Black Forest, Germany

Postcard dated: 21 April 2007

[Postcard/Picture]

On the reverse of the postcard...

Hi from the Wutach Gorge, in the Black Forest of Germany!

From the travel guide:

The river Wutach and its tributaries form an overwhelming primal landscape with romantic canyons and original forests. It is an unforgettable experience for every hiker. It is one of the highlights of the Southern Black Forest, a unique integral nature reserve area, and a strict protected savage river valley.

Geologically, the Wutach has buried itself deeply in layers of rock and still permanently changes the riverbed and valley gorge, especially in spring. The beddings that descend to the east present to the amateur geologist an interesting insight into the history of the soil. The karst formations and the formations of sinkholes are of particular interest, as well as the various fossilisations, such as ammonites and belemnites.

For the hobby botanist, the gorge is an entire el dorado. 1200 of the 2500 plant species that appear in Central Europe can be found here. And it is not surprising that still more than 500 species of butterflies and hundreds of species of birds can be found in the ravine.

As we were hiking along turning various corners, we came across:

In the evening, we drove out to a hilltop overlook of the farm fields and forest lands, for sunset. It was a brilliant red over a stage of fields and staggered curtains of darker forest. The beauty well exceeded our ability to comprehend it - you might say we blew a few fuses in the circuits of our brains.

The beauty of this place is not in the words. It's in the sound of dozens of various birds chirping in their beautiful notes to the forest medly. It's in the moss hanging down from the tops of firs to shade small purple and yellow flowers near the ground. It's in the reflexive rebound of the dirt underneath, the chalky dryness of the rock wall on one side, and the smooth-but-fuzzy texture of the leaves on the other side. It's in the coldness of the cool clear river flowing swiftly around one's feet, and the song of the slippery stones underneath (which sounds like a very clear version of Nichole Nordeman's River God). It's in the deep slow breath of fresh air uncorrupted by city pollution or heat. And it's in the taste of a warm meal prepared by caring and helpful hostel owners back in town.

If you are ever considering coming to this part of the world, I would highly recommend a hike through this region!

Grace and peace,

Ben

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