Sunday, July 20, 2014

Black Forest Day Trip

In case you’ve been living in a bubble, or not watching news, or just not interested as I have been before, Germany won the World Cup 2014 with a 1-0 in overtime. Must have been nail biting because there were scores on each side deemed faults. Big party in Berlin to welcome the team back and gradually the German flag paraphanalia is disappearing from the streets.

Edge of the Black Forest with church spire, every village has a church.

We drove out to the edge of the Schwarzwald, Black Forest to St. Ulrich to Katholische Pfarrkirche erbaut von Peter Thumb, 1740, Catholic Parish Church, built by Peter Thumb.  It, again, is rather plain on the outside but Rocco inside the webside calls it Baroque but we all agreed it was Rococo. Rococo is 18th century artistic movement and style that came after Baroque and even more highly decorated, hard to believe! Read and see the pictures here.

Read about the style here.

Lovely, if one should call it so, graveyard with elaborate small gardens in front of the stones. 

Christoph said this is a dying, pun intended, tradition as many families are not around to keep the grave sites neat and well tended. I suppose it’s that way all over the world. People also have different choices now, well I won’t go on… We think the gardens are paid for, at least some, in perpetual care. The family pays someone to keep them up to the standard they set. i.e. “Driving Ms. Daisy” movie where she keeps up the garden for her husband but expects her grave to go to perpetual care from her son. Okay, said I wouldn’t go on and did, but it was a lovely stretch of flowering patches.

Elaborate spire at the top of the church

While it seems that with Christoph all we see are churches but he does pick out the lovely ones and the insides are works of art that are always welcome to my eyes. They even have individual hooks on the pews for holding prayer knee pads, so orderly! 

Mural ceiling

The countryside is really beautiful this time of year, still very green, rolling hills and small townships with old style Germanic buildings. The area of the Black Forest we were in is fairly high so the long sloping roofs of the homes are very evident and one needs a 4x4 to drive in the area in winter.

We did have a bit of trouble finding a place for lunch, Ivan, you are not the only one! In these small villages everything closes up from 1400 (2 o’clock) or 1430 for proprietors lunch, re-opening usually around 1700 (5 o’clock). Town after town we were getting later and later and had almost decided to go back to Freiburg, but found this place at the end of their lunch time still serving.

Napkin folded like a tuxedo jacket, yes, that's chocolate...

 Over another wonderful, but too much lunch, at Zum Ochsen, restaurant and hotel in Schallstadt we had a good discussion about Christoph and his partner’s touring business.  They will be doing multi-city European tours by plane, rail, tour boat, and bus next year. We gave him some ideas of what we think Canadians want. I do enjoy talking about ideas for business!

Another great day with Christoph seeing the countryside around Freiburg! We really are not going that far away but landscape changes rather dramatically and we enjoy it very much. Christoph said that in previous farming communities in the area, land and housing was inexpensive to buy. With Freiburg growing outward so much that has changed and now it is expensive. He agreed we made a good purchase in the flat here, relatively new, no maintenance issues with an old building, and a view. Perhaps viewing cattle and horses isn’t everyone’s “cup of tea” but we enjoy it.

Slow travel, staying in one place for a greater period of time means a person has household chores, shopping, general daily things need doing that you do at “home”. Every day is not a vacation but I do like living in a different country, always learning, culture and language even doing every day things. Example, I needed a hair cut, went back to the fellow that did such a good job last time.

Aside - Hah! I’m a semi-real blogger now, I found out how to insert a previous post, easy really and feel free to ignore since the subject isn’t really all that important. Now I know how, be warned…

The hair dresser was running late and got quite stressed about it. Again, language barrier but I was able to calm him down and say no worries, I’m not in a rush. Dual purpose for that, he didn’t cut off my ear! And gave me another good hair cut, once he relaxed some.

Aside - Germans are typically right on time, to the minute really. Personally I’m always early and some people I know are typically late.  Bruce read the story Winston Churchill and his wife Clemintine who were getting ready to go out for an evening. Winston was fiddling about, probably working, but running very late, as apparently he often was. So when he was finally ready, Clementine said “Are you ready?”, “Yes”. She went back to the bedroom, stripped down and started readying of herself all over again. This is from a book called “My Darling Clementine” by a biographer named Jack Fishman, and yes, I looked it up. Christoph is usually late but he is relying on a train and two trams, then picking up the car, which is not always where it is supposed to be, so we don’t fault him on it. 

Cheers, Bx2 & Lexi Cat

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