The Black Forest is a beautiful, clean, well lived-in
mountainous forest. The two times that I have been there to visit Linda's sister Cindy, and
brother-in-law Peter, have been just wonderful. They live in an old house (which they have
remodeled and added onto) in a small village in the mountains above the town of Bad-Herrenalb,
which is located in the northern range of the Black Forest (rather idyllic, but also modern).
It is a very beautiful place. I have walked all around the Bad-Herrenalb town area, and
walked the trails through the forest. I have ridden the local bus service to other towns in
the region like Baden-Baden, Wildbad, Calw, Altensteig, and Freudenstadt. And I have ridden
the excellent trains on the Mergtal Bahn, and Nagold Bahn. One thing about traveling by
public transport in Germany is that it is fairly expensive, but I have noticed that bus
drivers will sometimes try to give you a discount if you are a tourist. Everywhere I have
been in Southern Germany has just been excellent! However, I always feel hurried and short
for time, which is probably because I want to do too much in too little time. To really
experience the Black Forest would take several weeks, and so far I have only been there
for a total of about two weeks, but that's the way traveling is for me...I never have
enough time to do half the things I would like to do!
The day I went to Altensteig was a long day. My journey back to Cindy
and Peter's was not going to be easy. Buses and trains tend to stop running around 6:00pm in
the Black Forest, but I found this out the hard way. I took a bus from Altensteig to Nagold,
and got on a train to Pforzheim (a little NE of the Black Forest). Pforzheim was a big town, so
I thought there would be buses going to Bad-Herrenalb in the evening, but I was wrong. There
were no buses going anywhere past 6:00pm and I was stranded. I called Cindy's house from a pay
phone; explained where I was, and she said Peter would come get me in the car. When Peter showed
up twenty-five minutes later, he had a smile on his face (he doesn't speak English) and said,
"Are you ze vanderer?" I had a good laugh, hopped in the car, and for the duration of the ride
home tried to hold a conversation with Peter. While there were only a handful of mutually
edifying words between us, due to our lack of knowledge of each others tongue, we had a good
time of it, and I didn't feel too bad about staying out "late" exploring Altensteig.
On our trip to Germany in 2004 we revisited Cindy & Peter's in the Black Forest, and this time I revisited Forback and Altensteig in half-a-day by car. I walked quite a bit in each town and felt elated being there again and seeing the lovely sights. The weather was partly cloudy and mild--perfect--and my rented Opel Wagon handled the roads just great. Driving in Germany is way above average as it is, but driving in the Black Forest is a dream-combination of beautiful scenery, quaint villages, and very good roads, with excellent signage. I had a good set of maps and I just drove to my heart's content, but my time was limited, as usual. I took a lot of digital photos and videoed a lot, too. Read about the rest of the trip in my London-Berlin travelogue.
See a photo of Linda with Forbach in background.
Click here for a map of Germany