The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday 29 June 2018

Strollling Around The Schwarzwald (Black Forest)

There just aren't enough hours in the day and that is why it's the end of Friday and I haven't yet penned anything here about Tuesday's walk, nor the two that came after. I did write a few paragraphs about them on the daily travel blog, so I'm going to cheat a little by not elaborating much, but by making liberal use of the words I've already written elsewhere. For those who read both blogs, I apologise for the repetition.

Tuesday - Triberg
It was afternoon by the time we arrived at Nußbach, just outside of overly-touristy Triberg, and it was a while later that I came to appreciate that we were within comfortable walking distance of the town. A 10.5km circular route from Bertie, into the town, coming back via the falls (Triberg is famous for cuckoo clocks, Black Forest Gateau, and for 'Germany's highest waterfalls' - 163m drop over 7 cascades) was downloaded and at about 2.30pm off we toddled.

Up through the forest behind us, then down the other side, we arrived in the town to find ourselves thwarted: entry to the falls costs €5 per head. We've seen a lot of waterfalls (indeed, in Norway last year it was a rare event if we parked somewhere and couldn't see at least 6 of them) and some truly spectacular ones, so we weren't feeling inclined to pay out €10 for a 0.5km section of our intended circuit, just because it contained some cascading water.

The route was a mix of forest tracks and paths, with some open meadows giving us views of the surrounding area.

A viewpoint just before we dropped down to the town

View from the above

After a bit of aimless strolling around the town (lots of tat shops, lots of people) I pored over the map a while and worked out how we were going to re-route to pick up the return leg of our circuit.

Taken somewhere on our return leg

It was an easy, gentle introduction to the Black Forest and left us happy to see more of the region.

Wednesday - Stöckwaldturm
Schönwald sits only a small number of kilometres along the road from Triberg, but we found it quiet and untouristy and thus we had no problem finding somewhere to park Bertie for us to visit Stöckwaldturm (1070m), upon which sits a 19th century look-out tower - and a restaurant, although that was of less interest to us.

It was a lovely walk up there, largely through startlingly green meadows, dotted with picture-postcard chalet-style houses. The buildings captivated us as much as the green rolling meadows, with bits of forest all around (as you might expect in the Black Forest).

Such greenness!

It was the neatness of the garden and the design of the flower display that caught our eyes at this property

It wasn't until this house that we realised that the roof tiles that looked like slate were actually wooden shingles.

The light wasn't right for it to show up, but the roof of this tiny chapel had recently been re-shingled. The yellow will soon mellow to silver-grey.

A final section on forest tracks took us to the summit and the tower:

My snap didn't work, due to the position of the sun, so here's a photo of the postcard we were given upon payment of our €1 entrance fee for the tower.

One hundred and twenty four steps took us to the top of the tower, and the views were superb:

It wasn't just the view that occupied us as we stood looking over the railing: Mick set me some maths problems, so we stood there working out how long an object dropped from the top would take to reach the ground, and based on that the speed that one would be travelling at the point of impact, if one was to fall.

Maths problems completed, a longer route back to Schönbach was taken, such that we completed a circuit of 7.9 miles.

Thursday - Gütenbach and Simonswald

Our exercise yesterday morning started bright and early, helped by the local church having a policy of no one being allowed a lie-in beyond 7am (as Mick said at the end of the chimes: is it really 128 o'clock?).

Balzer Hergot was the first key sight of our 10km outing. I gathered the history simply from the pictures on this information panel:

In or before 1936 someone put a statue of Jesus here. Then the tree gradually ate it. Then in 1986 modifications were made to the tree so that it became framed instead.

Today it looks like this:

The second key sight came after we had dropped down, down and down some more into a gorgeous valley...

... when we climbed all the way back up via a wooded gorge.

This snap doesn't do it justice. The stream was a delight.

Not my favourite profile for a walk - I prefer to do the up before the down, but it was worth it (plus the pull back up was nowhere near as hard as the profile made it look).


  1. If I'd seen that graph beforehand I would never have set off. It needs a corner grabbing and pulling out horizontally. I'm currently embroiled in disputing the trashing of part of Arnside's heritage by the parish council - it's all on Facebook - I'm not sure where, maybe Arnside Sell and Seek, or Arnside Past and Present. Facebook for me is like being in a maze in the dark.

    1. Looking again at that graph, I see that it gives the horizontal axis shows time, not distance. We did the walk in 2 hours, not the advertised 3 (ignoring the time spent at a picnic bench having second breakfast), so we compressed the horizontal rather than stretching it.

      I saw your post about the concreting of the steps at Arnside. That was done by the Parish Council, was it? Did they decide maintenance was required and instead of repairing they went for the cheap (ugly!) option of filling them in?

    2. Urgh! Please delete certain words in your reading of the first sentence above so that it makes sense. I'm sitting in a laundrette and the cleaner was talking to me...

  2. The council have admitted to dong the work (done by one of the members) but there is no record in the council minutes. They have put it on the agenda for the next meeting on 9th July. In the meantime, in case you didn't see my follow up after perhaps fifty or so people condemning with their comments here is a copy:
    From Conrad RobinsonAs the instigator of this conversation I am glad so many Arnside folk agree that this is an unsightly mess. The parish council have responded in the only way open to them, by putting the matter on the agenda for the next meeting. It is all too easy to criticise these people, but they are volunteers and decent folk whose intentions are hopefully well meaning- they are not villains, but ordinary people trying to do the best for their community. It seems that on this occasion, in the opinion of many, they have made a mistake, who hasn’t from time to time? I do not want to prejudge, but the fact that there doesn’t appear to be a record in the council minutes agreeing this action needs more clarification, but what we all want to achieve is to put this matter right (if that is possible - as a layman it doesn’t look to me as though it would be that easy, but that is what needs to be discussed) and we should come together as a community and attend the meeting with the common aim of getting this sorted rather than launching some kind of vendetta which will benefit nobody.

    For what it is worth my own desired outcome would be restoration to how it was. I see no need for extra safety, but if that is deemed essential a simple wrought iron railing in keeping with what may have been done ate time of original construction should suffice.