The original plan was to spend a week or so around Christmas driving around the Black Forest region of Germany, but the snow we encountered in Berlin which we felt sure would stick around (it didn’t) scared us off driving. The new plan was to base ourselves in Freiburg, the ‘gateway to the Black Forest region’, and travel around by train.
Freiburg is a biggish town (big enough to have a H&M, but not big enough to have a Zara), with a big student population which was mostly absent whilst we were there, over the holidays. There was not a hint of snow, and when we went to hike the small local mountain on Christmas Eve we were wearing only t-shirts for the first time in ages. Besides the hike and a taste of black forest cake – which even in Germany is just not to my tastes – we lounged around in our rented apartment, reading books and catching up on sleep. We stocked up on schnapps, beer, wine, ice-cream and other important groceries, and on Christmas day The Boy cooked us up a hearty beef stew. I’ve mentioned needing to take rest days when travelling long term, and this was a good chance to relax and recharge for the next part of our adventure.
Only one more post to go about Germany, and then I’m up to recapping France and 2013!
- If you don’t like black forest cake at home, eating it in the Black Forest region will unfortunately probably not be much different. If it is your favourite cake, then apparently Cafe Schmidt is the best place in Freiburg to have it.
- Black forest ham on the other hand is incredible, and is a Protected Destination of Origin – that is, if it’s called black forest ham then it has to have been made in the Black Forest region. It’s sold in supermarkets all through Europe, but I think it’s a must-try when you’re in the region.