First stop on today’s schedule was west of us in the little village of Lahr. For three weeks in October, the town holds a chrysanthemum festival. In and around the town square, merchants and businesses decorate their street front facades with mums of every color. Some of the larger establishments create entire vignettes of facades, for example 8-foot tall peacocks, an artist’s palette and paints, even arches of mums. The creativity was inspiring. What a fun thing for a town to do to draw thousands of visitors from all over Europe — and, now from the United States, too!
We continued south to Freiburg, supposedly “blessed with the sunniest climate in Germany” – but where we ran into rain. We walked to the Gothic cathedral, the Munster, a commanding presence in the Munster Square, where a market was still going on. Unfortunately, the cathedral and its open work spire was surrounded with scaffolding. Freiburg has little streams or stone trenches through most of its streets called bachle. They originally provided water for animals, washing, and putting out fires, but today they were pretty dry despite the rain. We walked down Schusterstrasse, one of Freiburg’s best preserved medieval streets. Along many streets, especially Herrenstrasse, stone mosaics in the stone sidewalks at the entrance of shops and tradespeople are auxiliary signs. We headed for a microbrewery, Hansbrauerei Feierling (Gerberau 46), located on an old tannery street. We lunched there and sampled a brew! In the rain, we checked out the Martinstor, a town gate that has survived from 1202 on our way back to the car.
Next stop, over hill and dale, through farms and villages, even a timber mill or two, through the woods to the town of Triberg. Triberg is the undisputed capital of cuckoo clocks. Known for its pure air, it is now a health resort. But, back to the cuckoo clocks! We visited several showrooms of clocks; one even claimed to have a thousand! We found the shop of a master carver, Gerald Burger, who gave us a lesson in the finer details of cuckoo clock design and crafting. He has repeatedly won the Black Forest Clock of the year and has patented some innovative details. Luckily for our wallets, we have no wall space at home! www.kuckuck-nest.de
Our touring was coming to an end for the day and we headed home. Again, we took the back roads, narrow and winding with breathtaking views.