Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kirchzarten, Baden, Germany 5.7.2009: Wild Astilbe and Green Pastures

Most arduous day yet, but a pleasant one in retrospect. Began with a train and bus trip up the Höllental to Feldberg, the highest point in the Black Forest.

The trip by train through the same areas we’d seen several days before, then through mist on a cloudy day, yesterday on a fine, hot, sunny day, was fascinating. Dark, still forests bordered by lush strips of wildflowers full of astilbe and blue and purple lupines, green pastures running up steep hillsides at whose feet sprawled huge houses and barns in the Black Forest style: one could look forever.

At Feldberg, we took a lift to the highest point, with its observation tower, and walked around, looking to the Alps at the Swiss border, and a small lake surrounded by steep rocky cliffs below the observation area.

Then back to the bus-and-shopping center to mill around with throngs of polyglot other tourists as we waited for the bus back, which took us to our train connection to Freiburg. Have I mentioned that our hotel has an arrangement that permits guests to take buses and trains all over Baden for free?

In Freiburg, we walked and walked on a very hot day—28˚—with merciless sun, and then rendezvoused with Regina’s sister and her husband to sit beside the cathedral—more sun and more sunburn—and to drink a glass of white wine at the tables set up for the Weinfest. Then yet another meal of flammkuchen and one more glass of wine, and back to Kirchzarten and the hotel, to rest for the drive back to Wössingen tomorrow.

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