Sunday, 15 May 2022

Starting to Catch Up

Here I am, back at my own place after two weeks. I have arrived here at around 3:30 pm, and now, while the washing machine is doing its work, I use this time to begin with my catching up posts. 

We have had two good weeks, one of which we spent at a remote hotel in the Black Forest with no mobile signal and no WiFi. The weather was great with just one rainy morning, which did not stop us from enjoying the area.

But more about our time away later; let's now go back to the first week of my holiday. Towards the end of my previous post I mentioned that we went walking on the Friday, and this is the post about that walk on the 6th of May.

O.K.'s sister had given him a booklet with suggestions for walks and hikes in the area, and we chose a circuit starting and ending at the small town of Oberkirch, about half an hour's drive from the village. It included a viewing tower - always attractive for us.

The day was a mix of clouds and sun, but it remained dry throughout and was warm enough for us to end the walk having ice creams in town.

Sign on a bench. Something about its old-fashionedness made me want to take a picture of it. Schwarzwald means Black Forest, and Verein is Club or Association.

The tower is called Geigerskopfturm, and it is painted in rainbow colours - I'm afraid you will have to take my word for it, as the lighting was less than ideal when I took this picture:

Of course there are many pictures of this tower on the internet, much better than mine, for instance here.

View from the top of the tower:


And the view down to the shelter and picnic area below:

The woods are beautiful this time of year, and even the Black Forest is anything but black right now:



At one point towards the end of the circuit, we arrived at a hut set up by the owners of a nearby farm (Dilgerhof - "Hof" meaning farm, Dilger being their family name). It is not unusual in this part of the Black Forest to come across self-service points where drinks and sometimes even snacks can be purchased, but this hut or shed was exceptionally well equipped, offering not only the usual array of soft drinks and beer, but also a selection of Schnaps (the area is full of small private distilleries - almost every farm or large house has one), sweet and savoury snacks and even cake.

We were fine, though, and did not need anything, only had a good look around.




The entire circuit was under 10 km with almost all its up and downhill bits being very moderate. We enjoyed our ice creams in the beautiful town center of Oberkirch before driving back to O.K.'s village.

The next day, Saturday, mostly consisted of preparations for our week away. In the morning, we went to buy this year's plants for the old stone troughs in front of O.K.'s cottage, and O.K. planted them the same day. This is what they looked like, seen top down from the balcony:

On Sunday around lunch time, we left the cottage for our destination about 130 km away, further south and much higher up - and deeper at the same time - in the Black Forest. I will start with my posts about the days there hopefully tomorrow, but it is also my first day back at work and so I am not yet sure how much time I will have for blogging.

17 comments:

  1. Getting to the top of that tower would sure wear me out! You are amazing that you can manage that and the 10 km hike! Lovely views and a lovely hike. Thanks so much for always explaining the German words as I find it very interesting!

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    1. The stairs up to the tower (it is only 20 m high) were not all that challenging - unless you have a fear of heights, as they are see-through :-)
      You are welcome, Ellen - thank YOU for reading and commenting!

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  2. The tower is stunning. I looked up the colorful photos at the link. Nice!

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    1. It is nice, isn't it! I was sorry that my pictures could not really do it justice.

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  3. Thanks to YouTube I made two trips to Oberkirch pressing pause when I came to the Stadtschloss von 1743 painted in sunflower yellow. Like Mozart in architecture !
    Gastoff Gonne, Banhoffstrasse, looked like the place to stay.
    The sundisc metalwork on the side of a building (Gastof Zur Sonnen) is splendid.
    The tower of the Katholische Kirke is the perfect place for peace in that busy Black Forest town, most welcoming.
    The hut at Dilgerhof was welcoming too: how surprising to learn this region is dotted with small distilleries, reminds me I must buy a bottle of schnapps from an offsales near me which specialises in German spirits and beers.
    Those plants in the stone troughs are irresistible as is the Black Forest in all its farthest points. Danke.

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    1. Oberkirch is very picturesque and has a good range of restaurants, shops and everything else one could possibly need or want.
      The central pedestrian area was redone recently and is all the more beautiful for it.
      As for the small distilleries, the rights to distill spirits are attached to the house, not to a person. Therefore, if a farmer acquired those rights generations ago, the people now living in the same house still have those rights as well. Orchards do really well in the climate of that region; everything from cherries (think Black Forest gateau - drenched in Kirschwasser!) to apricots to pears (think William's!) to plums, raspberries and many more are home-grown with no need to import from distant countries.

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  4. Welcome home! I must admit I am partial to your walks in the Black Forest! I love that part of your beautiful country. The views from the tower look absolutely heavenly! I hope your return to work goes smoothly for you.

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie!
      We love that part of the country, too, and I am so lucky to get the chance to walk there so often.

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  5. How much would I like to follow in your footsteps and hike the Black Forest Trails? Very much indeed! And I love the flowers planted by OK! Flowers in window boxes and hanging baskets can be enjoyed by many. I love that!

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    1. I know you'd love it, Kay!
      Hanging baskets... they look so beautiful if well cared for. In Ripon there are many around the market square, hanging from the lamp posts, and by the river there is a pub that used to be famous for its abundance in hanging baskets. I hope they are still (or again) there when I'll go back there in July!

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  6. I had to smile when I saw your first photo of the old-fashion Schwarzwald Verein sign. The shape reminded me of the various small pins I used to collect to adorn my Tyrolean hat when I lived in Germany in my early adolescent . While I no longer have the hat, your post had me stopping to discover pins I might still have and I found several: a pretty one of Königssee, Füssen, Kaiserslautern, Landstuhl and several other larger pins from Berchtesgaden. Also found a silver bracelet I received as a young teen that is made up of seven colourful city seals of some of the larger German cities--including the Wappen Von Stuttgart's yellow background with the black horse. Your post sent me on a trip down memory lane. Thank you! Mary

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  7. Blogger evidently won't allow me to post using my google account...hence my anonymous post above...Sigh. Mary

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    1. I have seen many other comments of fellow bloggers reporting problems with commenting. Hopefully, those issues will soon be solved!
      How nice that my Schwarzwald-Verein sign sent you on a nice trip down memory lane! I have earrings (gold studs) in the shape of a rising horse, and sometimes people thought I wore them out of patriotism - but my town is Ludwigsburg, not Stuttgart :-D (and it is a coincidence; I just really like them).

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  8. Another tower I would never have climbed... Lovely views, though! :)

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    1. The views appear often very similar from one Black Forest viewing tower to the next, but if you know the places you are looking at, they differ in detail :-)

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  9. I love that quaint little cottage with the self-service food and drinks! I know the Black Forest mostly from fairytales, I would love to go there one day!

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    1. It does indeed sometimes appear like walking in a fairytale, Laura!
      When we chanced upon the self-service food hut, we were almost sorry that at that moment, we were neither hungry nor thirsty :-)

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