A Travellerspoint blog

Chilling Out inThe Black Forest

overcast 15 °C

After a month of travelling throughout northern Europe with hardly a cloud in the sky, we are taking a few days break over the border in Germany. The sun is having a few days off as well…
We had originally planned to spend this time in the Lake District in the Italian Alps, but a blocked tunnel and a major rockslide stopped rail traffic between France and Italy, so we have slipped back over the German border to the quiet Black Forest town of Gernsbach – although we didn’t expect it to be this quiet…
Judging by the paucity of English literature in Gernsbach’s Tourist Information office, (and the fact that the staff were clearly hiding), this small riverside community is not overwhelmed by foreign visitors. Or any visitors at all at this time of the year…
There was certainly no one at the ancient city hall…
Gernsbach is popular with rugged out-doorsy Germans who like nothing better than a stiff hike in the surrounding mountains of the Black Forest. Maybe that’s where everyone was…
The Black Mountains were so named by the Romans because they were a dark and scary place. They are not scary today, but our rugged hiking days are over so we plan to visit Gernsbach’s world-famous neighbour, the genteel spa city of Baden Baden. In the meantime, we will take relaxing strolls to the bakery…
And enjoy Gernsbach’s riverside scenes…
A final note regarding our time in France: the weather was fabulous – but everything was fabulous. We often rail against national and ethnic stereotypes that are usually based on out-dated experiences and this visit has severely challenged our beliefs. It’s been a while since French drivers were inconsiderate speed demons thanks to a plethora of radar traps, but now they not only stop at pedestrian crossings they even stop when they don’t have to. Shopkeepers, and hotel staff, were amazing and, best of all, a new generation of French waiters were friendly and helpful, and they weren’t begging for tips.
However, there is one stereotype the French can’t avoid – they smoke! Not everyone of course, but far more than we see in other countries. And then we came to Germany and discovered cigarette vending machines on every other corner and not a health warning in sight…
Oh well – live and let live.

Posted by Hawkson 16:27 Archived in Germany

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Blimey, Gernsbach is pretty as a picture but dead as a dodo.
The bakery offerings don’t appear to be light and fluffy, but most probably good for your gut health.
Cigarette dispensing machines surprising as I thought the Gerrmans were very health conscious. French driving has not improved on my side of La Manche. X

by Christine Lloyd

Enjoy the tranquility. I suspect that Baden Baden will be a different scene. Looking forward to pictures of the spa and its healing waters plus gourmet delight offerings for the discerning visitors.

by R and B

I have enjoyed all your posts and look forward to more.
I share your impressions of France. I've been there twice this year after a long absence. I was really surprised at the consideration shown by drivers and the general helpfulness of people. I felt very comfortable there. Some of my fellow Brits say they noticed some hostility from EU citizens after Brexit, but I didn't encounter that.
Bonne continuation!

by Heather

It looks so pretty. Did you really go into a bakery? Did you leave again before temptation overtook? How can anyone go inside a bakery and come out empty handed? By putting it in your tummy?

by Janet

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