Two weekends ago one of my coworkers and I realized we had the same days off and decided to spend a night in the Black Forest. The main goal for the weekend was to visit the worlds largest pumpkin festival near Stuttgart, but more on that in my next post. We decided to make it a weekend trip and spend a day in the Black Forest, and then a day at the pumpkin festival.
The Black Forest is is a mountainous region in southwest Germany, known for its dense forests and Brothers Grimm fairytale like villages. Our original plan was to spend a day hiking, but after we arrived we realized our idea of what the Black Forest was, was different than what it really was. How many more times can I say the word “was?”
I left it to Google when finding a trail, which was a mistake. I saw there was a trail that took us to the “highest part of the Black Forest” and naturally that’s where I wanted to go. Come to find out this was just a short trail because most of the ascent is driven up a well paved, two way road. The views at the top were nice, but not what I expected.
We saw a beautiful lake along the way, called Titisee, and enjoyed the view before leaving to find our Air B & B.
We started at the south end of the forest, and made our way up north. As we drove more into the central and northern part of the forest we discovered more random trails. The forest became more dense, and the roads became more windy. I didn’t expect the Black Forest to be as populated as it was, but essentially it’s just another area in Germany that happens to have more forests around.
Our Air B & B was in a town called Gengenbach, and this location was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Although our plans to “hike” in the Black Forest didn’t come though, we discovered an area with gorgeous landscapes and small hills to climb. We chose the Air B & B based off the eclectic photographs online, and I can’t think of a better word to describe this place.
The location was essentially someones house, with a large backyard. Within the backyard were three tiny houses, each one different. My friend and I stayed in one with a queen bed, small fridge, heater, and a TV. The house behind ours was occupied by one older woman, and the house across from ours held a family of four (two adults and two kids.)
Because the tiny houses were so tiny, they did not have separate bathrooms. We all shared a bathroom (in its own shipping container like room), and the photos of this bathroom online are what sold me on the place. It looked like something out of Harriet the Spy, in this scene where she is in the wind-chime garden. Harriet the Spy was my favorite movie when I was a wee lass.
The colored pencil fence…are you joking!? I love. This place was so much fun, and everything about it felt like a repurposed paradise. It was overgrown with bushes, including edible vegetable plants, it had a bar with locals that came to drink in the backyard, it had a rusted old chair swing to relax on, and I loved everything about it.
The communication with our host wasn’t the best, and not because of the language barrier, but simply because they were hard to find/call. I was bummed by this, but the man that owned the house made up for it the following morning when he hand delivered pretzels from a local bakery to all the tiny houses. I was outside enjoying a cuppa when he swung by.
The day we arrived we had enough daylight left to explore the town a bit, so we walked towards a hill we saw when driving in. The hill sucked us in with its many striations and multi colored patches. I’m still not certain what the vines were that grew on these hills, but we enjoyed weaving in and out of them anyway.
We sat at the top for a bit before heading into the city center for a quick look around, and a bite to eat. Along the way we found more interesting places that fit well with the unique vibe of our Air B & B. We found an abandoned child play park that looked like something out of a Stephen King novel, we found a mini zoo in a public space with sheep, goats, chickens, and most random of all – emus?
We found the city surrounded by a wall, but upon arrival inside the wall the central area was adorable, with quintessential German buildings.
We got pizza from a local shop, and came back to the warmth of our tiny room to enjoy it before bed. The following morning (after coffee, a shower, and some slow moving packing) we headed to one more spot in the forest before making our way to the pumpkin festival. We stopped at Baumwipfelpfad, the treetop walk above the forest.
This entire area was unreal, with multiple options for forest adventure, but we settled on the above spiral climb. From here we were able to see a panoramic view of the dense, colorful forest below us. This cost us ten euros each, and for an additional 2 euros there is a slide towards the top of the spiral that anyone can slide down. We didn’t want to pay to slide, but it looked like a fun time.
Our trip to the Black Forest was not what we expected, but it was a wonderful and relaxing reality. I not only hope to return to the forest, but I hope to return to Gengenbach, to the tower area, and to some of the hiking trails near the north. Shoutout to my friend Melody who took all the photos of me in this post.
The quality of her dSLR photos vs. my cell phone photos are night and day!
Q: Would you enjoy staying in a garden oasis tiny house, or would you rather have a hotel room with a private bathroom?