Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Black Forest Holiday: May 8

Sunday, the 8th of May, was a mixed day of clouds and sun, with a tiny sprinkle of rain in the evening. 
We arrived at our hotel (Sommerau) in the region of the Black Forest that is called Hochschwarzwald (High Black Forest) after a drive of under 2 hours, at about 3:30 in the afternoon - perfect timing to have coffee and a slice of their freshly baked rhubarb cake (still warm!) before unpacking.

As mentioned in one of my previous posts, we'd been here before, in September 2017. The different season made for a very different experience this time around; unlike back then, now everything was of that very fresh spring green, there were still blossoms on the trees and spring flowers on the meadows and in the gardens. Also, daylight lasted much longer than in September, and started earlier.

If you like, compare the pictures of the hotel and the room we had in 2017 here with the new ones:

After unpacking, we went for a quick stretch of legs before sitting down to dinner, which was delicious. I had the local specialty, grilled trout (trouts are native to the Black Forest and may be found on the menue of nearly every restaurant here) in almond butter with parsley spuds.

There was still more than an hour until sunset after dinner, so we went up the hill on the other side of the hotel to check out the nearest settlement (Glashütte) which advertised a restaurant - only to find out that it had long stopped to operate. Why were we looking for a restaurant when our hotel had one, you may ask. Well, they take a rest on Mondays and Tuesdays, meaning hotel guests have to take care of their evening meal on their own on those days, and we thought we could go to Glashütte. Good to have found out that this wasn't possible before arriving there, all hungry and thirsty, on the Monday or Tuesday evening!

Entrance and front patio of the hotel

View from the patio across the sauna house and pool

The little chapel at the centre of the three or four houses making up Sommerau

Crosses like that along the way are typical here. This one is not very old.

View of the valley. It stretches a good 4.5 km to the nearest two-lane road.

View of the hotel area; our room was behind the glass bit of the roof.

Being much higher up than where we live, spring was about 2-3 weeks behind here, giving us the chance to experience spring flowers and blossoms on the trees a second time.

It was time to retreat to our room then, and think about where to walk on our first full day tomorrow.


  1. What a restful and beautiful place.

    A strange question. What are those long pillows on the bed?

    1. It is indeed restful and beautiful there, Sandi.
      What do you mean with "long pillows"? The bed has two pillows on each side by the headrest, and a folded duvet on each side.

    2. Oh, they are folded duvets! 😂

  2. mmm food sounds good. You had me at Rhubarb Cake

    1. The cake was nice, but to be honest, O.K.'s Mum makes a truly fantastic one, similar to the one my Mum used to make when my parents still had a garden.

  3. Looks like a nice place to hike!

  4. Sommerau in the High Black Forest.
    I had never heard the term 'High' Black Forest: how magical !
    The hotel looks very agreeable, the sloping ceiling in the bedroom is like a scene in a children's story, and who could argue with coffee and rhubarb cake upon arrival?
    My favourite photo: 'A view of the valley. It stretches a goof 4.5 km.'

    That valley is my idea of heaven: I never hankered for the world beyond Europe except in the writings of Kipling, Joseph Conrad and Wilfred Thesiger, and the Canadian stories of Alice Munro and Jane Urquhart (YouTube).

    I also liked: 'Crosses like that are typical along the way here.'
    One can be agnostic and still love the peace of that little chapel as Neil loves his old English churches.
    I think agnostics enjoy churches more; Orwell asked to be buried in an English churchyard.
    Your holiday was the perfect prelude to your long-for trip to Yorkshire.
    Stay well and happy !

    1. Correction: 'It stretches a GOOD 4.5 km.'
      My typing fingers goofed up and I have not had a drop of alcohol this year.

    2. My typing is often clumsy, depending on the time of day, my tiredness and the device I am typing on; a proper keyboard is still best, whereas typing on my iPad or, worst of all, on my mobile phone is always prone to many mistakes.

      The holiday was very good all around. Our Yorkshire trip won't be quite as quiet, but my sister and I are very much looking forward to it!

      Hochschwarzwald is the official term for that region, but I am not surprised you've not come across it before.

  5. What lovely accommodation! Your room looked so simply stylish and peaceful and the hotel itself seemed the kind of manageable human size that I much prefer.

    1. We like this kind of hotel, too; run by a family and of relatively small size. A picture of the stylish room was actually what prompted me to want to go there again; in 2017, our room was much smaller and not quite as nice as this one.

  6. What a beautiful place to stay! I have no doubt that you had some wonderful hikes in the Black Forest!

    1. We did indeed, Bonnie, and I am going to write about the first full day in a minute!