After the Sunday afternoon walk of two Sundays ago, last Sunday O.K. and I went for a hike in the Black Forest, which isn't really black this time of year, as you'll see. (All pictures taken by O.K.)
The route itself wasn't all that long, so it could still be called a walk, but we were up and down rather steep hills and slopes a few times. And we don't really slow down for these, so it is as nearly as much exercise as when we go running :-)
Don't worry, though - we do stop and enjoy our surroundings. It was particularly beautiful last Sunday, when we hardly saw anyone else and the only sound in the woods was birdsong and the babble of little beck along the path.
Do you know this plant? In German, it is called Sauerklee ("sour clover"); wikipedia tells me its botanical name is Oxalis acetosella. We used to eat this when we were children and playing or walking in the woods, and you know I had to give it a try here! More than anything, I was surprised to see it out so early in the year, as I always associated it with early summer, not the beginning of April.
A group of deer were greeting us when we came out of the woods on the other side. They are bred and raised there for the purpose of selling their meat, and I wonder whether their wild cousins ever come to their enclosure to "talk" to them through the fence.
A meal at a small rustic restaurant where we'd been once before gave us enough sustenance to walk back to the car, this time on a different path.
A swing seat in the middle of the woods - with nobody around but us! What a lovely surprise!
The light kept changing and it really was like that when we were on our way back to the car. Doesn't it look like an advert for "Holidays in the Black Forest"?
A spontaneous suggestion of O.K.'s was to get up to the top of a hill called Brandenkopf, 942 m high, and climb the tower there for its views. It was much cooler up there, but we didn't stay long - I had to take the train home later that same evening.
The viewing tower was built in 1929 and adds another 32 m to the height of the hill. It replaces several wooden structures that were there before the current tower but were deemed unsafe after some years. This one is really sturdy, and has sliding windows in the room at the top. You can open them to take better photos without reflection of the pane, or simply to feel the wind that seems to be blowing here always (which is, of course, why there are two wind mills up here to generate electricity). (The English wikipedia article about Brandenkopf and the tower is here.)
Another wonderful weekend, and I am already looking forward to the next one!