Greetings from Titisee!
Titisee is a glacial lake in the Western part of the Schwarzwald (Black Forest). It's known for bringing many many visitors here every year because of its natural beauty. Two other Lafayette-IUB students and I stopped by on a Sunday morning to walk around and see the place. There was a wedding going on at the hotel, and morning sun at the lake. We also stopped in a shop that sold cuckoo clocks, the traditional craft of the Black Forest, and enjoyed watching quite a wide variety of well-crafted clocks mark the hour.
After Titisee we left for the university town of Freiburg. We walked around there for a while, seeing the outside of one large green-roofed cathedral, which looked like fish-scales from the sun reflection and bright grass green without the reflection. We walked down by the river, and through streets with many living lilacs hung over them. We talked [in German] to a local who told us a bit of history about one of the streets we were on, and recommended a nice little part of town that most tourists generally don't visit because they don't know it's there.
Then we got in the car and headed toward Stuttgart. We stopped in a small traditional village, where you could see the stereotypical scene of a young girl in blue traditional dress leaning slightly out the upper window of a half-timbered house, thinking and watching the street. In that town, we stopped at an open-air cafe for a nice lunch and some delicious Black Forest cake for dessert.
Then we went a bit on Schwarzwald Hochstrasse, which is Germany's version of NH's Kancamangus Highway. Like the Kanc, there are various pullovers and small trailheads all along the length, and we stopped at one and hiked in to a waterfall (similar to Sabbaday Falls in NH). The similarities were many, and the site also struck close to a prior travel conversation I'd had with a South Carolina native underneath the Angel Oak. We talked about what it must have been like to be walking through the woods and discover something like Angel Oak, or Niagara Falls. These Allerheiligen falls were not discovered until fairly recently, in a similar manner to what we had talked about.
During our drive through the Schwarzwald, I was struck by how much it felt like home. Perhaps it was some quality of the air blowing in through the sunroof, or the rolling hills, forests, and farmlands, or the various odd little similarities (including those mentioned above), or the incredible natural beauty all around, or perhaps it was something else. It really felt like home.
If I'm ever back in Germany for more than a few days, I'm going to visit again. This holds for any length of visit between a one-week vacation and another residence permit, though currently I don't have any idea if I'll ever get back to Europe after this August.
This was the weekend trip I looked forward to the most when I found out I was going to Germany. So far, this ranks as my favorite weekend trip of the semester, and I don't think any other can or will approach it for 'awesomeness!'
Grace and peace,
Postcard photo, text, & software ©2007 W. Ben Towne / WBT Productions.