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Tuesday, October 9

Schwarzwald with a Guest

A lot has happened in the past few weeks and I am looking forward to sharing some of the adventures. We have been eating, well, both at home and on our travels. More importantly, my mom came to visit for three weeks. Lots of beer and food was had by all, of course, and we traveled some.

On her 2nd weekend here, we took a trip to Schwarzwald, better known as the Black Forest. We did a round trip from here through the southern part of the forest and ended up in Strasbourg and then back.

Our first stop was at Mummelsee which is beautiful especially on a cold, foggy morning. We ate our packed lunch there and then walked around the lake; it’s short 30 minute stroll. Then we were off to Triberg(er) waterfall, Germany’s highest. Although we didn’t hike to the top, we spent an hour at the there. We then walked around Triberg, the capital of Cuckoo clocks. We did not partake in the tradition of buying a clock, only because they cost an arm and a leg. Our last stop for the day was Hinterzarten. After the morning drive and touring we were all ready to settle into a comfy couch or bed for the evening. Hotel Am Bach was the place for relaxing. We’ve rented rooms from gasthouses before, small homes with few spare rooms for guests, however Am Bach is different from what we were used to. It’s large, spacious home with approximately 10- 14 rooms.
For dinner we went to Pizzeria Leonardo Da Vinci in the main square. The tomato bisque was incredible and the pizzas were acceptable. Post dinner, it was an early night and much needed rest for a long day ahead. The beds at Am Bach were very comfy and just what we needed. The next morning the breakfast was served in the dining room and included freshly baked breads, marmalade, cheese, sliced meats, juice, coffee/tea. I highly recommend this place if you’re in the area.

It was an early start to the morning with a stop at Titisee. Compared to Mummelsee, Titisee was much bigger. Unfortunately there wasn’t a path around the See to walk on so we admired the lake and the small public area that’s decorated with flowers. Parts of the See are blocked off by hotels for private beach area. We then drove to St. Blasien Dom with a farmer’s market in its parking lot. Food lovers that we are, we first browsed the market and then toured the church. Priorities. Unlike most churches we’ve seen in Germany, St. Blasien is beautifully recreated in Baroque architecture. The walls and columns are white which gives it a fresh and peaceful feel. Having seen fresh olives, bread and cheese at the market earlier, we bought our lunch for a picnic. With food in tow, we headed to Freiburg. We wanted to see the Schlossberg so we headed there straight. After driving 15- 20 minutes through the city and up a small mountain, we had a panoramic view of the city from the Schlossberg. Thankfully there were benches and we enjoyed our picnic lunch. Freiburg is a college town that has a small city charm. We visited the Freiburg Cathedral and then walked around the city for few hours. We stepped into a food shop that had amongst other things many varieties of homemade vinegar. We bought their top seller, apple-grapefruit vinegar. (I’ve made dressing with it already, really tasty.)

We especially enjoyed seeing the Bächle, open waterways throughout the city, in Freiburg. They’re gutters so don’t drink the water from them. No one did while we were visiting, phew.

For a late afternoon snack we stopped in at Café Schmidt for the famed Black Forest cake. It was tasty and unlike any cake we’ve had in America. It was multiple layers of crust, chocolate cake, cherry brandy cream and more chocolate.

We then drove to Strasbourg for the rest of the weekend. Arriving late, the only thing on everyone’s mind was dinner. Thankfully we found a French place that had an open table, La Petite Mairie, on 8 Rue Brûlée. It was a locals-only type of restaurant. I had the slow braised pork with onion marmalade and potatoes, the husband got the fish plate with baked Turbot and pan fried Salmon served over pasta and cherry tomato sauce and mom ordered the Cornish hen with roasted potato hash. And if that wasn’t enough we also had a basket of bread and an order of fries (which we did not order), both were on the house. Between the three of us, we had enough food for five people. That was one of the most memorable meals on the trip, delectable food and large portions.

Our full day in Strasbourg was filled with sights of the city including the Notre Dame, Le Petite France and a boat cruise on river Ill. Strasbourg feels very picturesque with its cobbled stoned streets, timbered houses with flower boxes on windowsills on the river. 
The next day we wondered through the streets and found wonderful items at the city flea market. It was fun browsing the stalls full of books (French), glassware, dinner sets and copper pots and pans. The French do love their copper-bottomed cookware. I, unfortunately, did not find a copper pot to bring home but instead a porcelain container to store sugar. Mom also found a set of porcelain jars for tea and coffee.

At that market, we came upon a food stand with a long line of customers. If there’s a line, it must be good. Following the locals, we ordered a Traditional and Gruyere version of the Flammkuchen, an Alsace specialty. It is dough flattened very thinly, covered with crème fraîche and topped with onions and ham. They are then baked in a hot wood oven for few minutes. The Gruyere version is the same topped with Gruyere cheese. This is a local specialty and it was an amazing find, worth the long, 30 minute, wait. Next door a vendor was selling local beer and wine so that made for a perfect lunch. 

Our final destination before heading home was Obernai, a town with some vineyards. Obernai is the part of an Alsace wine road that has wineries along the way. Our goal was to find wineries that sold their locally grown and produced wine. We found two wonderful wineries that met our needs. At each we bought Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Rosé.

This was exactly how we’d hope our trip would be; mom requested a tour through scenic Germany and she got just that with an added bonus of food and wine.

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