The following day, we opted to head a ways into Germany and see the Black Forest. As I've been told, the reason it's called the Black Forest is that beginning in the days of the Roman Empire and for many centuries afterwards, the forest was considered completely impassable due to thick foliage. On all of the maps of the day, it appeared simply as a large black blob, and therefore earned it's name. Over the centuries, the forest has been harvested quite a bit, as well as cultivated to encourage certain species of trees, and has therefore been thinned out considerably. It's still a very pretty area. At least, I think it probably is. Unfortunately, we had quite a bit of rain that day, as well as fog/mist, and therefore lost out of (I'm sure) much of the impressiveness.
The waterfall at Triberg (the tallest waterfall in Germany) made our destination list. Following the signs, we found a convenient parking spot, got out of the car, and promptly tromped off in the wrong direction. After a decent trudge along a trail in the Forest itself, we finally decided that it would be best to turn around. Especially once we saw a sign saying the falls were behind us. Once back on the right track, it was a very steep, very long downhill trail to the falls themselves.
According to various signs (which fortunately had English translations), the area around the falls consisted of foliage & conditions very similar to what the entire Black Forest was like thousands of years ago, when it earned its name. I could see why it would be considered impassible back then. We didn't view the entire series of falls, since we were tired from the hike down (and the hike in the wrong direction), and soaking wet. The worst part, I think, was that even though it was raining, it wasn't cold. My only waterproof jacket is fairly heavy, and on the trek back up the hill, it really didn't do anything to keep me dry since I was sweating so bad. But, the view was worth it.
In addition to the falls, we also stopped by a clock museum (the Black Forest area is well known for its cuckoo clocks) and a gorgeous church in St. Peter. Quite a nice day, despite the weather.
Posted at 5/28/2007 7:24:11 am by PhilM