On Monday, I was still at O.K.'s, and the plan was to go on a hike. We woke up to a grey day, though, with rain or snowfall threatening any time, and decided against a hike. But we still wanted to go out, stretch our legs, breathe some fresh air, and went for a walk instead, not venturing too far from the car in case things would be getting worse.
A few random snow flakes were beginning to fall just as we got into the car. Driving through Offenburg and out at the other end was more wet than white. But as we left the town centre and parked the car at the bottom of a hill called "Hohes Horn" ("High Horn", at 547 m the highest elevation closest to the city), it was snow instead of rain, and there was already a thin layer of it on the ground.
The day was still grey, and we walked into a dense fog, plus it was snowing more and more by the minute. We were dressed for it, though, and determined to reach the top of the hill, with 3 km of a (mostly gentle) uphill path ahead, through the woods.
A viewing tower - its fourth incarnation since the first tower was built here in 1891 - is at the top, and we very carefully climbed it, even though we already knew we were not going to see much. Still, I found the very quiet, still atmosphere in the woods enchanting, and we can always return here another day when beautiful views of Offenburg and across the Rhine valley all the way to France in one direction and back across the Black Forest towards the Kinzig valley in the other direction can be enjoyed.
View from the top platform - you can just about make out the path we came up on:
As far as I know, on a less foggy day you could see the city of Offenburg here:
Or is it this way?
The wooden hut at the bottom of the tower came in useful for us to at least for a moment take down our hoods, wipe glasses and get rid of the snow that had been accumulating on our coats.
The way back down:
As it had not stopped snowing since we had come up, the further down we came, the less visible our original footprints were, until they completely disappeared.
Can you see it? There are houses there, barely visible:
The vineyards look very different now from when I showed you their beautiful autumn colours!
Walking up had made us think we had dressed in too many layers, but going back down required a lot less effort and we were just beginning to feel a bit cold by the time we reached the car again.
We had worked up quite an appetite, too, and were ready for steaming mugs of hot coffee at home.