Difference between revisions of "Black Forest"
Revision as of 13:39, 19 August 2011
This ancient forest is famous for its legends and the black fir trees that dot the landscape. While not particularly high, the mountains offer a wonderful place to go hiking or mountain biking. There are a few skiing resorts as well offering average but crowded conditions. Better to head south to the alps if you are a serious skier or boarder. The Black Forest is a mountainous terrain at about 200 - 1500 meters above sea level, the highest point being the Feldberg (the field mountain) at 1493 m.
The region is famous for its cuckoo clocks, watchmaking, skiing and tourism. There is a large high-tech light engineering industry in the region stemming from the gold-mining and watchmaking days. Almost all tourists are from Germany and Switzerland; the region's tourist industry is therefore not well equipped to deal with guests who don't speak German.
The most important destination in the Schwarzwald is called, interestingly, Titisee, which is a medium-sized lake with associated tourist village (Titisee-Neustadt) and hotels, with very nice views and generally very relaxed and healthy activities. From here it is a short journey to Lake Constance and the city of Konstanz, or to see the Rhein Waterfall at Neuhausen in Switzerland.
The food tends to be "Wholesome", heavy dishes and lots of cakes, biscuits, meats and gravies. The "Drink" is excellent, with some of Germany's best beers and wines produced in the region.
The Black Forest area has a number awarded restaurants with the small village of Baiersbronn having Germany's highest density of star rated restaurants.
There are many types of drinks associated with the black forest, but as for the real drinks in the Black Forest; there is much drinking of beer. Beer is one of Germany's top drinks and is spread widely in the Black Forest as well. Some of the most common beers are from Rothaus[] and Alpirsbacher.
Accommodations in the main tourist areas may be cheaper than many of the quaint smaller towns and villages. For a nice hut at a reasonable price, look for a privately-operated Gasthaus, which can be found in villages throughout the area. There are many pleasant surprises waiting, often with excellent home-cooked food and special service, often provided by the family living there for many generations. Ask at the local Tourist Bureau for a list, often with prices. Sometimes the Tourist office will even call to ask availability. Gasthaus rooms may be found for as low as €20 for one person, up to €70 for a double room/two persons. Reservations may be needed during festivals or summer near tourist locations.
Mid-price Hotels begin at €50-100 a night per double room, with lots of availability in the mid and expensive categories. Eating out in nice restaurants can be expensive, with a meal for two cost ranging from €50 to €150 including drinks. But bargains can be found, with many Kebab and Turkish-style pizzerias offering items under €5. Or shop at the local grocery store for fresh baguettes, meat, and cheese. Groceries are inexpensive, with a variety of fruit juices available at a reasonable price (We found cherry, apple, grape, orange, banana, even sauerkraut juice in nice tetrapak containers, a liter is under €1). In the south Schwarzwald, look for stores Lidl, Aldi, and Pennymarkt for the best food values.
The Black Forest area has some of the best hiking options, with well-marked trails, and maps available from the tourist offices. Some Germans even spend a week or two hiking with their backpack, with primitive lodging available in small cabins along the trails (must be reserved in advance through the Forestamt office).