill again. It was about time we got home.

Another freshwater fountain

The hike was mostly uphill so we needed almost two hours for the 6km round trip but it was well worth the sweat. We'd like to come back in winter, it looks like a great area for snow shoeing.

Back home we rewarded ourselves with proper dinner and a nice bottle of Lambrusco. Life is good!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Get on with it!

... or maybe another motorcycle trip?

(Source: Huffington Post)

It's hard getting back to work after some time off, especially if they were good times, such as our recent travels to Eastern Canada, and Sonja's solo motorcycle trip through the maritimes after.

Sonja hadn't planned on finding employment that quickly but it is really hard to stay out of it in a region that bears an unemployment rate of 3.3%.

(Source: BO)

Oh well, back to the daily grind, in order to save up some money again. Vacation plans for next year are already in the make  ;-)