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The Black Forest Region

Written on: Friday April 20th, 2007

A journal entry from: Germany

This morning we took a train to a small town in Southwest Germany in the Black Forest Region, called Freiburg. Freiburg is known as the gateway to the Black Forest. The Black Forest is a section of Southwestern Germany that borders on Switzerland on the south, on the Neckar River to the East and on France to the West. The Black Forest is named for the beautiful mountain landscape with its dense population of pine trees. It is a region of incomparably unspoiled nature with its forests, mountains and meadows. The Black Forest is known for its half-timber houses many of them 300 years old. The craftsmen of the area are well known around the world for their cuckoo clocks and the Christmas season is never complete without a nutcracker from this region. Castles, vineyards and orchards dot the hillsides.

The Black Forest region is blessed with a particularly rich mythological landscape. It is said to be haunted by werewolves, sorcerers, witches and the devil in differing guises. Helpful dwarves try to balance the scales. However, the only witches, werewolves and sorcerers we seen were in the gift shops. The Black Forest is also where the story of Hansel and Gretel came to be and it is also the home of black forest cake!

From Freiburg we took another train to a small town in the Black Forest called Titisee. Kelsey and I took a paddle boat onto the lake and went for a short hike in the words. That evening we went back to Freiburg and took a tram and bus to a German thermal spa. We had no idea what was going on there because no one spoke English and could explain to us how to use the keys and cards we were given. But the 30 to 40 degree baths were quite relaxing.