Black Forest, Part II!

Let’s get right back to it.

If you missed part one of our adventures in the Black Forest, you might want to take a few steps back and read this post first. If you already read my last post, thank you! I’m going to pick up right where I left off. Here it goes!

Triberg Waterfalls

On Saturday morning, I woke up in an alternate universe. Not really—but it seemed that way, because Zach was already showered, dressed, and almost completely ready to head out for the day. It was only 7:30. Our trips almost never happen like that. Usually, I wake up first, drag an uncooperative family out of bed, and get extremely frustrated that we’re wasting time. Zach’s eagerness to explore the Black Forest is a good means to measure how much he absolutely loved the area. His attitude reiterated my previous thought that I had made a mistake by only booking one night in the hotel, and before setting out for the day, I made arrangements at the front desk for us to stay another night. Should you ever find yourself in the Black Forest, don’t make my mistake! Book at least two nights. We were lucky that the Best Western could accommodate my poor planning. Never again!

The agenda was full when we set out for the day. Our first stop after breakfast was just down the road from our hotel at the Triberg Waterfalls. Staying in Triberg allowed us free admission to this site, which incorrectly proclaims itself to be the highest waterfall in Germany. Some quick Googling disputes their claim, but the falls are a spectacular sight nonetheless. The hike to the falls allowed for many different vantage points, and our timing was impeccable when it came to the enhanced beauty of the scenery due to the changing of the leaves for fall. When I say that everything came together for us on this trip, I truly mean it. Even the weather cooperated to provide us with near-perfect temperatures all weekend.

Ready to ride!

After spending about forty-five minutes at the falls, we moved on. Our next stop was an alpine roller coaster, only ten minutes away from Triberg in a village called Gutach. We were so excited for this! Zach and I had never been on one before. Unfortunately for Talon, their age requirements meant that he had to watch his sister have all the fun. He was not the least bit happy about this, and was barely consoled by the super cool coin-operated excavator out front.

It’s tough to be two.

The toboggan was a blast! Emma’s squeals could be heard all the way from the top to the bottom. We bought six-ride passes for around twenty-five Euro total. The convenient thing about it was that Zach and I split the same ticket, so we just alternated who rode with Emma and who stayed in the Biergarten with Talon and Boomer. The girl would’ve been content to ride down the hill (mountain? I never know…) all day, but it was a bit jarring for mom and dad, so we called it quits after two rides each. I did the math, and we only forfeit around three euros by not using up the entire pass. Live and learn!

100 degree glass, 360 degree angle.

Next, we headed down the road to Dorotheenhuette, a glass factory, museum, and store. Zach offered to sit this one out because Boomer was not allowed inside. The museum wasn’t really of interest to us, but admission was a necessary expense to access what we really wanted to see—a glass blowing demonstration! The coolest thing about Dorotheenhuette is that you can blow your own glass vase for fifteen Euro. Realistically, the artist doing the demonstration does 99% of the work.

Blowing into the Glass

It’s still fun! We watched a few others before it was our turn. The kids picked the colors and design of their vase (swirls or dots), and the guy explained that the glass was over 1,000 degrees Celsius. Like any reasonable parent, I spent the next ten minutes completely terrified as he twirled the glass feet away from the kids. When it came time, the kids used the plastic mouthpieces they were given to “blow” into the vase. They received certificates to commemorate the completion of their tasks, and we were told the glass needed to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before it could be sanded and finished.

Finished product! They did good.

Conveniently, they had a small playroom that held the kids’ attention for a few minutes. We also shopped in their store but couldn’t quite justify shelling out thirty-seven Euro for a hand painted, hand-blown Christmas ornament. We managed to make it out without breaking anything (hallelujah!) and met Zach for lunch at the restaurant on-site after claiming our vase. We ate outside with Boomer at our feet and enjoyed the food as well as the fresh, forest air.

Pretty typical German lunch

It was around 3:00 o’clock and time to shop when we arrived back in Triberg. We made our way back to the hotel and eventually to the House of a Thousand Clocks, where Zach told me I could pick out one for my birthday. I walked around the store for at least twenty minutes in search of the perfect one for our family, indecisive and overly-analytical of them all. I knew I wanted one that made the classic “cuckoo” noise. I also wanted one with moving figures. I didn’t want to spend a thousand Euro. The clock I chose was in the two-hundred Euro range and perfect for our family. It reminded me of Boomer, and since this was his first vacation abroad, I figured the clock was a great way to commemorate the occasion. Zach approves. In fact, he might like it more than I do. (Funny how that works, right?)

We’ll take it!

As if the vacation wasn’t cuckoo enough, after shopping we made our way to the (First) World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock in Schonach im Schwarzwald. Again, Google ruined the fun by informing me that currently, the world’s largest Cuckoo Clock is in Ohio. The title indicates that this one was the original, though, so that makes it the best. Boomer was welcome at this attraction! I’ll bet the same can’t be said for Ohio. We paid a small entrance fee to access the inside of the clock, which was kind of humorous because once you’ve walked in the door you’ve essentially seen it all. The entrance fee does allow access to the grounds near the clock, though, providing the best view of the cuckoo. When five-thirty rolled around, we had front row seats.

One big Cuckoo

The rest of our evening was spent dawdling before dinner. We had many options to choose from in Triberg, but decided to try Landgasthof Zur Lilie. It was a great choice. We were very satisfied with both the food and decor! Zach claimed his venison steak ranked within the top three meals he’s had since arriving in Germany. Usually I cook, so I’m not quite sure what that implies about me. I was still full from lunch and only had a piece of apple strudel for dinner, but it was amazing nonetheless. Talon cried when the waiter took his plate away.

Dessert

Our night out ended after dinner, and the next morning we loaded everything into the car to head back home after an amazing weekend. On the way, or perhaps slightly out of the way, we stopped by Freiburg im Breisgau to see the Münster and city gates. Eight years ago, I visited Freiburg with my brother, sister-in-law, and parents while Zach was away. The city was a lot like how I remembered it, but unfortunately the market I had wanted to revisit wasn’t open since it was Sunday. Our timing also meant the city was less crowded than usual, so there was a positive to round out that negative.

Freiburg Muenster

Near the cathedral was possibly strangest street performer I’ve ever seen. Street performer is a term I use loosely. I’ve encountered many over the years, from incredibly talented to completely obscure, and this guy (girl?) definitely fell into the latter category by dressing as a goat, growling at dogs, and chomping his weird goat mouth every time someone gave him a coin. Zach said it was demeaning. Talon thought it was hilarious. Boomer was a little afraid.

We kept our distance.

A boy, his dog, and a cathedral from the Middle Ages.

I picked up another mug from Starbucks for my collection, we ate a quick lunch at the McDonalds by one of the city gates, and we headed back to the car one last time before our trip home. Eight years ago, I left my puppy in America so I could see Freiburg without Zach. Last weekend, the three of us were there together with two kids. I could’ve never imagined it would be like this.

I couldn’t find any photos of myself in Freiburg, so I had to settle for this photo of Grimace instead.

Was the trip pet friendly? More or less, with accommodations. Could we have left Boomer in the room while we did some of the tasks he could not? Probably, but he might’ve barked. Would I do it again? Absolutely!

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