I recently returned from a weekend in the Black Forest of Germany. It was the first weekend of the semester that we could leave Heidelberg, so my friends Laura, Hannah, and I took the first train out of Heidelberg to go explore the Black Forest.
Well… it was almost the first train.
You see, I had just received my Eurail pass in the mail and had not yet activated it. I planned to activate it that Saturday morning before we left for Triberg. Unfortunately, the Deutsch Bahn office didn’t open until 10 in the morning, which meant we had to postpone our trip until Hannah and I could get our Eurails activated.
Once the three of us finally got on the train, the trip to Triberg was stunning. Since we were visiting in the dead of winter, everything was covered in snow. This California girl wasn’t accustomed to snow, so I felt like I was riding firsthand on the Polar Express.
The train dropped us off at the Triberg train station. It’s such a small town that there isn’t even a Hauptbahnhof, there is just the one train station. Thankfully I had a general idea of where our hotel was, so the three of us began our icy trek up to the main street.
It was cold! Hannah had recommended that I bring my trusty Hunter boots, which allowed me to jump in the massive snow drifts like a three year-old. I had so much fun. Once I began adult-ing, I found the hotel we were staying in – Hotel zum Bären. The hotel was fairly cheap; only 92 euros for the three of us for one night. The owner of the hotel was working at the front desk and was extremely kind and gracious to us three lost Americans. She showed us to our room and informed us that breakfast was included in the lobby the next morning.
Although the room was plain, we had plenty of room. The three of us quickly changed into warmer clothes and headed out to explore the town. We visited several stores and marveled at the cuckoo clocks that were made in the Black Forest. At one place, the Home of 1,000 Clocks, there was a cuckoo grandfather clock for 12,000 euros! I was afraid to even be near the clock.
Our next stop was Café Schäfer – the birthplace of the original Black Forest Cake. Everybody who had been to the Black Forest before had highly recommended trying it. Most people said it was disgusting. A select few told us that they loved it. Laura, Hannah, and I each bought our own piece to see what the hype was all about.
It was one of the best desserts I’ve had in years. If you don’t like cherry, liqueur, or cherry liqueur, I don’t recommend it. Even the whipped cream had that famous cherry taste. Even though the cake was very strong, it had a light, airy taste that made me want to eat the whole cake.
Once we finished our cakes (and decided against ordering another piece), we went to explore Deutschlands Höchste Wasserfälle – Germany’s highest waterfall. It cost 2 euros to enter the park to climb and see the waterfall. Our hotel had provided us with a tourist card, which allowed for us to get free admission. There was lots of black ice on the path so after we hiked a little way and took some pictures, we decided to head back out.
We had Italian food that night for dinner and I introduced Hannah to her first German beer. It was an honor. The pasta there was scrumptious and the three of us stayed so long that we shut the place down.
The next morning we ate breakfast at our hotel. We were starving despite eating large amounts of pasta the night before and we scarfed down our breakfast of rolls and jam. We checked out and on our way to the train station went to go see the world’s largest cuckoo clock. The receptionist had told us that it wasn’t far, maybe a 20 minute walk or so. It seemed like that clock was in the middle of nowhere. We finally found it though and took a few quick pictures before hurrying back to the train station. As our train pulled up to the platform, it was sad to say goodbye to Triberg. But we knew we would come back one day – most likely for the Black Forest Cake.